Signature Litigation Paris “quickly established itself as one of France’s finest dispute resolution practices and consistently attracts high-stakes, often headline-grabbing matters.”

The Legal 500 EMEA 2021

“Sylvie Gallage-Alwis is acclaimed for her “rigorous analysis, strategic guidance and seasoned litigation” on complex product disputes.“

Who’s Who Legal Thought Leaders – France – Product Liability Defence 2021

“Making a name for herself for high-profile toxic tort and product liability cases, handing a number of asbestos claims.“

The Legal 500 EMEA 2020

“Sylvie Gallage-Alwis is acclaimed for her “rigorous analysis, strategic guidance and seasoned litigation” on complex product disputes.“

Who’s Who Legal France – Product Liability Defence 2020

Sylvie “stands out in the product liability space for her creative solutions and strategic understanding of the many cases she works on”.

Who’s Who Legal 2018

Sylvie is “analytical, intelligent and responsive”.

Who’s Who Legal 2018

Sylvie “always goes the extra mile to support her clients, and is proactive in seeking commercial solutions to disputes”.

Who’s Who Legal 2018

Sylvie is described as “a firm favourite among clients”.

Who’s Who Legal 2018

A “dynamic and determined litigator”.

Who’s Who Legal 2018

Biography

After 10 years practicing in a major international law firm, Sylvie became one of the founding partners of the Paris office of Signature Litigation and heads its product liability / industrial risk practice.

Sylvie is both an Avocat à la Cour in France and a Solicitor in England & Wales. She is specialised in all cutting-edge complex disputes linked to products, namely product liability, product safety, toxic tort, mass litigation/class action, regulatory compliance, and environment. She is involved in several very high-profile French industrial disaster pending cases.

Sylvie also assists the manufacturers she works for in commercial litigation (e.g. sudden termination, unfair competition, significant imbalance cases) and contract / Terms & conditions review.

Sylvie is highly recognised for her skills as a litigator by directories. She is described by Who’s Who Legal as a “dynamic and determined litigator”, who is “a firm favourite among clients” as “she always goes the extra mile to support her clients, and is proactive in seeking commercial solutions to disputes”.

Sylvie has been ranked for a number of years as a ‘Thought Leader’ in the Who’s Who Legal France: Product Liability Defence Guide, which notes her “rigorous analysis, strategic guidance and seasoned litigation” on complex product disputes and recognises her as a “a star in the international world” and “well-connected expert”. She is also recognised as one of the ‘Global Elite Thought Leaders’ in Who’s Who Legal’s Product Liability Defence 2022 Guide, which notes Sylvie “cuts a distinguished figure in the market for representing manufacturers in the automotive, energy and food industries“.

She has won several awards such as the “Best in Product Liability” award at the 2019 LMG Euromoney Europe Women in Business Law Awards and the Lexology Client Choice award in Product Liability in 2021. In The Legal 500 EMEA, France chapter, Sylvie is recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’ for product liability within the Dispute Resolution: Commercial Litigation category.

Sylvie has experience in all ranges of product-related litigation. She “stands out in the product liability space for her creative solutions and strategic understanding of the many cases she works on”.

She represents a variety of globally recognised manufacturers from industries such as automotive, electronic products, life sciences, cosmetics, new technologies, steel, energy, food, toys, consumer goods etc. In this scope, she has developed strong regulatory knowledge, putting together innovative defences. She is working on very technical legal issues such as the dieselgate, the generalisation of the anxiety damage, alleged planned obsolescence, the liability of marketplaces, class actions and climate justice claims – always representing the manufacturer.

Sylvie is further known in the French market as a leading toxic tort / mass litigation lawyer. As such, she has been involved in most pro-company case law rendered in recent years, notably in asbestos-related cases, with some cases mentioned in the French Civil and Social Security Codes because of the significant reversal in case law they represent.

Sylvie is an active member of the International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) and the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (ADTA). She also regularly attends meetings of the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO).

