Image of Françoise Lefèvre

Françoise Lefèvre

Partner, Brussels

“I have 35 years’ experience of advising on the most complex, business-critical disputes and arbitrations, as well as being a well respected arbitrator. I offer clients absolute dedication, strength of determination, intellectual rigour and well honed advocacy skills to guide their case from start to resolution.”


Professional experience

Education and qualifications


Françoise has considerable experience in domestic and cross-border commercial litigation, including disputes involving banking law, contract law, corporate disputes, regulatory investigations, and construction law. She is also a well know white collar crime practitioner.


She is widely regarded as one of the leading arbitration experts in Belgium with extensive experience as counsel and arbitrator in national and international arbitrations, both ad hoc and institutional (including under the ICC, UNICTRAL, LCIA, CEPANI and NAI rules, among many).


Françoise was the firm’s worldwide litigation and arbitration head of from 2007 to 2010 before chairing the firm’s global international arbitration practice until 2016.

Work highlights

Françoise has led on many major cases. These include:

  • leading the defence of Fortis since its break-up in the wake of the financial crisis in 2008 in the multiple procedures that ensued, including numerous summary proceedings relating to the suspension or the annulment of corporate decisions taken by the company, several procedures relating to claims for damages filed by shareholders, procedures against bondholders, a large-scale criminal investigation for market manipulation, a regulatory investigation on communication of information to the market, and a mass claims settlement procedure
  • representing an important electricity producer in several procedures relating to nuclear taxes
  • representing Cytec in a landmark decision relating the limits of the judicial review of an arbitral award in the framework of an annulment procedure

Professional experience

Françoise is a member of the executive committee and of the academic board of CEPANI, a member of the International Arbitration Institute (Paris) and a member of the LCIA.


In June 2018, Françoise was designated as one of the two Belgian delegates on the ICC Court of Arbitration.


Françoise is regularly invited to discuss her practice at universities and seminars. Her publications include:


“Arbitration and Brussels - Regulation: before and after West Tankers”, Liber amicorum Guy Keutgen, Bruylant, 2012, with Olivier van der Haegen


“Les nouvelles règles en matière d'abus de marché”, R.D.C., 2017, with Arnaud Coibion, Thierry L'homme and Mathis Bredimus


“The Legality of Third Party under Belgian Arbitration Law”, Journal b-Arbitra, Cepani, 2017, with Guillaume Croisant


A full list of Françoise’s publications and seminar presentations can be found here.

Education and qualifications

Françoise studied law at the Free University of Brussels and holds a master’s in law from Trinity College, University of Cambridge.


She speaks English, French and Dutch.