Former international rugby star and current FCPA Blog contributing editor Philip Fitzgerald took the oath on January 8 to become a practicing lawyer in France.
His journey to avocat began in 1997 when he was an undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh (Scotland), working toward a 4-year joint honors degree in law and French. One requirement was spending year at a French law school. He chose Aix-en-Provence.
After completing the exchange year, Fitzgerald returned to Edinburgh and finished his degree in 1999. He then accepted an invitation to head back to France, this time to play professional rugby union with the club whose colors he had worn in 1997, Toulon.
Fitzgerald’s career at Toulon spanned more than a decade. He captained the side in France’s premier competition, the Top 14, where he played beside some of the game’s legends such as Jonny Wilkinson, George Gregan, and Tana Umaga. In 2008, Fitzgerald was capped at ‘A’ level by Scotland.
While playing professional rugby, Philip returned to university life in France. He completed a post-graduate qualification in property law in 2001 and a research-based masters in 2004. He then continued in research as a Ph.D candidate. In 2011 he defended his thesis, titled the “International Normative Framework Combating The Corruption Of Foreign Public Officials.”
In 2012, Fitzgerald accepted an invitation to join the FCPA Blog as a contributing editor. That same year he entered the regional bar school (Ecole des avocats) in Marseille and trained as a practicing lawyer. He won the school’s moot court competition and moved up to the national championship in Caen, northern France, where he finished third.
In October 2013, after a required 18-month course, Fitzgerald placed first out of the 250 students sitting for the requisite exam — Certificat d’aptitude à la profession d’avocat (CAPA).
Congratulations to our friend and colleague Philip Fitzgerald, who’s now practicing law in Toulon, Southern France.
Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.