Taylor Wessing becomes star player on Rugby World Cup team

Taylor Wessing has scored the lead role on the disputes committee of the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France, thanks to a recommendation from rival Clifford Chance.

Jérôme Henry, a dispute resolution partner in Taylor Wessing’s Paris office, has been appointed chairman of the World Cup disputes committee by the International Rugby Board (IRB).

Clifford Chance is the IRB’s law firm for the event and was charged with recommending lawyers for the post. Clifford Chance dispute resolution partner Jean Frederic Gaultier compiled a list of possible candidates for the IRB to make the final selection.

Gaultier said: “I just gave the CVs of some French lawyers to the organisation. They needed to be knowledgeable in arbitration, and, of course, speak at least French and English.”

Gaultier and partner Yves Wehrli are the main Rugby World Cup contacts for Clifford Chance in Paris.

As chairman, Henry will be responsible for organising committee hearings, meetings between parties and even decisions on disputes.

The World Cup’s disputes committee will cover breaches of rules during the World Cup, excepting anything that happens on the pitch. Henry said: “Each entrant to the competition has signed a contract that is binding. The contract contains provisions that are very broad, so another country and the IRB may believe another party is in breach. Whether there is a dispute between countries or between a country and the IRB it will be handled by the committee.”

Despite Henry’s high-ranking position on the committee, it is unlikely that the IRB will treat him to any free tickets to Rugby World Cup matches.

He said: “I’ve asked for some [tickets], but have not received any yet.”

Henry joined Taylor Wessing last year from Schmidt Brunet Henry & Associés, where he was co-managing partner.