Anti-establishment candidate Bruno Boccara has won the by-election for a place on the Paris Bar Council ahead of Willkie Farr & Gallagher partner Dominique Mondolini, who had been hoping to exploit international firms’ discontent with what they perceive as the bar’s isolationist attitude.
The Paris Bar is now faced with a maverick councillor and a disgruntled and under-represented international contingent.
“I’m very satisfied that the international firms mobilised 204 votes for this particular election,” Mondolini told The Lawyer.
This was the bar’s first contested election, held after the previous councillor retired mid-term. Full elections for councillors and the presidency will be held in November, with the added bonus of an internet election saving voters from trudging down to the courts.
Mondolini will discuss with his partners whether he will stand again.
He added: “I look forward to the November elections. The reasons that motivated my candidacy in this election still stand.”
The main reason is that lawyers from international firms feel under-represented with just three seats on the 36-member council.
A recent letter to a French newsletter by former bar president Paul-Albert Iweins provoked fury among international firms when Iweins revealed that he had discussed favouring French firms with French president Jacques Chirac.
Iweins has since apologised, saying that his views were misinterpreted.
Boccara won the second ballot against criminal lawyer Dominique Tricaud and sole practitioner Michel Cervoni.
Boccara believes that the Bar Council is a closed club for former presidents and stands for reform.