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Queen Mary launches new Master of Laws (LLM) in Paris

Dr Maxi Scherer and Yves Repiquet

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Queen Mary has launched a new postgraduate law degree for students and law practitioners in Paris, bringing the expertise of Queen Mary’s School of Law to the heart of the French capital.

The LLM in Paris has been developed by Queen Mary’s Centre for Commercial Law Studies, one of the leading institutions for commercial law. The programme builds upon the success and reputation of the existing London based Queen Mary LLM, by offering an in-depth immersion in a common law environment for those unable to study in London, essential for those either working in or looking to work for multinational corporations.

The programme, which will start in January 2013, has a flexible structure with two intakes a year - January and September, with teaching being held in the evening or in intensive block course over five consecutive days. Courses will be taught in English by distinguished Queen Mary academics, with visiting lecturers from leading French law firms and other prestigious schools and universities.

The Paris LLM has been established through a long-standing partnership between Queen Mary and the University of London Institute in Paris (ULIP). Teaching will take place at ULIP’s central office in the 7th arrondissement.

A further partnership with the Paris Bar School, EFB, has been devised to allow the bar students to validate the Queen Mary LLM in Paris as part of their training (PPI). In addition, CCLS has arranged an informal partnership with SciencesPo Law School, which will allow students of the Queen Mary Paris LLM to participate in certain selected courses and seminars of SciencesPo Law and vice versa.

Students of the Paris LLM will have the opportunity to develop academic and professional expertise in specialised areas of commercial law including banking and finance law, intellectual property, international dispute resolution and economic law.

Professor Spyros Maniatis, Director of CCLS stated that “CCLS sees this as an opportunity to develop further and stronger links with other European academic, research, and professional institutions. Our approach to legal education and research has always been international and comparative and Paris, a “global” city in the heart of Europe, is the perfect location for building bridges between civil and common law.”

Dr Maxi Scherer, the Academic Director of the LLM Programme, comments: “This course will provide students with in-depth immersion in commercial law from both comparative and international perspectives, within a common law framework.” She adds: “We appreciate that for many students, improving their command of legal English is a vital part of undertaking an LLM and we have therefore incorporated legal English support throughout the course."

The course was launched on 28 June 2012 in Paris, at a reception attended by over 80 leading practitioners, regulatory authorities and academics from leading French Universities and law schools. Lord Leonard Hoffmann (former Judge and Judicial Member of the House of Lords) gave the keynote speech.

Yves Repiquet, former Dean (Batonnier) of the Paris Bar and partner at Jeantet & Associes commented: “[the Paris LLM is an excellent opportunity for the Paris bar, offering students at the Paris Bar School (EFB) and young professionals during the first years of their training the possibility to obtain an English LLM degree while being in Paris.” He adds: “Such a qualification is a great added value to any potential employer.”

Georges Affaki, Member of the Executive Committee and Head of Structured Finance, CIB Legal, at BNP Paribas in Paris, agreed: “Multinational banks and companies expect their internal and external lawyers to navigate comfortably between the main legal traditions of common law and civil law.” He summed up the aim of the new Paris LLM: “[a] global rule of law is essential for today's international economy and the common law is a pillar of this global system.  It is a tribute to the vision of Queen Mary, University of London that it has brought the common law to the heart of the civil law in Paris.”

Audley Sheppard, global head of Clifford Chance's arbitration group said that “this LLM will provide invaluable academic and practical training in fundamental areas of modern commercial law.” Being a visiting Professor at Queen Mary, London, he added: “The Paris LLM builds on the very successful LLM programmes Queen Mary offers in London to more than 500 students each year coming from all around the world.”

Professor Christophe Jamin, Dean of SciencesPo, who also attended the launch commented: “We are delighted that Queen Mary opens this wonderful programme around the corner from SciencesPo Law School and we look forward to working together.”

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