At around the age of 16, Daniel Soulez Larivière was awarded a grant to enable him to complete his secondary education in the United States. He learnt a lot about the English-speaking world from this experience - knowledge that would prove very useful in his work on the Rainbow Warrior case. On his return to France, he obtained a post-graduate diploma in public law and a diploma from the Paris School of Political Science (Institut d’Etudes Politiques).
In 1966, he was the youngest member in the team of Edgard Pisani, minister in charge of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and one of the most important ministers of Général De Gaulle’s government. When Edgard Pisani decided to retire from politics, the young lawyer did likewise and decided to devote himself entirely to the law (he had been admitted to the bar in 1965). An interesting anecdote: in 1969 he was appointed as the second secretary of the Conférence du Stage, a well-known lawyers’ institution, whose purpose, since the 19th century, has been to uphold lawyers’ oratorical skills.
The first years of the firm are marked by a variety of court appointments to represent clients in famous cases. A coincidence: a lot of these appointments were in the high-profile spy cases of the 1970s.
The Eugène Rousseau case was the first of such appointments. "This ordinary warrant officer of the External Documentation and Counterespionage Service (SDECE), he recalls, was sentenced in 1970 to fifteen years’ imprisonment by the former National Security Court (Cour de Sûreté de l’État). We have forgotten what it used to be like: trials heard in camera, with a military salute by officers on the arrival of the Judges. Like Gilles Perrault, who at my suggestion wrote a book on this subject called "L’Erreur", I was convinced that this decent man was innocent, that he was merely caught up in a system that he could not even begin to understand. I said to myself: "If I can’t manage to free this man, I shouldn’t work as a lawyer; however, if on the contrary I manage to free him, my work will be worthwhile and I could make a career out of it. With Gilles Perrault, I organised a nationwide campaign of support for this innocent man, with the involvement of some important public figures: French Resistance fighters like Colonel Rémy, Colonel Passy and General Billotte— and Rousseau was freed."
He also represented the son of one of the heroines of the Red Orchestra (Soviet espionage ring during the Second World War), Hans Volkner (who was the subject of Gilles Perrault’s best seller that brought him to fame), and the leader of the Red Orchestra, Léopold Trepper, in the proceedings brought by him against the head of the French Internal Security Service (Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire) for having accused him of treason: again, in this case, an international campaign resulted in his being able to leave Poland at the end of 1973.
Daniel Soulez Larivière was also involved in the Garantie Foncière scandal, the largest real estate and financial scandal in the 1970s, that resulted in several thousand people taking to the streets to protest against the government: "I was... the lawyer of the lawyer representing Garantie Foncière, who had been put in prison, and whom I helped to free."
This start to his career, with various famous cases, immediately gave the impression that he was "somebody who handled well-known cases". However, he clarifies, "handling such well-known cases does not necessarily mean that you make any money. Therefore, for a period of fifteen years, I handled a lot of construction cases. I worked with a legal adviser, of a completely different generation, who was thirty-five years my senior and at that time a "leading light" in real estate law. Together we worked on a very large number of construction disputes throughout France and represented various developers who were working on remarkable projects. I represented Corbier and the "Jardin d’Arcadie" complex. In short, for a period of fifteen years, I carried out technical work that went completely unnoticed ... and other work in the media spotlight that earned me my reputation."
Daniel Soulez Larivière
Beginnings: one man and a few cases attracting media coverage
Turning point: "L’Avocature" and the Rainbow Warrior case
Expansion: a firm at the forefront of developments in law
Daniel Soulez Larivière
's articles on this Website (only available in French):
- 1988-2009 : 22 ans de prises de position dans la presse
- 1990 : tout (ou presque) était déjà dans le livre Justice pour la justice
- Accidents aériens : une révolution juridique
- Affaires Tapie et Bettencourt : bienvenue dans le cirque médiatico-judiciaire
- Ce que les procureurs n’ont pas dit
- Changer la Constitution ne résoudrait pas les problèmes rencontrés par notre pays
- Comprendre les deals de justice
- Défendre le diable
- Des dangers de la pénalisation des accidents
- Faute à La Faute sur mer
- Garde à vue
- Juges et procureurs
- L’affaire Volkswagen : justice américaine et justice mondiale
- La justice doit être rendue par des juges
- La liberté d’information et ses contradictions
- La réforme inutile du Conseil supérieur de la magistrature
- Le problème du ministère public français
- Le vrai débat sur l’affaire Chirac
- Les avocats, entre Azincourt et la ligne Maginot
- Les écoutes de la NSA et celles de la loi sur le renseignement
- Les écoutes et la torture
- Les écoutes et le secret professionnel de l’avocat
- Les interventions dans les médias audiovisuels
- Les juristes d’entreprise doivent-ils avoir le statut d’avocat ?
- Les tenants de la précaution jouent sur la peur
- Magistrature, outrage et discrédit : un débat ancien
- Parabènes : la précaution ou la peur ?
- Pour une transformation du statut du parquet
- Pourquoi le juge d’instruction doit disparaître
- Propositions pour une différenciation des corps du siège et du parquet
- Réforme des professions vingt ans après
- Souverains et sujets
- Une tribune de fin 2008 : Vie et mort du juge d’instruction
- Vers une nouvelle architecture judiciaire
- Yoda le Sage
- « Affaire "Erika" : Total victime d’un malentendu »
- « Comprendre ou juger ? »
- « Dramatique face-à-face entre tueurs en série et victimes »
- « La magistrature et le complexe d’Adam »
- « Le juge, roi malgré lui ? Violence psychologique et paix des ménages »
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