Experience

Product Liability

  • Advising a leading French automotive manufacturer in the scope of an investigation on diesel emissions.
  • Representing a leading US mobile phone manufacturer in the scope of allegations of planned obsolescence.
  • Representing a Finnish engine part manufacturer in the scope of investigations ordered following the accident of a passenger ferry.
  • Representing a US electric equipment manufacturer in the scope of investigations ordered following the fire of a major data centre.
  • Representing a US analyser manufacturer in the scope of investigations ordered following the alleged lack of functioning of a power plant.
  • Representing a vaccine manufacturer in the scope of claims filed by patients and/or people who refuse to be vaccinated by said product.
  • Assisting a supplier of metal tubes for the nuclear sector in its dispute with its metal supplier and with its own customers all over the world following the disclosure, by its supplier, of irregularities in the said metal.

Product Compliance / Market surveillance authority investigations

  • Advising a Japanese pesticides manufacturer following investigations carried out by the French Customs on the composition of one of its products.
  • Assisting a leading Japanese printing company in the scope of the regulatory review of their machines sold in the EU.
  • Assisting leading marketplace concerning its obligations versus the obligations of the sellers using its platform towards consumers.
  • Assisting US cosmetics manufacturer for the development of hand sanitiser/hydrogel
  • Assisting individual protective equipment manufacturer following complaints by clients’ employees of lack of proper certification.
  • Assisting food raw ingredient manufacturer in the scope of the investigations carried out by the French market surveillance authority, including the sesame crisis.

Toxic Tort / Mass Litigation / Class Action

  • Handling a docket of more than 7,000 cases filed by plaintiffs on the ground of their anxiety to develop an asbestos-related disease in the future.
  • Handling a docket of more than 400 cases filed by plaintiffs alleging that they have developed a disease linked to an exposure to chemical substances.
  • Advising a seeds manufacturer in the scope of claims filed by dozens of farmers on the ground of alleged defects of the seeds.
  • Assisting Canadian company in providing an Expert report on over 40 collective redress mechanisms around the world.

Publications

2022

A new frontier: ESG-related litigation riskInsurance Post – 10 March 2022

La loi anti-gaspillage : une révolution légale et sociétale à hauts risques pour les entreprises – LJA – 21 February 2022

The growing power of shareholder proposals Financial Times – 18 February 2022

Réparation du préjudice d’anxiété lié à l’amiante : 2 ans pour agir – Predictice – 21 January 2022

2021

Sylvie Gallage-Alwis examines the latest FIVA report to highlight that asbestos claims are at the heart of litigationPBC Today – 15 December 2021

Energy: supply pressures create crisis in Europe – IBA – 1 December 2021

Partners Sylvie Gallage-Alwis and Thomas Rouhette and Associate Nikita Yahouedeou contribute the French Chapter of Chambers Collective Redress & Class Actions 2021Chambers & Partners – 9 November 2021

The Rise Of Climate Change Litigation In EuropeLaw360 – 5 October 2021

In-house lawyers take on the climate emergencyInternational Bar Association – September 2021 Edition

Polluter pays principleOption Droit et Affaires – 14 September 2021

How will stricter enforcement of the polluter pays principle affect the chemical industry?Chemical Watch – 14 September 2021

Anxiety damage – On the verge of Becoming Companies’ New StressLawyer Monthly – 10 September 2021

Dangers of generalising the ‘anxiety damage’ recognition – Law Society Gazette – 9 September 2021

Special Report on the Polluter Pays PrincipleLawyer Monthly – 2 September 2021

Climate Change Legislation – Does It Go Far Enough?Lawyer Monthly – 1 September 2021

Qu’en est-il vraiment du principe du pollueur-payeur?Le Monde Du Droit – 1 September 2021

European Court of Auditors: Publication of its Special Report on the Polluter Pays Principle – Lawyer Monthly – 17 August 2021

Will companies be washed away by greenwashing claims?Lawyer Monthly – August 2021 Issue

