France Teams 2017 – GC Powerlist

France Teams 2017

  • Industries

  • Powerlist


| AccorHotels

AccorHotels is a multinational hotel group, headquartered in Paris, and is a member of the CAC 40 index. With a 2016 revenue of approximately €5.6bn and an employee count of...

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Air France – HR legal team

| Air France – HR legal team

In 2004, Air France, the flag carrier airline of the country, famously underwent a high profile merger with Dutch airline KLM to produce the holding company Air France-KLM. Air France...

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Air Liquide

| Air Liquide

A world-leading utilities company with over 10,000 employees and a listing on the CAC 40 stock market index, Air Liquide demands legal support that is wide-ranging in terms of practice...

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| Airbus

Airbus is one of the most prominent companies in the aerospace and defence sectors, operating a number of companies that produce aircraft, spacecraft and associated systems for the military and...

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AKKA Technologies

| AKKA Technologies

Consisting of 12 lawyers and one non-lawyer, the legal team at diverse technology consulting and engineering service provider AKKA Technologies is responsible for a wide remit encompassing many different legal...

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Altarea Cogedim

| Altarea Cogedim

Paris-headquartered Altarea Cogedim is a commercial, housing and corporate real estate developer that occupies a position at the forefront of the European real estate market; it is listed on Euronext...

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| ArcelorMittal

Since its creation in 2006 when India-based steel-maker Mittal Steel bought Arcelor of Spain, France, and Luxembourg, ArcelorMittal has become the world’s largest steel producer. Headquartered in Luxembourg, the company...

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Antoine Genevois has immense experience of Areva’s key competencies and overall mission in the energy sector, having been employed by Areva Group companies since 2003. Now, Genevois heads the legal...

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| Atos

Speaking about the challenges of operating a legal function within the dynamic context of a global information technology company, Alexandre Menais, group general counsel at Atos, explains: ‘This challenge can...

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AXA celebrates its 200th year of operation in 2017, and can look back on an illustrious history that has seen it rise to its current position as one of the...

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AXA Investment Managers

| AXA Investment Managers

French insurance giant AXA is one of the foremost global financial companies, holding a particularly salient position in the international corporate landscape through exposure to the most important markets around...

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Bayer HealthCare France

| Bayer HealthCare France

The legal team at the French arm of the German multinational Bayer HealthCare is headed by Laurent Pitet, who has served in the position of general counsel and compliance officer...

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BNP Paribas

| BNP Paribas

One of the most prominent financial institutions globally, BNP Paribas is a truly transnational operation, employing around 189,000 employees internationally as of 2015, with total revenues topping €43bn in 2016....

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BNP Paribas Personal Finance

| BNP Paribas Personal Finance

The legal team of the personal finance subsidiary of French banking giant BNP Paribas received several nominations from private practice sources, and is known in the market for its extensive...

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Bouygues Construction

| Bouygues Construction

The construction division of French conglomerate Bouygues had an order book of over €30bn in 2016, almost half of which was in its home country. By pursuing a strategy of...

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Bouygues Telecom

| Bouygues Telecom

Bouygues Telecom, part of the Bouygues construction and media conglomerate, has had considerable success in the last few years. Reporting revenues of €4.5bn in 2015, the telecommunications company has made...

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British American Tobacco France

| British American Tobacco France

Wholly owned by the British American Tobacco Group, BAT France employs more than 350 people to support the sale and distribution of the Group’s tobacco products. In such a highly...

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| Capgemini

Capgemini is a French multinational management consultancy with expertise in technology and outsourcing. Over the last 20 years, the company has grown exponentially, covering new markets and offering new services....

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| Carrefour

Mirroring the diverse and large scale business operations of Carrefour, the legal department at one of France’s best known retail brands provides wide-ranging and comprehensive support, being expected to move...

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| Cdiscount

Cdiscount, a subsidiary of Casino Group, is one of the most prominent online largest non-food retailer and marketplaces in France, successfully competing against major global players such as Amazon and...

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Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES)

| Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)

CNES, France’s national space agency, operates under the French Ministries of Defence and Research with a 2017 allocated budget of €2.3bn. Its legal team is headed by Philippe Clerc, head...

