Skip to main content

Using Arbitration Funding to Finance Cross-Border Disputes


Speaker(s): Dana MacGrath, Floriane Lavaud
Recorded on: Jul. 17, 2019
PLI Program #: 283086

Floriane Lavaud is a member of the firm's International Dispute Resolution Group in New York. Her practice focuses on international arbitration, public international law and enforcement-related litigation, in particular in the energy and mining sectors. She is admitted to the New York and the Paris Bars, in addition to being a Solicitor in England & Wales.

Ms. Lavaud represents clients in arbitrations conducted under the auspices of the main arbitration institutions and in related court proceedings. She has advised clients in a variety of jurisdictions and fora on issues of civil and common law, public international law, and treaty and contract interpretation, including advising the State of Qatar before the International Court of Justice. Her experience also includes the assessment of damages and the enforcement of arbitration awards, especially under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and other similar legislation.

Ms. Lavaud was nominated among the “Most Highly Regarded” Future Leaders in Arbitration by Who’s Who Legal 2019, an edition focused on a selection of outstanding attorneys aged 45 or under. According to Who’s Who Legal, her peers describe her as “one of the most polished lawyers in the field” and previous editions of the guide have described her as “one of the best practitioners in her field. She pays attention to detail and is very talented in respect of analysing and constructing legal arguments.”

Prior to joining Debevoise in 2007, Ms. Lavaud worked at Total, the world’s fifth-ranked integrated international oil and gas company. As a member of Total’s Exploration & Production legal division, Ms. Lavaud gained in-depth experience with the oil and gas industry and the agreements specific to this industry, such as joint operating agreements and production-sharing agreements.

From 2009 to 2011, she clerked for the Hon. Douglas P. Woodlock of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Ms. Lavaud is among the few civil-law-trained attorneys who served as a federal law clerk. During her two-year clerkship, she was involved in a wide variety of civil and criminal cases under federal and state law and participated in numerous trials and motion hearings.

Ms. Lavaud regularly speaks and publishes on arbitration-related issues.

Ms. Lavaud currently serves as an arbitrator, including on the Qatar Sports Arbitration Tribunal (QSAT). She also recently served as a New York Regional Representative of the ICC Young Arbitrators Forum. She is the co-Chair of the International Arbitration Committee of the American Branch of the International Law Association (ABILA) and sits on the Arbitration Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She is also a member of numerous arbitration organizations, including the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (ITA) Advisory Board representing Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, the IBA Oil & Gas Committee, ICDR Young & International, Y-ADR Institute, Young International Arbitration Practitioners of New York (YIAP), ASA Below 40, and ArbitralWomen.

Ms. Lavaud received an LL.M. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2007 and an M.A. in Litigation and Arbitration from the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas with honors in 2005. She is a native French speaker and is also proficient in Spanish and basic Dutch.


Dana MacGrath is an Investment Manager and Legal Counsel at Bentham IMF, responsible for leading the company’s investments in international arbitration matters and contributing to its commercial litigation funding efforts. She joined Bentham in 2019 from Sidley Austin LLP, where she was a partner focusing on international arbitration and commercial litigation.

Dana’s ability to structure funding deals that address the special needs of parties engaging in or representing clients in international disputes is informed by having conducted numerous arbitrations before the leading international arbitration institutions and ad hoc arbitral tribunals and by serving as an arbitrator herself. Dana was recognized as a leading practitioner of international arbitration in various directories, including Chambers USA and Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration.

Dana is the current president of the Board of Directors of ArbitralWomen, an international non-profit organization that promotes women and diversity in international dispute resolution. She is on the Council of the American Arbitration Association-International Dispute Resolution Centre (AAA-ICDR) and co-chair of the AAA’s Large Complex Case Committee.  She is the immediate former Chair of the Arbitration Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (September 2015-June 2018) and served as co-chair of the CPR Institute Arbitration Rules Revision Committee (2017-2019) that revised both CPR’s ad hoc (non-administered) and administered arbitration rules.

Dana is an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School, where she teaches a seminar on international commercial arbitration and coaches the Brooklyn Vis Moot team. Dana earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law and her B.A. cum laude, from Middlebury College.