France 2016 – GC Powerlist

France 2016

Adam Smith

group general counsel | Safran

With almost 30 years of experience under his belt, Adam Smith is one the most experienced GCs currently active in the French market. Smith joined multinational aerospace and defence corporation...

#GCPowerlist France 2016

Adele Zangs

vice president legal and business affairs | Deezer

‘We pride ourselves in the legal department about the fact that we keep things running smoothly despite the fact we are a small team’. Adele Zangs, vice president of legal...

#GCPowerlist France 2016

Agnès Bardel

head of legal | Euro Cargo Rail France

Euro Cargo Rail (ECR), a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn and the first private railway undertaking in France, appointed Agnès Bardel as head of legal in 2009. Having begun her career...

#GCPowerlist France 2016

Alexander Lunshof

corporate senior vice president, group chief legal officer | Essilor International

Alexander Lunshof is the chief legal officer of Essilor, a world leader in the production of ophthalmic lenses and optical equipment. The position of chief legal officer is not new...

#GCPowerlist France 2016

Alexandre De Tourtier

group general counsel | Solocal Group

Solocal Group (previously PagesJaunes), is a leader in three different business lines; content and service provision, media and advertising representation and online media content. Alexandre De Tourtier handles the legal...

#GCPowerlist France 2016

Editor Message

For 29 years, The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms across the world. The GC Powerlist is the latest publication from The Legal 500, turning its attention to the in-house function, and recognising those corporate counsel who are driving the legal business forward. The latest edition is the GC Powerlist: France, which identifies an array of the most influential and innovative in-house counsel working in the region.

We have canvassed opinions from law firm partners and in-house counsel across France, to identify corporate counsel that have been instrumental in changing or forming opinions within their company or industry; developing brilliant technical solutions to complex issues; creating innovative structures to ensure that the in-house function is driving the business forward; or providing a business working model that other corporate counsel should follow. Our team of experienced researchers assessed the nominations, speaking both to general counsel and nominating lawyers to finalise each list. The GC Powerlist: France features not just information on why that individual has made the list, but also comment from those in-house lawyers about how they have helped shape innovation in the legal industry.

If you have feedback on the GC Powerlist: France, or wish to nominate other in-house individuals (either in France or global), please do get in touch at

We hope that this listing will stimulate debate around the role of the in-house lawyer and help corporate counsel with possible improvements and efficiencies in running their departments.

David Burgess

Publishing Director

Editor |

Sponsor Message

DS Avocats

DS Avocats logo

Slow growth in Europe, and particularly the Eurozone has dominated headlines for so long that one could be forgiven for thinking European businesses have backtracked. France is often singled out as a case study on how low growth, high state expenditure, and heavy regulations have caused businesses to regress. As this Powerlist demonstrates, the reality is quite different.

France is home to some of the European largest, and strongest companies producing goods and services that are in global demand. France is also recognized as a European centre for innovation, with high-growth technology companies which form a booming and visible part of the French economy. Moreover, French businesses are staffed by managers and professional advisers who are widely considered to be amongst the best in the world, French corporate counsels are no exception. To stand out from the crowd in this environment takes a rare combination of technical knowledge, commercial acumen, strategic wisdom, interpersonal and managerial skills.

DS Avocats is delighted to support the GC Powerlist France and help recognise the leading figures of France’s internationally-renowned in-house community. A strong and vibrant French economy is key to the future of Europe, and those featured in this list will play an important role to prompt the ‘French Touch’ even further. DS Avocats shares their passion, their thorough knowledge of the various sector specifics, their excellent advice and innovative approaches to law which enhance the businesses within their strategic growth and reinforcement of their market position. Like those featured in this Powerlist, we are constantly reflecting on various improvements of the legal services we provide through efficient methods as well as the role of the attorney within a changing business world.

However, we also believe that legal advice should be provided as simple as possible, without a vision of ‘over-simplification’. The interests of businesses are not served by avoiding the complexities of law. Professional advisers who can contribute to the success of a transaction, of a business or a strategic plan without losing sight of the legal complexities that may arise are truly unique. The members of this Powerlist have all managed to achieve this in their own way. We at DS Avocats share their approach.

We should not limit the professional relationship between law firms and clients to a simple commercial approach, but rather create a long-term relationship based on trust and viability. Sharing the same values as those individuals we represent is key to a collective future profession of the Law.

On behalf of all the Partners at DS Avocats, I would like to congratulate the Corporate Counsels included in the first GC Powerlist for France.

DS Avocats est particulièrement fier de s’associer à Legal 500 pour le lancement, en France, d’une initiative exclusivement dédiée à la distinction des directeurs juridiques.

Cet événement majeur nous offre l’occasion d’appréhender, ensemble, la meilleure façon de relever les défis de notre temps.