Nicolas advises on and litigates with respect to EU internal market law, EU State aid law, EU regulatory law, EU trade defence instruments, EU external trade law, UK trade law, international trade law, EU and international environmental law, investment protection law and public international law. He provides multi-jurisdictional, holistic and practical solutions to and assistance in complex trade, regulatory, investment and climate change law questions and disputes.
Nicolas has substantial expertise in EU environmental and regulatory law. He has advised companies on various aspects of the ETS Directive, the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Renewable Energy Directive, the REACH Regulation, the General Product Safety Directive, EU food law and the EU legal framework governing electronic products.
Nicolas has extensive experience in EU, UK and international trade law. He has advised developing countries on the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, trade remedies, international public procurement law, digital trade, sustainable trade and investment protection law. As part of a team of trade lawyers, Nicolas previously assisted the European Commission in defending the validity of EU countervailing duties in WTO panel proceedings. Moreover, he assisted panelists in the adjudication of three WTO disputes (in one of which he was a Panel Secretary). Nicolas has provided multiple legal opinions on the scope, validity and implications of EU trade sanctions instruments.
Prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Nicolas worked at two other international law firms as a trade and competition lawyer, at the WTO Rules Division as a Dispute Settlement Lawyer, at the UK Government's Department for International Trade as an International Trade Legal Advisor and at the UN/WTO International Trade Centre as a Trade Policy Advisor.
Nicolas' experience includes:
- being involved in the negotiation of a free trade agreement between the UK and the EFTA States and in bilateral inter-state negotiations launched under section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 in respect of UK's digital services tax*
- drafting third-party submissions on behalf of the UK Government in the context of WTO panel proceedings*
- acting as a co-agent in REACH and product safety enforcement actions brought by Belgian and French authorities and in appeal proceedings launched before the European Chemicals Agency Board of Appeal*
- drafting parts of an application for annulment intended for the General Court in an EU food law case*
- advising on international arbitration questions relating to procedural due process, the revised WTO Government Procurement Agreement and the scope of an arbitration clause in an international commercial case.*
*Nicolas' experience prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills.
Nicolas is an avocat at the Brussels French-speaking Bar, an Attorney-at-Law at the NY Bar and a barrister at the Bar of England and Wales. He holds a Licence en Droit and Licence en Droit International Public from ULB, a BA in Law from the University of Cambridge, an LLM and an MIA from Columbia University, and an MJUR and a DPhil in Law from the University of Oxford.