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Christian Louboutin

| Christian Louboutin

In under 30 years, French designer footwear company Christian Louboutin has become a world renowned luxury brand famous for its red-lacquered soles. Xavier Ragot, group general counsel, explains how he...

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CISAC (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers) is a global organisation dedicated to safeguarding, promoting and lobbying on behalf of the rights and interests of creative individuals and...

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Clear Channel France

| Clear Channel France

Outside of its US home market, France is the largest market for Clear Channel, one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies. Since 2013 Patrick Remot has headed the legal...

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With a 2016 revenue of almost $16bn, CMA CGM is one of the largest shipping and container companies in the world. Although the company’s headquarters are in Marseille, it operates...

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CNP Assurances

| CNP Assurances

With over €30bn in revenue, Caisse Nationale de Prévoyance (CNP) Assurances is a French Fortune Global 500 insurance company. The company is supported by an expert legal team consisting of...

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| Coface

The group legal department at Coface, a credit-insurance business, is a key part of a company that has activities in approximately 65 countries and must abide by strict regulations when...

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Compagnie des Alpes

| Compagnie des Alpes

Compagnie des Alpes occupies an important position in the French tourism industry, being responsible for the operation and management of a number of highly popular ski resorts in the French...

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Crédit Agricole

| Crédit Agricole

France-headquartered Crédit Agricole is a full-service banking entity that is comprised of a network of regional banks, with its holding company listed on the Paris Stock Exchange. As the number...

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Crédit Mutuel

| Crédit Mutuel

Strasbourg-based Crédit Mutuel is a major French banking group offering retail banking, asset management, private banking, and insurance products. It is formed of a number of complex federations, including Arkéa,...

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Danone – Dairy, Waters & Africa R&D

| Danone - Dairy, Waters & Africa R&D

The research and development aspect of consumer products giant Danone is contingent on the successful operation of the Danone Research Centre, which is located near Paris and focuses on fresh...

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Dassault Aviation

| Dassault Aviation

A major player in the aerospace and defence industry for decades, and responsible for a number of successful and well-recognised designs over the years, Dassault Aviation continues to constitute a...

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| Deezer

Having carved out an impressive share of the highly competitive music streaming market by contending with some of the most powerful and internationally-recognised companies in the world, Deezer has relied...

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| Dior

Since being founded in Paris in the 1940s, Christian Dior has been recognised as a leading brand in the luxury goods industry. Now more commonly known as Dior, the company...

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French company Électricité de France (EDF) is a major player in the global utility industry. Its revenue of over €70bn comes as a result of its extensive operations across the...

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| Eiffage

One of Europe’s leading construction companies that has a large presence in the French market, Eiffage relies on the legal and compliance support of a team that is richly experienced...

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| Enedis

A subsidiary of EDF and formerly known as ERDF, Enedis operates 95% of France’s public electricity grid with almost 40,000 employees and nearly 1.3 million kilometres of network. One of...

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| Engie

France-headquartered Engie is a multinational utility company operating in the fields of electricity generation and distribution, natural gas, nuclear and renewable energy. Known as GDF SUEZ until April 2015, the...

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Essilor Group

| Essilor Group

Essilor has become known worldwide as the largest manufacturer of ophthalmic lenses and other equipment designed to correct and protect eyesight. Its international brands, such as Varilux, are a household...

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Europcar Group

| Europcar Group

Europcar was founded in France in 1949 and is now Europe’s leading vehicle rental firm with a presence in over 140 countries worldwide. Led by Franck Rohard, group general counsel...

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| Faurecia

Responsible for the legal affairs of an €18.7bn revenue automotive equipment supplier, the Faurecia legal department is highly competent and well regarded by their peers. Overseen by group general counsel...

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Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT)

| Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT)

Formed in 1920, the administrative body for tennis in France, the Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT), employs a legal team consisting of five staff dedicated to protecting the non-profit organisation...

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| Google

Information technology

An organisation that requires little in the way of introduction, Google continues to expand its business enterprises into new areas. On top of this, the ubiquity of their search engine...

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Groupe ADF

| Groupe ADF

Industrial engineering company Groupe ADF has a global presence, was in receipt of revenues of nearly €300m in 2016 and employs more than 3,000 people in six countries in Europe...