The daily legal minefield manufacturers have to face – Expert Guides – 16 July 2021

Vers de nouveaux types de contentieux environnementauxLes Echos Capital Finance – 28 May 2021

Transparence dans la chaîne alimentaire : « Je ne sais rien mais je dirai tout »ODA – 19 May 2021

The Legal 500: Product Liability Country Comparative Guide, France Chapter – The Legal 500 – April 2021

L’urgence climatique ne se traduit-elle pas en précipitation et chaos juridique ?La Tribune – 29 March 2021

Partner Sylvie Gallage-Alwis comments in Legal Week re vaccine delaysLegal Week – 29 January 2021

Taking the law into their own hands: how investors are using litigation to achieve ESG impact – Responsible Investor – 27 January 2021

EU Rule Presents New Medical Device Compliance HurdlesLaw360 – 15 January 2021

2020

5G: the start of a new legal saga?Telemedia Online – 9 December 2020

Companies should monitor the Commission’s environment-related actionsOpen Access Government – 3 December 2020

La 5G : début d’une nouvelle saga judiciaire ?Option Droit et Affaires – 2 December 2020

Sylvie Gallage-Alwis interviewed by Who’s Who LegalWho’s who Legal – December 2020

Financial institutions: soon in the eye of the climate litigation storm?Thomson Reuters – 27 November 2020

Class action and hidden defect: the judicial tribunal of Versailles sheds a welcome lightRevue de Jurisprudence de Droit des Affaires – November 2020 Edition

Climate Litigation Momentum Building in EuropeToday’s GC – Autumn 2020 Edition

Covid : ce que les entreprises doivent faire pour éviter la faute juridiqueLes Echos – 25 September 2020

Product liability and safety in France: overviewPLC – 9 September 2020

COVID-19 and Force Majeure: French Courts Stick With the Contract – Legal Week – 31 August 2020

The anxiety to develop a disease: companies doing business in France should worryThe Barrister – 19 August 2020

CJEU’S Annual Report: Manufacturers, Climate change & Chemical substancesLawyer Monthly – 4 August 2020

EU Class Action Policy Guided By Wrong Measure Of SuccessLaw360 – 15 July 2020

L’action de groupe : une déception, mais pour qui?La Lettre des Juristes d’Affaires – 10 July 2020

L’anxiété : un préjudice qui n’est plus limité au contentieux de l’amianteOption Droit et Affaires – 1 July 2020

French Force Majeure Case Holds COVID-19 Lessons For Cos.Law360 – 18 June 2020

Clause by clause: COVID-19 can be a force majeure eventThomson Reuters – 17 June 2020

Commercial Litigation: COVID-19 recognised as force majeureLawyer Monthly – 8 June 2020

What does product-related litigation look like in France today?Who’s Who Legal – 29 May 2020

The DGCCRF and online platforms’ duty to inform consumersLawyer Monthly – 28 May 2020

Le Toxic Tort à la française : c’est pire qu’Outre-Atlantique…Le Monde du Droit – 11 May 2020

Operating companies & Covid-19: Beware of tomorrow’s litigation!The Barrister – 7 May 2020

Protection de l’environnement : entreprises, préparez-vous à une vague de contentieuxLe Monde du Droit – 23 April 2020

Why climate change litigation is heating up across EuropeLitigation Futures – 22 April 2020

COVID-19 : attention demain aux contentieux pour les entreprisesLa Tribune – 21 April 2020

An inventory of litigation risks for operating businesses during COVID-19Lawyer Monthly – 17 April 2020

French Court Rebukes Amazon Over Worker Health and Safety, Prompts Company to Shut Warehouses in FranceLegal Week – 15 April 2020

Covid-19 : comment éviter les risques de contentieuxLes Echos – 15 April 2020

French Cos. Should Beware 4 Legal Risks Of Reopening – Law360 – 14 April 2020

Does EU product law need to change to stay relevant?Lawyer Monthly – 23 March 2020

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