ICC mourns loss of Serge Lazareff

  • 24 January 2012
History of the chamber movement

ICC is deeply saddened by the death of Serge Lazareff on 21 January 2012.

A distinguished international lawyer and arbitrator, Mr Lazareff was known and esteemed throughout ICC. The frequency with which he sat as arbitrator on ICC tribunals is testimony to his mastery of what he strongly believed to be the art of arbitration. He was a staunch pragmatist and a true internationalist, both by conviction and experience, and it is these qualities, combined with his legal expertise, that made him a formidable figure in his field.

Mr Lazareff’s contribution to ICC was far-reaching. For many years Chairman of the ICC Institute of World Business Law, he also chaired the French Arbitration Commission of ICC France. His support and commitment to ICC was unswerving, and he became a familiar and inspiring figure for many at the International Secretariat.

After qualifying as a lawyer at a remarkably young age, Mr Lazareff pursued a career in public service, notably as Legal Adviser to the Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces Central Europe (NATO) and then General Counsel for International Operations and Vice-President Asia-Pacific with the French industrial group, Pechiney. This gave him a unique understanding of public and private business needs, which he applied to great effect in his subsequent career in private practice as a lawyer and arbitrator.

John Beechey, President of the ICC International Court of Arbitration, paid tribute to “a remarkable man by any standards, a charismatic figure and a brilliant and distinguished servant of his country and the law.”

Jean-Guy Carrier, Secretary General of ICC, praised Mr Lazareff’s work as Chairman of the ICC Institute of World Business Law, where he shared his expertise in business law with practitioners and students from around the world.

A fervent defender of what he believed to be the true values of arbitration, Mr Lazareff had the courage of his convictions, recorded in the many writings he leaves behind, which will be a beacon for the generations that follow him.

ICC is greatly indebted to Mr Lazareff for his immense contribution to its activities and expresses its condolences and sincere sympathy to his family.