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Groupe Auchan

| Groupe Auchan

With a revenue of over €54bn, French company Auchan is one of the largest food retailers in the world. Since its formation in 1961, it has grown to now have...

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Groupe BPCE

| Groupe BPCE

Groupe BPCE, France’s second largest banking group, operates predominantly through its two major cooperative banking networks Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne, as well as through different subsidiaries including Natixis, Crédit...

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Groupe Casino

| Groupe Casino

Founded almost 120 years ago, Groupe Casino is now a staple of the French retail market with its businesses in the supermarket industry including recognised brands such as Casino Supermarchés,...

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Groupe Lactalis

| Groupe Lactalis

Few consumers are familiar with the name Lactalis, though many will know its brands Président cheese and butter or Galbani mozzarella to name but a few. In fact, Lactalis is...

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Groupe Limagrain

| Groupe Limagrain

Groupe Limagrain is an important component of the French agricultural landscape, and provides the overall structure for a group of companies that boast impressive statistics in their various fields, with...

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Groupe PSA

| Groupe PSA

Groupe PSA is the third-largest automobile manufacturer in Europe, and has noticeable aspirations to become the market leader in the future. Mark Rollinger, chief legal officer for Groupe PSA, has...

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Groupe Vallourec

| Groupe Vallourec

French multinational Vallourec is a world-leading supplier of steel tubes and related technologies to the energy and industrial sectors. It specialises in producing materials that can withstand extreme conditions and...

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| Hermès

Fashion luxury goods manufacturer Hermès of Paris has for many years been synonymous with France’s leading place in the global fashion industry. From its origins in Thierry Hermès’ harness making...

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ING France

| ING France

Dutch financial giant ING has had a presence in France since 1982. It currently operates in the country through its retail banking business ING Direct and ING Commercial Banking, its...

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| Itron

A multinational company headquartered in the United States, Itron came to prominence through the manufacture and selling of meters for water, electricity and gas. However, it has broadened its portfolio...

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Ivanhoé Cambridge Europe

| Ivanhoé Cambridge Europe

Involved in two major transactions in France in 2016 – the increase in Ivanhoé Cambridge’s stake in Gécina and the iconic “Project Duo” development in Paris – the French legal...

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Japan Tobacco International France

| Japan Tobacco International France

Japan Tobacco International (JTI), along with other tobacco companies operating in France, has been the subject of a barrage of escalating regulatory requirements that have seen the product it is...

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| JCDecaux

French advertising company JCDecaux has been the global industry leader since inventing street furniture advertising back in 1964. Today the company earns close to €4bn annually, employs over 13,000 people...

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| Keolis

Patrizia Marraghini, head of the international legal department at Keolis and member of the International Board, understandably looks to recruit lawyers with extensive multi-national experience to her in-house legal team....

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| Kering

Kering owns some of the most well recognised luxury goods brands globally, counting Gucci, Saint Lauren Paris and Alexander McQueen among those under its umbrella, not to mention its holding...

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| Klépierre

As Europe’s second-biggest publicly traded mall operator and a member of the CAC Next 20 index, French real estate investment trust Klépierre is a major player in continental Europe’s retail...

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| L'Oréal

L’Oréal is well-known as the world’s largest cosmetics company, but it is also a major player in a number of research fields, from biopharmaceuticals to tissue engineering and nanotechnology (a...

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La Poste

| La Poste

La Poste provides postal services in France and overseas territories, with the wider corporate group offering banking and insurance, logistics and mobile telephone services. With over 230,000 employees, it is...

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| LafargeHolcim

The LafargeHolcim Group was formed in 2015 following a merger between French cement manufacturer Lafarge and Swiss ggregates group Holcim. The new group, which employs 115,000 people, operates in 90...

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| Legrand

Bénédicte Bahier, group legal director of Legrand, the CAC 40 company specialising in electrical and digital building infrastructures, presides over a legal team reputed for its quality and assistance on...

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Louvre Hotels Group

| Louvre Hotels Group

Owning six hotel brands that cater to all aspects of the market, ranging from luxury to budget locations, Groupe du Louvre is a French enterprise that operates 1,100 hotels in...

