Sitting down with Maxime de La Morinerie

Dec 11, 2019

Just like other family members before him, Maxime de La Morinerie (Msc in Management, 2008) studied at emlyon business school. He entered emlyon, after a Master 1 in English at Assas, followed by a Master 2 in business law and economy at the Sorbonne. In 2019, Maxime partnered with Philipe Brunswick and cofounded the firm Brunswick La Morinerie. This independent firm is mainly specialized in business litigation for innovative businesses, small and medium size, French or international, listed or not, as well as for financial or industrial investors. Why such a choice? Maxime sits down on the shrink’s couch and says it all!

What was going on in your head when you launched your business litigation firm?

It was a leap of faith! I kept asking myself what have-you gotten yourself into: will the clients be there, what kind of disputes will I have to manage, what type of organization should I put into place? Questions probably most people starting their own business go through.

Post-acquisition litigations, shareholders conflicts, liability actions: what does it bring to mind?

It’s life in business, as simple as that. Sooner or later, businesses are bound to be faced with a confrontational situation. Most of the time it is a matter of solving a mutual misunderstanding.

For instance, following an investment fund’s minority equity participation, a business leader may have to reconsider his strategy. In such cases, our job is to restore dialogue conditions between shareholders who have competing interests. In France, more often than not, the initial impulse is unfortunately to take the matter to court as soon as conflict arises, instead of resorting to alternative dispute settlements. Convinced that mediation is the answer, I recently obtained a University degree in this very domain, as an additional asset to support my clients in pursuing amicable conflict resolution.

Larry Richard, an American Psychologist and lawyer, declared in an interview with Droit Inc: “Lawyers’ brains are different”, demonstrating notably, a lack of empathy. What do you make of that?

When lawyers take oath, they solemnly swear to support their clients’ interests and conduct their practice as per human rights. Our firm operating mainly on litigation in corporate finance, each case requires a very detailed insight of the finance sector, an in depth knowledge of the facts generating the conflict and of our client requirements. It is paramount to understand in order to defend! Let me also say that, lawyers must demonstrate equal empathy for the opposite party in order to determine accurately whether an amicable settlement can be considered or if a judicial treatment is required.

Did you choose emlyon just to please your parents?

Yes, I’m not going to lie, my parents were ecstatic, especially since my sister and my brother-in-law had also graduated from EM! But it was also a very rational decision: entering emlyon was a means for me to better understand how to run a business, and more specifically, from a financial perspective. My specialization in M&A litigation followed suit naturally.

Can you tell us more about your partnership?

After working in British and American firms, I worked as senior collaborator for Philippe Brunswick in his firm for three years. We got along right away, this is precisely why I see this partnership as the next logical step into our collaboration.

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