Why together?

« Serving as a valued strategic business partner providing value-enhanced legal solutions and tailored advice to clients aligned with their strategies »

MATEIA is the result of an encounter, on a human level first, between its two partners who, based on strong commonality of experience, a shared vision of the legal profession, of its values and of the way forward, decided to join forces.

A common experience

Marielle Terrier and Marie Pfyffer d’Altishofen both began their careers and honed their legal skills working in large corporations /or law firms.

Thanks to this experience, they acquired:

• The ability to engage in effective teamwork;
• A demanding work ethic and a client-centered approach;
• Experience working on major projects for large accounts.

A shared assessment and a common project

The legal profession and market have changed.

Lawyers are now clearly seen as business partners whose legal expertise supports the business functions of their clients. Their role is to support their clients in the decision-making process, by providing them with informed advice and a secure framework.

The legal expertise and specialist knowledge required in today’s world is increasingly honed.

Lawyers need to adapt to and be integrated in the business function.

The partners

Marie Pfyffer d’Altishofen – Real Estate Partner


Investissement et développement immobilier
Montage contractuel
Urbanisme – Expropriation
Immobilier commercial et d’entreprise
Copropriété – Gestion immobilière

Academic and professional backgrounds

Marie Pfyffer d’Altishofen was admitted to practice by the Paris Bar in 2006, after having earned a Master 2 in Real Estate and Construction Law from Paris II Panthéon Assas University (2003) and a Master 2 in Internal Public Law from Paris II Panthéon Assas University (2004).

After having initially worked at two law firms, primarily focused on urban planning and construction law serving public or semi-public sector clients, Marie joined the real estate department of Reinhart Marville Torre law firm as an associate. During her seven years spent there, Marie acquired expertise, in a litigation, transactional and advisory role, in real estate development, commercial real estate, urban planning, and complex contractual arrangements (land law, real estate and co-ownership law).

In 2015, Marie joined CLEACH law firm as a partner in their real estate department.

2019 was the year of the launching of the project to create MATEIA AARPI, a project that would not have been possible without the best of all possible partners, Marielle.

Marielle Terrier – Innovation Partner


New Technologies – R&D
Advanced contrats

Academic and professional backgrounds

Marielle began her career in 2000 as an in-house lawyer for the IT department of a major corporation (Thomson) before serving as legal director for KeyMRO, a company providing sourcing and procurement solutions for Technicolor, Usinor, Rhodia and Schneider Electric.

In 2004, she went to work in private practice by joining De Gaulle Fleurance et associés law firm.

After having spent 7 years at the firm, in 2010 she set up a “beta” version of Mateia. During that period, she developed and built relationships with clients in the medical device, IT, luxury, environment and entertainment sectors. She also honed her skills in interest-based negotiations and mediation.

In 2019, Marielle took the excellent decision of joining forces with Marie to set up MATEIA AARPI.

Marielle holds a MASTER 2 in intellectual property, industrial agreements and technologies (Grenoble 2 University – 2000) and a degree in commercial, competition and public law (University of Sheffield – UK – 1998).

Michel Zavalichine – Corporate Partner


Droit des sociétés
Fusions-acquisitions / M&A
Levée de fonds / Private equity / LBO

Academic and professional backgrounds

Michel began his career by working for over 12 years within the « Corporate Law – Mergers and Acquisitions » department of Delsol Avocats law firm in Paris, initially as an associate and later as of counsel.

In 2017, he joined Aston law firm as a partner co-head of the « Private Equity-M&A » team before moving to MATEIA in early 2022.

Throughout his career, Michel developed and built relationships with clients by providing assistance to industrial or service companies, startups, as well as their executives, shareholders, or investors in external growth operations, Leveraged Buyouts (LBO), and equity financing operations. He also advises his clients for corporate law issues, (including governance, regular legal monitoring of companies, preparation and holding of general meetings,…). Additionally, he has expertise in stock market regulations and dealings with the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF).

Since the end of 2018, Michel has been an expert member of Cédants et Repreneurs d’Affaires (CRA), an association which gives support to sellers and buyers of small and medium-sized companies (TPE/PME).

Michel holds a Master’s degree (Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies – DEA) in General Private Law from the University Paris II Panthéon-Assas (2000).

Marie, Marielle & Michel : wearing a lawyer’s robes, tell us more?

What (or who) made you want to be a lawyer?


Nobody in particular, in fact I didn’t even know any lawyers before I did my first internships. As I studied law, the decision to go down this career path became self-evident. But I have always been interested in “great lawyers” during my history lessons. I was especially impressed by the courage of the lawyers who represented Louis XVI. Simone Veil is the ultimate role model for me, and I’m very proud that she was the “godmother” of the Bar Training program the year of my graduation.


Robert Badinter and his speech about the death penalty, as well as other, « less prominent » attorneys who, through their sense of humor and passion, led me to adopt this calling.


The lawyers with whom I completed my first internship in a business law firm provided me with the opportunity to explore the world of mergers and acquisitions and understand the role of a business lawyer in these transactions.

What do you feel when you put on the robe?


Adrenaline! It reminds me of what I felt when I was younger during show-jumping, just before entering the track: a blend of concentration, stress and determination to do my best.


ambivalence, a feeling of being torn between the pride of wearing the robe and representing a client who has placed his or her trust in me, butterflies before speaking, and the feeling of being in a Batman costume… but once actually addressing the court, the lawyer in you takes over and you defend your case, your mind becomes clear and you start thinking on your feet.


The pride of belonging to a profession which is essential to society.

What superhero could do your job?


None of them, or else an anti-hero… let’s see… Maybe Rabbi Jacob? He has every possible defect but he’s endearing, and at the end of the day, he reconciles the seemingly irreconcilable.


Batman, together with his sidekick, Robin!


No superhero is able to do what I do!

What is the most important quality a lawyer should have?







What is the dark side of the profession?


The never-ending race against time… we spend all our time trying to outrun it, but in the end, it always catches up with us. It always seems to go by too quickly or too slowly… you need to learn to live with the permanent dissatisfaction of time being what it is.


the long hours that can sometimes be required, the search in the dark abyss for an obtuse legal concept that will win the argument.


The sometimes sleepless nights that can precede a closing…

What do you like about your profession?


It makes me feel alive! There is no routine, you need to have as many technical as relationship skills, it is a very rounded and enriching profession. I especially enjoy the “support role” side of the job, which allows us to be immersed in our clients’ projects and part of a real partnership with them. Plus I like winning…


I enjoy contact with others, with my clients, with moving a project forward together. I also like the technical side of the job, the never-ending innovation and the continuous learning involved.


I appreciate the diversity of issues, transactions, and clients that are part of our daily lives, making this profession exciting.

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