One of France's most prominent lawyers found dead

Police have discovered the body of one of France's most prominent lawyers washed up on a beach near his home in Brittany.

The Vannes public prosecutor's office said 63-year-old Olivier Metzner was found dead at about 9am on the coast of his private island, Boedic.

Olivier Metzner was found dead near his home in Brittany. Credit: Reuters

His associate, Antonin Levy, told The Associated Press that Metzner's death represented a huge loss to the French bar, calling him a "great lawyer and a fighter".

In his four-decade-long career, Metzner became famous in France for representing high-profile figures including trader Jerome Kerviel and former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.

Kerviel was convicted of forgery and breach of trust for circumventing trading limits resulting in losses of 4.9bn Euros for bank Societe Generale.

In 2009 Metzner represented Mr Villepin, who was cleared of using fake documents to link Nicholas Sarkozy to a corruption probe in a bid to sabotage his campaign to become president in 2007.

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