Overview

Recognized by Forbes as one of France’s Top40 lawyers and by the Globe and Mail as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, Nicolette Kost De Sèvres serves as head of the Compliance, Regulatory & Investigations team in Paris. She is a partner in Mayer Brown's Washington DC and Paris offices and a member of the Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice. Prior to joining, she served as global head of the Financial, Technology and Regulatory (Fintech) practice at a global law firm. Earlier in her career, she served as GC and Corporate Secretary of a large listed company. She is also a former financial regulator.

With 23 years of experience in compliance, white collar crime and financial regulation, Nicolette has practiced in London, Paris, Sydney, Washington DC and Montreal, including at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE Euronext) in Paris and the Royal Bank of Scotland in London. She also served as Chief of Staff and advisor to the President of the financial markets authority in Canada.

Nicolette is an expert in anti-corruption (ABC) and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance both in Europe and globally, in corporate investigations and regulatory investigations, risk assessments, and in due diligence compliance, including KYC. Nicolette also defends clients before enforcement agencies and regulators in Europe, Canada and the United States, including ESMA and the FCA, AMF, ACPR, CFTC, SEC, the World Bank and other multilateral banks.

Nicolette advises financial institutions and global and local companies on preventive measures as well as in complex white collar crime matters, building and strengthening local and global compliance programs, preparing or conducting risk assessments and mapping, whistleblowing systems, compliance programs, World Bank Integrity Guidelines, data privacy (including GDPR, privacy shield, Schrems II), sanctions & embargoes, the French Loi Sapin II, FCPA, UKBA, Loi sur le devoir de vigilance, EU Directives relating to whistleblower protection, ESG reporting, EU financial regulation, including MIFID, EMIR, AIFMD, BASEL, BRDD, AML, PDS2, SEPA and FinTech regulation. Additionally, she has a special insight on the military and defense sectors in the US and France.

Nicolette serves on several boards, including the American Chamber of Commerce in France (AmCham). She is a sought-after writer and speaker on compliance, enforcement, business ethics, international financial markets and the effects of regulation on financial systemic risk, derivatives, high-frequency trading and the legal framework of European financial markets.

She is the author of the book International Economic Law (2008) and one of the first articles on DLTs, “Blockchain Revolution: An Analysis of Regulation and Technology Related to Distributed Ledger Technologies” (2017). She teaches compliance, investigations and FinTech.

Nicolette has also been very active in Bar leadership, serving on the board of the Montreal Bar and on the executive board of the Quebec Bar, and as President of the Young Bar of Montreal, President of the Corporate Counsel Association of Canada, Quebec Chapter, and as President of the Canadian Bar Association, Quebec Chapter.

Her Compliance, Regulatory & Investigations team was named Best Compliance team in France in 2021 and 2019 winning the Gold Medal. She was named as one the Top100 Women in Investigations by Global Investigations Review (GIR) in 2021. She was named a Top40 Lawyer in France by Forbes for 2021, the first ever ranking of this sort in France. She was named on the Powerlist of Women of the Year in Fintech by Innovate Finance, in the UK, and as Best Lawyer in European Law by Lawyer Monthly. She was named Star of the Quarter by the American Bar Association. She was the official Knowledge Partner of the B20 and G20 of the Integrity & Compliance Taskforce.

Spoken Languages

  • English
  • French
  • Polish
  • Russian
  • Spanish
Highlights
Mayer Brown Named One of GIR’s Top 30 Investigations Firms for Fifth Consecutive Year

