Michel Zaoui – Of Counsel – Admitted to the Paris Bar Association in 1969

Of Counsel

Admitted to the Paris Bar Association in 1969

Appointed as Chevalier (Knight) by the Order of the Légion d’honneur, the highest decoration in France


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Master’s Degree in Private Law


French, English.


President of the judicial commission of the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA), 1997 – 2007

Vice-President of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), 2000 – 2003


Michel Zaoui has been admitted to the Paris Bar since 1969.

Passionate about criminal law and an uncompromising human rights militant, he earned his Master’s degree in private law and started his professional career and training alongside Gisèle Halimi.

In 1974, he founded his own firm and handled several sensitive cases involving rights of the press and criminal law; his experience includes acting in the URBA affair involving hidden financing of the Socialist Party, the French contaminated blood affair and the highly political Clearstream affair.
In addition, he was also one of the key lawyers in the major trials for crimes against humanity.

In 2005, he entered into a partnership with Bénédicte Litzler, before joining Schmidt Brunet Litzler as Of Counsel in 2015.


Mémoires de Justice : Les procès Barbie, Touvier, Papon” Editions Seuil (March 2009)

De Nuremberg à la Haye, Juger le crime contre l’humanité


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...and journalists from the various medias, newspapers, television and radio.

He was heavily involved in defending the rights of the civil parties in the Barbie, Touvier et Papon trials for crimes against humanity. He coined the term “executioner’s crime” (“crime de bourreau”), regularly used today.

...in non-profit associations.