Admitted to both the Paris and the New York Bars, partner Sophie Scemla focuses on white collar crime defence, with a particular emphasis on preventing and managing risk, and implementing compliance programmes. She has managed extensive international fraud cases, international money laundering, tax fraud and criminal proceedings. Sophie has been involved in several high-profile criminal matters such as the Eurotunnel and Madoff cases, in international money-laundering and corruption cases (some in connection with the "Oil for Food" case), in the negotiation of agreements with foreign authorities, as well as in complex tax fraud cases such as the Wendel case. Regularly involved in conducting corporate investigations in France, Africa and Asia, Sophie recently coordinated international investigations involving the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, China, Angola and Brazil, and has implemented compliance programmes and risk-mapping for a number of French and international groups.
Prior to joining Gide, Sophie was a partner within Orrick Rambaud Martel (2009-2012), Heenan Blaikie (2012-2015) and Eversheds Sutherland (since 2015). She began her career as an associate within Rambaud Martel (1997-1998) then Danet & Associés (2000-2005), before being appointed counsel by Ayache Salama (2007-2009) and Orrick Rambaud Martel (2007-2009).
Sophie Scemla is Co-Chair of the IBA Anti-corruption Committee and a member of the special committee on corporate investigations for the French Bar association (Comité National des Barreaux). She holds a Master's degree in international business law (1995) and a postgraduate degree in private law (1996) from Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University, a postgraduate degree in industrial property (1997) from Paris II Panthéon-Assas University, and an LL.M. in comparative jurisprudence from the University of New York (1999).
Ranked by Chambers Europe, Legal 500, Best Lawyers and Who's Who Legal, Sophie Scemla has also been distinguished as one of "100 remarkable women in investigations" by the Global Investigations Review.
« [...] Sophie Scemla and Bruno Quentin jointly head the team with Jean-Philippe Pons-Henry, whose main focus lies in the financial industry. »
Legal 500 EMEA 2023 - Compliance
« Sophie Scemla demonstrates expertise in handling French and international criminal proceedings relating to corruption and bribery. She is particularly active across the oil and gas sector. Strengths: "Sophie Scemla is very client-oriented. She proposes very concrete action plans in the best interest of the company. She is pragmatic but also has deep knowledge in her field of expertise." "Sophie Scemla is brilliant, and has a perfect command of litigation and compliance. Sophie gives us the ability to skilfully deal with cases requiring a long-term vision and strategy." "She is very hard-working and great at setting and implementing strategies. She is also able to see the big picture as well as every small detail in a case." »
Chambers Europe 2023 - White-Collar Crime
« Sophie Scemla assists corporate clients with internal investigations following corruption and fraud allegations. She is equally skilled at implementing compliance programmes as well as advising on whistleblowing policies and duty of vigilance law. Strengths: "Sophie Scemla is a well of knowledge and it is a pleasure to work with her." "She is very efficient and really involved in the matter." »
Chambers Europe 2023 - Corporate Compliance & Investigations
« Sophie Scemla receives praise from client, with one stating that it is "rare to come across such a talented individual." She demonstrates expertise in handling French and international criminal proceedings regarding corruption and bribery. She is active across the oil and gas sector. »
Chambers Europe 2022 - White-Collar Crime
« Sophie Scemla assists corporate clients with internal investigations following corruption and fraud allegations. One client describes her as "dynamic, down-to-earth and straight to the point." »
Chambers Europe 2022 - Corporate Compliance & Investigation
« Sophie Scemla assists corporate clients with internal investigations following corruption and fraud allegations. Sources say: "She is experienced in handling the French aspects of complex, multi-jurisdictional matters," going on to add: 'She provides highly responsive service and appropriately captures the nuances associated with complex legal and enforcement matters.' »
Chambers Europe 2021