Alex Marquardt, founding partner of the Paris office of the law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel in 2000, passed away on July 21. His sudden death comes as a shock. Alex was an immense and brilliant lawyer, an internationally recognized arbitrator and an expert in Common Law as well as in French, German and Austrian law. Having studied in Munich, Paris and Vienna, and then at Columbia Law School in New York, his encyclopedic legal knowledge, legal acumen and sharp intellect enabled him to handle the most complex cases, the very ones in which he loved to excel.
I remember as if it were yesterday our first meetings at 47 avenue Hoche, at Kramer Levin, in his 6th-floor office with its vast windows illuminating the files stacked on its long work tables. He welcomed me with his usual courtesy, delicacy and attentiveness, and I didn't have to wait long to join his firm as I’d hope. I spent eleven fantastic years there with excellent colleagues. I also remember our meeting with all the partners of the firm organized in Valmondois in 2016 when Alex, after 30 years at the helm of the firm's management (first of the Paris office of Rogers and Wells, then of that of Kramer Levin, which merged with the former in 2000), wished to hand over the reins. He did so with generosity and elegance.
A great lawyer, Alex was also a friend, and it is the friend we mourn. From a cultured and artistic family, he was himself exceptionally cultured and original in the diversity of his sources. How can you not be cultured when you're open to the world and perfectly multilingual in English, German and French? He knew how to talk about culture without boasting, and even with astonishing modesty, knowing that his interlocutors generally knew far less than he did.
On June 19, after a dinner organized by the International Law Association, we talked about his travels with Laura, and he spoke of how happy he was to have Laura, his children and grandchildren.
In tribute to Alex and to all my saddened sympathy.