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LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton

| LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton

Ranked as the number one luxury goods company in the world by Deloitte’s 2016 Global Powers of Luxury Goods report, French multinational luxury goods conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton...

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| M6

General counsel Nathalie Martin is the lead lawyer in a team providing counsel and leadership to M6, the most profitable private television network in France. Due to the channel’s large...

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ManpowerGroup France

| ManpowerGroup France

Energy and utilities

The French arm of ManpowerGroup represents a quarter of the multinational human resources consulting group’s total global operations. Since Manpower opened its first France-based offices in 1957, the company has...

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| Michelin

With just under a fifth of the global market share, Clermont-Ferrand-based Michelin is one of the largest tyre manufacturers in the world. In addition to its global premium Michelin brand,...

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| Nestlé

Although headquartered in Switzerland, the world’s largest food group Nestlé has been present in France since 1868. Today the French arm of the Nestlé business earns more than €4bn with...

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Nokia – finance legal team

| Nokia - finance legal team

Legal director and head of finance legal Carlos Döring was part of the Alcatel Lucent law department and kept his place post their high-profile takeover by Nokia last year, with...

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Orange Business Services

| Orange Business Services

Being a worldwide global leader for the provision of telecom and IT services, Orange Business Services presides over a significant global operation in 160 countries, gathering €6.4bn revenue in 2015...

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Paris Aéroport

| Paris Aéroport

Paris Aéroport is one of the most successful airport administration groups in the world, being responsible for the many airports located around the Paris area, including Paris Charles de Gaulle...

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| PayPal

Choosing to utilise a base in Paris from which centralised legal support is offered to many of its geographic locations, the online payment services company PayPal is indebted to its...

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Pernod Ricard

| Pernod Ricard

The legal team at CAC 40 distilled beverages producer Pernod Ricard is led by Ian FitzSimons, group legal director and member of the executive board and executive committee. FitzSimon’s role...

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Publicis Groupe

| Publicis Groupe

Part of the CAC 40 index and with annual revenues of €9.6bn, Publicis Groupe is one of the world’s largest marketing and communications companies. Responsible for the legal affairs of...

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| QuintilesIMS

US-based QuintilesIMS was formed in 2016 following the merger of Quintiles, the world’s largest pharmaceutical services company, and IMS Health Holdings, a global healthcare information and technology services provider. As...

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| Reed MIDEM

Described as ‘a small team, but a dream team’ by director of legal affairs Vanessa Hespel, the Reed MIDEM legal department believes that ‘being a business partner’ is ‘at the...

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| Renault

With 96 staff in the corporate headquarters legal team and a full global complement of approximately 180 individuals, international car giant Renault employs great numbers in its in-house legal function....

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| Rexel

Enjoying sales of €13.2bn in 2016 and employing 27,000 people in 32 countries, Rexel prides itself as a ‘leader in the professional distribution of products and services for the energy...

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| Safran

Safran forms a significant part of France’s aerospace and defence industry, being particularly renowned for its aircraft and spacecraft engines. Indeed, it is one of the companies that is responsible...

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| Saint-Gobain

Saint-Gobain’s business of producing a large variety of construction materials and other industrial products such as glass and ceramics is hugely successful, pulling in total revenues of over €39bn in...

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| Sanofi

Led by well-known general counsel Karen Linehan, the Sanofi legal team operates in the highly regulated healthcare and pharmaceuticals industry, and maintains an immense amount of legal talent in support...

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Schneider Electric

| Schneider Electric

With total revenues of almost €25bn, Paris-headquartered Schneider Electric is a key player in the global energy servicing and management sector. In 2016, the company’s technological development and investment in...

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Sciences Po

| Sciences Po

Sciences Po, also known as the Paris Institute of Political Studies, is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It has a long and illustrious history during which...

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Internal legal advice at CAC 40 reinsurance group SCOR is overseen by Cécile Boyer, a highly recommended attorney who holds the role of group general counsel of SCOR. As the...

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Siparex Sigefi

| Siparex Sigefi

Known as an innovator in the market, Siparex Sigefi is one of the leading French private equity groups. The firm has a mantra of simplification in a complex industry, and...

