Ex-CC lawyer guns for WWII victim redress

A former Clifford Chance associate is launching a massive compensation case against French railway operator SNCF and the French state.

Avi Bitton, who left Clifford Chance after an acrimonious fight over his dismissal, has now set up his own firm.

Together with colleague Matthieu Delmas, Bitton is filing claims on behalf of more than 200 Jewish families seeking compensation over their or their relatives’ deportation from France when the country was occupied by the Nazis during World War II.

The impending action follows an earlier case brought by European MP Alain Lipietz, who was awarded E62,000 (£41,840) in compensation in June for the deportation of his relatives.

SNCF transported French Jews to transit camps such as Drancy, from where prisoners were taken to concentration and extermination camps.

Bitton said: “Instead of using passenger carriages, they left those carriages for paying passengers. SNCF was not forced to use cattle and goods carriages. Our feeling is the camps started on the train.”

The lawsuits have not yet been filed.