In 2023, Alerion will celebrate its 20th anniversary and would like to thank you for your loyalty!
Let’s carry on together and talk future!
Discover our 20 main actions that punctuate our year-long anniversary.
In 2003, Alerion was born out of a simple ambition: to create an independent, French law firm from scratch, with the aim of bringing together different practices to provide all the skills required to develop a business. Our ambition, that of our founders Christophe Gerschel, Philippe Mathurin, Jacques Bouyssou, Jacques Perotto, Pierre-Olivier Brouard, was nurtured from the outset by a fierce entrepreneurial spirit; to experience the same adventures and difficulties as our clients, but above all to feel at home in a structure made in our own image! In a highly competitive market, we needed energy and determination. But that wasn’t enough. In addition to our teams, those who have enabled us to establish our place at the heart of French business law, are of course our clients who placed their trust in us from the outset – some of whom have been with us for 20 years, or almost, sometimes even longer… – they have been powerful driving forces behind Alerion’s sustainable presence and success. We are very grateful for their loyalty.
“After 3 years”, Patrick Lescop de Moy spun the metaphor of Verlaine’s famous poem and invited us to push open the door of the Alerion garden, where each plant corresponded to one of us: from promising young oaks to seedlings, countless flower names and a few wild grasses… In Patrick’s words, “the Alerion garden was off to a good start”, but it had “not yet shown all its fruit”. In 2023, this metaphor deserves to be revisited. The garden has grown a lot, the walls have been pushed back, new species have been planted, many have taken up permanent residence, the young oaks have aged but remain vigorous, plants have sprouted, some flowers have proliferated from other gardens…in short, a 20-year-old garden that today requires many gardeners to maintain and enhance it, while jealously preserving its original singular character.
Over 70 lawyers, from 7 to 18 partners, covering all areas of business law – we’ve come a long way! The arrival of new partners has been just as crucial in our development: Catherine Robin soon joined us in 2004, followed by another Philippe Pescayre, Frédéric Saffroy, Nicola Kömpf, Corinne Thierache and in 2020, Gilles Podeur. The partnership of associates who have learned the profession alongside us, who represent a good third of the partners today, has reinforced our decision to capitalize on people and their ability to embody the firm over the long term: Stanislas Vailhen present from the outset and a long-standing partner, Vincent Poirier in 2012, in 2017 Sibylle Mareau, Antoine Rousseau, Nathalie Dupuy-Loup then Jean-Christophe Brun and most recently Fahima Gasmi. Today, the 18 partners are flanked by more than 45 highly talented associates, lawyers and jurists, who are expert technicians in often highly specialized legal fields, who bring their dynamism to bear and contribute to our unique state of mind, which is not only agile, but proactive and pragmatic. We’ve risen to a number of challenges: our move to rue de l’Université changed our dimension in every sense of the word! And our beautiful view over Paris has become a visible sign of our ability to see far ahead – in the long term – and to see the big picture. Our volume of business has grown every year, even though the economic climate has been particularly erratic at times. Projets with an international outlook (the German Desk headed by Nicola Kompf and the Spanish desk with Jacques Bouyssou) and a network of quality legal professionals patiently developed over time.
What makes Alerion unique, and what unites its teams, is the conviction that our profession is learned over time, passed on and shared, and that the service we offer is based on close ties between lawyer and client. Let’s imagine business law as a great river with two banks: one bank is the Law, with its prestigious universities, its mahogany libraries, its shelves of legal codes (today software…), its rituals; the other bank is the Companies, their business models, their growth challenges, their buildings, their production units, their shareholders… We want to be the firm that sails as close as possible to the Companies. In 2023, as in 2003, being as close to the company as possible is in the firm’s DNA. To make sure everyone reaches their destination. To be the intermediary. Being a lawyer at Alerion means knowing your client, the economic sector and the markets in which they operate, and grasping the particularities… It also means getting to know the men and women who make up the companies that place their trust in us, because economic relationships in transactions and disputes are above all human relationships. Alerion’s success is undoubtedly the fruit of this alchemy of entrepreneurial spirit, teamwork and determination.
In 2023 Alerion continues to anticipate, adapt and contribute to the emergence of more virtuous and sustainable practices at the heart of business law. We are going through unprecedented transformations. Digital technology and artificial intelligence in our business environment, and global warming in our natural environment, are clearly major challenges. Aware of the threats as well as the opportunities, we want to continue to adapt to support you in this changing world. Alerion’s teams are already actively working on these issues: from governance to work organization, from strategies to the firm’s commitments. Strong initiatives have already been taken: IT security has been strengthened to ward off the scourge of cyber-attacks, and an in-house academy has been created, offering expert input on a variety of subjects ensuring an open-minded spirit in our lawyers; most recently, on the initiative of Jacques Bouyssou, Alerion created, the Climate Litigation Observatory and a task force on Artificial Intelligence has been set up. Let’s also acknowledge the initiatives of those who, without fanfare, give their time to pro bono actions on behalf of charitable organisations, or discreetly defend causes close to their hearts. An example is Christophe Gerschel’s creation of an endowment fund (« Green Sanctuaries »). dedicated to protecting the world’s most biodiverse forests through direct action on land ownership.
So many actions that give meaning to the work of lawyers and honour their oath. Beyond all these initiatives – and there will be others – the important thing for Alerion is to remain committed, humble, consistent and resolutely committed to the long term. For our 2003 ambition has now been renewed: to perpetuate this fine structure over the long term and give ourselves the means to pass it on to the next generation. It’s already underway, and there’s no end in sight!