Aloïs Blin (EDHEC Master 2010), criminal business lawyer

Published on 25/08/2020
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When talking about the Grande École programme, one tends to forget the diversity of students who take it. Aloïs Blin (EDHEC Master 2010), who first studied at a law faculty before joining EDHEC, is among those alumni whose academic background opened up many opportunities. He’s now a lawyer specialising in litigation, criminal business law and liability in relation to healthcare products. He’s part of the defence team for France’s national agency for the safety of medication in the Mediator case.

 

What are your current responsibilities?

I joined the firm Courrégé-Foreman as counsel last June. It’s a niche firm that works on complex disputes in criminal business law and commercial law. I previously worked for other firms, in particular FTMS alongside chairman of the bar, Pierre-Olivier Sur.

 

Tell us about your background: what are the key choices or events that have guided you on your path, whether at EDHEC or later?

After four years at the Paris V law faculty, I started at EDHEC via the parallel admission system. I then completed a Master’s course in business law in partnership with the School, as well as the CRFPA (bar exams) in the same year. My first experience in a law firm during my gap year didn’t leave me convinced it was for me. I did a traineeship in the M&A department in a leading English-speaking firm, but I didn’t find the profession particularly interesting. I use the word “profession” deliberately because there are so many different ways to work as a lawyer! It’s important to remember that because students aren’t necessarily aware of it. Ultimately, after more traineeships at the appeal court in Paris and the law firm Soulez Larivière, I discovered litigation, in particular litigation hearings. And I haven’t lost my enthusiasm for the debate and the oral aspects since.

 

Why did you choose law after EDHEC?

Well I joined EDHEC after studying at a law faculty. And paradoxically, the School was a fantastic opportunity for me to “reconcile” with that discipline. Learning about other subjects allowed me to make sense of the legal analysis and gave me an overall perspective of the business world. Furthermore, the competition is intense in law firms and there is no doubt I wouldn’t have had the same career without EDHEC on my CV.

 

With regard to your impact on societal and environmental issues, what are the current and future goals and past successes of which you are most proud?

I currently work for major companies and high-wealth individuals. But I still work pro bono on some cases. In particular, my firm works with victims of crimes against humanity.

 

Networking: has the EDHEC Alumni network proved useful, now or in the past?

I’ve taken part in conferences, but for the time being my interaction with other EDHEC graduates is mainly based on friendships.

 

What does EDHEC Alumni mean for you?

It’s a valuable resource and I intend to get involved in the near future.

 

Do you think it is important to have a professional network nowadays?

It’s fundamental. Lawyers work with the justice system, but they are also service providers. Without a network, it would be simply impossible to work in this profession.

 

You’re currently defending the national agency for the safety of medication in the Mediator case. What are the soft skills, values and lessons learned at EDHEC that you draw on as part of this case or in your career generally?

This extraordinary case (more than 7 months of hearings, more than 3,500 victims, and more than €1 billion in claims) has been the richest experience of my career so far. I’ve had the good fortune to work alongside the masters of the bar and to learn a great deal. Without hesitation, I would say the absolute necessity of trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Understanding their mindset and their emotions. Take for example examinations during hearings: even with the finest arguments in the world, if your tone or “body language” is not right, the result can be catastrophic! The witness, expert or victim may (sometimes unwittingly) respond very unfavourably for reasons not linked to the objective elements in the case.

 

Part of EDHEC’s strategy is to train people with hybrid skillsets (dual diplomas), particularly when it comes to the law, with the EDHEC Augmented Law Institute. What advantages/differences set you apart from other (university) law graduates when you left EDHEC? What’s the advantage of a “hybrid profile” in the area you currently work in?

It gives you a dual culture and qualities that are now essential if you want to succeed in your career. Because although you need to perfectly master your discipline, that’s not enough in itself. A good legal technician may prove to be a bad lawyer if he hasn’t developed other capacities such as soft skills.

 

What’s your fondest memory of EDHEC?

It’s more an observation: the diversity of backgrounds found in a single school. It’s a great source of wealth.

 

What advice would you have for students or young graduates looking to follow the same path as you?

Attend hearings in court! It’s the best window through which to discover the profession (and completely free).

Career change? Moving house?