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France’s national state-owned railway company, Société Nationale Des Chemins De Fer Français (SNCF) operates the country’s national rail services. Under French law, SNCF is an Établissement Public Industriel et Commercial...

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Société BIC

| Société BIC

BIC has carved out an over €2bn revenue consumer products business on the back of simple but timeless products that combine reliability and practicality with affordability through thorough but inexpensive...

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Société Générale

| Société Générale

Société Générale is one of France’s most historic and strongest performing financial services companies; from its headquarters in Paris it commanded a revenue figure of €25.64bn in 2015 thanks to...

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SoLocal Group

| SoLocal Group

The modern history of SoLocal is one of change. Previously operating under the name of PagesJaunes, it was initially a company that specialised in local directory listings – but in...

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| Tereos

Posting a consolidated revenue figure of €4.2bn for the 2015-16 financial year, Tereos is a cooperative group operating in the French agriculture industry best known for its production of sugar...

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Thales Group

| Thales Group

Among the 15 largest defence contractors in the world as of 2015, and with total revenue of €14.6bn for 2016, Thales Group is one of the most prominent and successful...

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| Ubisoft

A leading creator, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and services, Ubisoft has three decades of experience in the industry, and has expanded from its French base to its current...

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| Unibail-Rodamco

Formed in 2007 through a merger between investment companies Unibail and Rodamco Europe, the property management company Unibail-Rodamco currently holds almost €40bn in total assets in various real estate locations...

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| Valeo

With 2016 sales of €16.5bn, Valeo is a multinational supplier of automotive products that is a constituent of the CAC 40 Index. The company is split into four divisions that...

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Veolia Environnement

| Veolia Environnement

French multinational company Veolia earns a global annual revenue of around €30bn from its four main environmental operating services and utility areas, namely water management, waste management, public transport and...

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Employing more than 183,000 people in around 100 countries, VINCI is a global player in concessions and construction. Heading the legal team for the company since 2001 is legal director,...

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| Vivendi

A Paris-headquartered mass media company with operations in numerous parts of the sector, Vivendi has several notable subsidiaries under its control. These include leading television operator Canal+ Group, film producers...

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| Vivescia

Supporting an extremely significant agricultural company with total revenues of around €3bn as of 2015, Vivescia’s legal department has undergone somewhat of a transformation in recent years. For a start,...

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The French economy is one of the strongest international performers and it retains a highly advantageous position going into 2017. Its nominal GDP was ranked sixth globally in 2016 by the International Monetary Fund, it is located at the heart of the Eurozone and its economy performs strongly in a number of sectors. Additionally, the May 2017 election of Emmanuel Macron to the French presidency should provide stability to the French economy given his pro-business and pro-Europe agenda, providing a further boost to the country’s blue-chip companies.

In terms of business sectors, France is particularly strong in the energy, automotive and financial industries, as well as chemicals, consumer products, aerospace and defence. On top of this, France is the most popular tourist destination in the world, providing huge income to the service industry. The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: France Teams features in-house legal teams from companies across all these sectors and more, with internationally renowned legal talent from some of the most recognisable and important global businesses and organisations recognised.

The legal teams contained within these pages, and on The Legal 500’s website, all possess excellent legal knowledge as a matter of course – they are all technically gifted and highly trained but this is not necessarily what sets them apart. Rather, it is their ability to utilise their legal knowledge strategically alongside keen business insight to make a positive impact towards their organisation’s success that places them among the top in-house legal counsel in France.

I would like to express my personal thanks to our sponsors for supporting this publication, DS Avocats. A special mention must also be made for in-house lawyers that took time to speak to us throughout the process, and for the research team that worked on this GC Powerlist publication.

David Burgess
Publishing Director

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 Europe’s largest and strongest companies, producing goods and services that are in global demand. France is also recognised 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, and interpersonal and managerial skills.

DS Avocats is delighted to support the GC Powerlist France Teams 2017 and help recognise the leading teams 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, and their excellent advice and innovative approaches to law which enhance the businesses within their strategic growth and reinforcement of their market position. Like the teams 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 simply 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, a business or a strategic plan without losing sight of the legal complexities that may arise are truly unique. The teams 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 teams included in the first GC Powerlist Teams 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 équipes juridiques.

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

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