Francesca Gori – GC Powerlist
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Middle East 2022

Commercial and professional services

Francesca Gori

Managing director - legal lead for geographic compliance and corporate group in the growth markets –Asia Pacific, Africa Middle and Latin America. General counsel for the Middle East | Accenture

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    Middle East 2022

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    Francesca Gori

    Managing director - legal lead for geographic compliance and corporate group in the growth markets –Asia Pacific, Africa Middle and Latin America. General counsel for the Middle East | Accenture

    Team size: 50

    Looking forward, what technological advancements do you feel will impact the role of in-house legal teams in the future the most?

    Every business is a digital business, with technology changing how we live, work, and build relationships; it is a powerful enabler. The pandemic accelerated this change, including how we provide legal services. With a team of around 3,000 people worldwide, Accenture Legal is one of the biggest in-house legal teams globally—this means we have both the capacity and imperative to lead the change in the legal industry. One area which I see being a key area of impact for the wider industry is the use of Artificial Intelligence to gain insights from millions of contracts, and chatbots to create a seamless user experience.

    What is a cause, business-related or otherwise, that you care about, and why?

    I believe that sustainability is one of the most critical areas for every business. Our CEO, Julie Sweet, believes that, like digital some years ago, every business will become a sustainable business. Environmental social governance (ESG) is imperative to be competitive, and our research shows that companies that embrace both technology and sustainability are two-and-a-half times more likely to be tomorrow’s leaders. As legal professionals, our role is critical to support the business’s growth responsibly. The counsel we offer our business partners during this time of change is invaluable, especially now when legislation is under development. Personally, ESG has always been my passion and I consider the social element of ESG, regarding inclusive working environments, a critical component of my leadership role. Everyone needs to feel included so they can bring their best to work; it is vital the know they can speak up, bring their ideas and not be afraid to fail. An inclusive workplace allows innovation to flourish. I am immensely proud that we have recently received several awards recognising our female leadership from LexisNexis Best General Counsel of the year 2022 and Break the Ceiling Touch the Sky Middle East’s Most Inspirational Women in Leadership 2022.

    What would you say are the unique qualities required to be successful as an in-house lawyer in your industry?

    Passion, curiosity, and agility. It is a continuously changing environment, especially in emerging services. At Accenture, we always have an innovative mindset. This is also true for many organisations. As lawyers, we need to be comfortable navigating uncertainty and have the curiosity to learn from everywhere and everyone.

    What can law firms do to improve their service to the legal department?

    There is no simple recipe, but I always suggest continuously listening to their clients and learning about their business needs. We are very demanding in-house legal team, and we expect that law firms understand our needs and can proactively bring new topics arising from emerging services.

    Francesca Gori - Middle East 2019

    Managing director, Europe, Middle East and Africa lead for compliance, operations, regulatory and ethics | Accenture

    Francesca Gori’s career at Accenture began in Italy in 2006 as employment law lead for Italy, Greece, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. Then after expanding her responsibilities,...

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