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 over 240,000, Accor is known as Europe’s largest operator of hotels. The group owns and operates numerous worldwide brands such as Ibis, Novotel, Mercure, Pullman and Sofitel. In 2015 Accor added the iconic luxury brands of Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel to its portfolio when it acquired FRHI Holdings for approximately $2.9bn. The in-house legal team was crucial to the successful closing of this transaction, helping to increase the company’s existing footprint in the high-end hotel sector. The legal team, led by group general counsel François Pinon, will continue to facilitate the company’s expansion in 2017, with Accor recently announcing that it planned to open three hotels in Ethiopia. The increasingly global outlook of the company, along with the diversification of its portfolio, requires an exceptional legal team to support its growth and manage risk. Representing the depth of talent within the legal team, the 2016 edition of the GC Powerlist featured two standout lawyers: Sabine Martinon, general counsel for Accor’s Middle East and Africa regions, and Marie Champey, recently appointed as associate group general counsel. Champey and her team of five again drew particular praise from nominators this year, continuing to impress peers in the industry with their ability to manage a burgeoning number of trademarks, domain names, litigation and general intellectual property work from M&A transactions across a growing number of jurisdictions. As Accor seeks to realise its ambitious worldwide growth plans – for example, in February 2017 the company announced the appointment of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy as chair of the group’s new international expansion strategy committee – there is no doubt that the talented legal team at the Paris headquarters will be relied upon to supply its experience and expertise.