The managing partner of Freshfields' Paris office slapped the DJ at a firm cocktail party and threatened to end his career if he reported it, according to a complaint made by the disc jockey.
The Parisian DJ, who does not want his identity disclosed, was performing at a dinner and cocktail party thrown by the Magic Circle firm for its Paris lawyers. The event was held in September last year at the exclusive Mona Bismarck, an arts showcase housed in a luxurious private mansion on the bank of the Seine.
According to the complaint filed at the High Court of Paris, at around 12.30am Hervé Pisani, Freshfields' Paris managing partner, approached 'DJ Fresh' (not his real DJ name) in a drunken state and demanded that he change the music immediately.
DJ Fresh explained that the playlist had been approved in advance by a Freshfields marketing officer and could not be altered. But Pisani was insistent, according to the complaint, and told DJ Fresh to put on something else "like a good service provider". Pisani, described on Freshfields' website as "one of the leading M&A corporate lawyers in France", allegedly jabbed his finger at DJ Fresh as he made his demands. When the disc jockey pushed the digit aside, Pisani "violently slapped" him, according to the complaint.
The playlist that enraged a managing partner (allegedly)
Tightrope - Janelle Monae
Blue Monday - New Order
Get down on it - Kool and the Gang
Mi Mujer - Nicolas Jaar
Let’s Dance - Bowie
Sunset Lover - Petit Biscuit
Happy - Pharrell Williams (IF HE DID IT, IT WAS DEFINITELY THIS ONE THAT MADE HIM DO IT)
Aloha - Mome
Canopée - Polo et Pan
Swamp Dogg - I'll Pretend
Daft Punk - Get Lucky
Agar Agar - You’re High
RU Mine - Arctic Monkeys
Crazy in Love - Beyoncé
Call Me - Blondie
DJ Fresh stopped the music and told Pisani that he would be lodging a complaint. As the DJ left the party, and while hotel staff hastily put on their own music, Pisani allegedly told him that if he did report the matter, Pisani would make sure that he lost his job.
Arash Derambash, the DJ's lawyer, said multiple witnesses had come forward since the fracas played out in public. His complaint accuses Pisani of committing assault and attempting blackmail.
A source who claimed to have worked with Pisani at Freshfields for several years said "when he's nice, he's super nice", adding that despite certain issues, "I would never have pictured him being violent”. Freshfields and Pisani declined to comment.