Experience

  • Implementation of compliance plans required by the Sapin II law and the law on the duty of care for various international groups whose registered offices are in France.
  • Implementation of anticorruption and anti-money laundering compliance plans for many international groups operating in France.
  • Assistance and representation before the World Bank in the context of investigations and the monitoring of compliance programs.
  • Drafting and review of global KYC and AML policies for international groups operating in France.
  • Establishment of global risk mappings and implementation of compliance programs within international groups based in France.
  • Organization of internal investigations in compliance matters, interviews with relevant executives, and analysis of documents in order to assess the risks of breaches to laws applicable in compliance matters for a company in the building sector.
  • Implementation of guidelines in relation with the ethical charter of an international group, design and organization of training for executives in coordination with the group’s legal management: in-person and e-learning training sessions adapted to the sector-specific concerns).
  • Implementation of a series of training sessions in France and in the United-Kingdom on the global risk of corruption for a French company in the publishing sector.
  • Counsel to French companies on the occasion of stock exchange investigations conducted by US and Canadian regulators (SEC, CFTC, OCC, CFPB, AMF, OSC, OSFI and FINRA).
  • Counsel to a France-based major international group at the occasion of investigations conducted by judicial authorities and a leading international organization regarding allegations of corruption in relation with the awarding of public procurements in Latin America and Africa.
  • Setting-up of tools necessary to the maintenance of an efficient and continue compliance with French and US banking regulations within a major French bank.
  • Organization of training sessions of sales representatives on at-risk practices in competition and corruption matters within an international group based in France and active in the building materials sector.
  • Counsel to a French network manager on the implementation of a specific program for compliance to competition rules and organization of training sessions for in-house lawyers on the procedures of competition authorities and in particular in relation to investigations.
  • Implementation of compliance programs in several major banks.
  • Due diligence and assessment of compliance constraints on the occasion of external growth transactions, restructuring, financial or commercial transactions, in particular in the context of acquisitions or joint-ventures, partnerships, listing on markets or even commercial agreements.
  • Assistance in the structuring of these transactions in order to ensure compliance with applicable anticorruption laws (including Sapin II Law, US FCPA and UK Bribery Act).
  • Assistance in the drafting and negotiation of contractual clauses related to compliance questions in relation with these transactions.
  • Specific assistance on the occasion of audits on the hiring of foreign commercial agents, consultants or business partners.

Education

University of New South Wales, PhD, ABD, Finance, Technology and Regulation

University of Montréal, Montréal, Canada, LLM

University of Montréal, Montréal, Canada, JD

King's College London, Certificate in EU Law

Admissions

  • Quebec
  • District of Columbia (as a Special Legal Consultant)
  • Paris

Activities

  • American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in France—board member
  • Canadian Corporate Council Association—Quebec—former president
  • Quebec Bar — former member of the executive board
  • Montreal Bar—former member of the executive board
  • Young Bar Association of Montreal - former president
  • Quebec State Court of Appeals — former member of the executive board
  • American Bar Association — Financial Products Committee
  • Military Spouse JD Network
  • International Bar Association
  • Women in Housing and Finance

Continually recommended by the legal directories as a Leading Individual:

2021

  • Recognized as Leading Individual in Compliance in France by Legal 500 EMEA.

2020

  • The Paris « Compliance, Regulatory & Investigations » team of Mayer Brown has been recognized by Décideurs magazine in Paris as “Excellent” in the category Compliance & Fraud, Compliance Programs. Ms. Nicolette Kost De Sèvres and Mr. Joydeep Sengupta are also individually listed.
  • The Paris « Compliance, Regulatory & Investigations » team of Mayer Brown has been recognized by Décideurs magazine in Paris as “Excellent” in the category Compliance & Fraud, International and Internal Investigations. Ms. Nicolette Kost De Sèvres and Mr. Joydeep Sengupta are also individually listed.
  • In 2020, Nicolette Kost de Sèvres was short-listed by Women in Compliance in London as the Compliance Innovator of the Year.

2019

  • Gold Trophy in Compliance : The team, led by Nicolette Kost de Sèvres, was awarded the first prize Gold Trophy in the “Compliance” category at the Trophées du Droit 2019 ceremony in Paris, organized by Décideurs Magazine - Groupe Leaders League in January 2019.

2018

  • Décideurs, a French media and rating agency for top executives has recognized Nicolette Kost de Sèvres as "Excellent" in Compliance Compliance - International investigation and internal investigation as well as "Highly Recommended" in Compliance programs.

2017

  • The new edition of Décideurs, a french media and rating agency for top executives has recognized Nicolette Kost de Sèvres as "Excellent" in Compliance. (2017).
  • Lawyer Monthly’s Magazine Women in Law Awards, has recognized Nicolette Kost de Sèvres as “European Union Lawyer of the Year”. (2017).

2016

  • Innovate Finance, an independent not-for-profit membership association representing the UK’s global community, has recognized Nicolette Kost de Sèvres in the "Powerlist of Women in Fintech". (2016).

2008

  • The Women’s Executive Network, Canada’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles, has recognized Nicolette Kost de Sèvres in the "Top 100 Most Powerful Women" in Canada. (2008).
  • Premières en Affaires, a magazine dedicated to the recognition of women in Canada’s professional life, has recognized Nicolette Kost de Sèvres as a "Key figure of the year". (2008).

2007

  • American Bar Association (ABA) Young Lawyers’ Division awarded Nicolette Kost De Sevres with the Star of the Quarter. (2007).