It is with tremendous sadness that we must report the passing of our friend and colleague, Michel Béjot, one of the founding partners of the Parisian law firm of Bernard-Hertz-Béjot, and long-standing member for France of the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance. We are making this announcement because Michel had advised numerous Lewis Silkin clients over many years, and we know that they will be touched by this sad news.
Michel passed away on November 6, 2023, after more than 45 years of practice as a lawyer. He was a leading intellectual property, advertising and IT lawyer, as well as corporate lawyer. Having trained at the Max-Planck-Institut in Hamburg, as well as New York University, Michel's language skills were not merely conversational. He was able to advise skilfully not only in French, but also in English and German.
As well as being a great professional, Michel was also an outstanding human being, who had a positive impact on the life of the generations of younger lawyers that he trained, together with his friends at Lewis Silkin and the other GALA firms. In his private life, Michel was a dedicated husband, father, dog-lover and car enthusiast.
Finally, Michel will also be remembered for his sense of humour. During a conference call between Brinsley, Michel and the inhouse counsel at a UK advertising agency to discuss an unmeritorious IP claim, Brinsley observed that we needed to find a way of affording the French claimant a dignified line of retreat, “because that is always important to the French”. The client went quiet, but Michel could be heard chuckling. Michel followed up with a written note of advice, confirming that the claimant should indeed be offered “a dignified line of retreat”. Michel was that rare person, a Frenchman who was not only bi-lingual in English, but also appreciated the English sense of humour. He is deeply missed.
A bientôt, mon frère.