South Africa 2024 – GC Powerlist
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South Africa 2024

  • Industries

  • Powerlist

Adam Fletcher

General counsel | Ninety One

Financials

Alan Komar

General counsel | Webbers Clothing & Footwear - Saville Row

Consumer products

Note: Alan has now moved to a new role

Andrew Lipshitz

Director and general counsel | Africoal

Materials and mining

Andries (Dries) Pretorius

General counsel | University of Johannesburg

Education

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Andrita Maharaj

Head of legal - Middle East and Africa | TMF Group

Commercial and professional services

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Annabelle Thomas

General counsel SA and SSA | LÓreal

Consumer products

Annabelle Thomas is an accomplished lawyer with extensive in-house corporate commercial experience, affording her the opportunity to bring a unique perspective to the table. She possesses proven experience and achievements...

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Ardilah Mohamed

Head of legal and compliance | Danone Southern Africa

Food, beverages and tobacco

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Bertrandt Delport

Legal director, global | British Telecommunications

Telecommunication services

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Candice Pillay

General manager, legal services BMW Group South Africa; executive director BMW financial services, company secretariat BMW South Africa | BMW Group: South Africa

Consumer products

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Carina Wessels

Executive - governance, legal, compliance and sustainability | Alexforbes

Financials

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Carnita Low

Group company secretary and head - governance ethics and legal | FirstRand Group

Financials

Castalia Moloi

Senior vice president legal, IP and compliance | Sasol

Energy and utilities

Castalia Moloi is the senior vice president of legal, intellectual property, and compliance at Sasol, a chemical and energy company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa. She is an admitted attorney...

Chantel Reddiar

Director - governance, risk, legal and compliance | Woolworths

Consumer products

Charl Clark

General counsel, EMEAR and NATCA | The Weir Group

Industrials and real estate

Charles Vikisi

General counsel and group secretary | Netcare

Healthcare

Charles Wheeler

Group general counsel | Absa Group

Financials

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Christine Vorster

Group legal director | Clickatell

Information technology

Craig G. Lawrence

Chief legal counsel | Ignition Group

Information technology

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Craig McLeod

Chief legal officer and head of OML legal | Old Mutual

Financials

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Damian Naicken

Group head of legal (and procurement) | EOH Holdings

Information technology

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Denis Peterson

General counsel and group company secretary | Mercedes-Benz South Africa

Consumer products

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Duane P. Gallie

Chief legal and regulatory officer | Vumatel

Information technology

Duane Gallie serves as the head of Vumatel Legal and is a valued member of its executive committee. He brings extensive experience in the telecoms industry, having previously held the...

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Emmanuel Hinson

Group general counsel and company secretary | Illovo Sugar Africa

Food

Note: Emmanuel has now moved to a new role

Faaiza Mayet

Head of legal, Southern and Northern Africa | Nokia

Telecommunication services

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Faiz Nacerodien

Group legal manager and general counsel | Procter & Gamble

Consumer products

Fikile Sithole

Chief legal and chief officer | Transnet Freight Rail

Transport and infrastructure

Fiona Edmundson

Head of legal, South Africa | Anglo American

Materials and mining

Fiona Edmundson has been working in the South African legal team of Anglo American since 2010. She has held various roles and is currently the head of legal, South Africa,...

Fundiswa Masilela

General counsel and company secretary Africa and Middle East | John Deere

Industrials and real estate

Genevieve Mojapelo-Molefe

Head of legal | Discovery Bank

Information technology

Genevieve Mojapelo-Molefe is a seasoned and multi-award-winning information and communications technology attorney with over 12 years of post-admission legal experience. She currently serves as the head of legal at Discovery...

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Herman Kannenberg

General counsel | Huawei Technologies Africa

Information technology

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Hermien Uys

General counsel | Vedanta Zinc International

Materials and mining

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Howard Snoyman

Head legal and ethics | Discovery Health Medical Scheme

Financials

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Ian Vos

General counsel and regulatory affairs director | Coca-Cola Beverages Africa

Food

Jacquie Howard

Head of legal | Investec

Financials

Jay-Ann Jacobs

Vice president and general counsel | PepsiCo South Africa

Food

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Jo-Ann David

Chief counsel Sub-Saharan Africa | Mondelēz International

Food, beverages and tobacco

Jo-Ann David serves as the chief legal counsel of Mondelēz International’s Sub-Saharan African business. Mondelēz International is a multinational confectionery, food, and beverage company with a presence in over 150...

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Joe Ralebepa

Chief legal officer | Tiger Brands

Consumer products

Joe Ralebepa, an admitted Attorney of the High Court of South Africa, currently serves as the chief legal officer of Tiger Brands. Furthermore, Joe is a member of its executive...

Johannes Burger

Group head of legal and regulatory compliance | takealot.com

Consumer products

John-Edrich Starke

General counsel | GE

Industrials and real estate

Focus on…My career With a robust background in legal and commercial management spanning diverse industries and continents, I am a seasoned professional poised for leadership roles as a commercial director,...

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Jolene Anne Kruger

Director, legal, Middle East and Africa | Worley

Industrials and real estate

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Katy-Lynne Kay

General counsel | ENGIE

Energy and utilities

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Kenneth Uzim

General counsel, Africa | ATC Africa

Information technology

Kurt Drieselmann

Group executive - legal, general counsel | Aspen Pharmacare Holdings

Healthcare

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Larry Michael Levin

Executive vice president, legal | NTT

Information technology

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Lele Modise

Group chief executive - legal and regulatory officer | MTN Group

Telecommunication services

Lele Modise was appointed to MTN as chief legal counsel in May 2019 and was subsequently appointed as chief legal and regulatory officer in 2021. Under her leadership, the legal...

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Lennon Phillip

Head of legal Africa | Puma Energy

Energy and utilities

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Lerato Legong

Chief legal officer | Sibanye-Stillwater

Materials and mining

Lindi Atieno Vundla

Senior corporate counsel - head of legal, Sub-Saharan Africa | Amazon

Consumer products

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Lizelle Marwick

Chief legal officer | AngloGold Ashanti

Materials and mining

Lucas Buter

Head of legal services | Western Cape Government

Public sector

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Luche Joubert

Head of legal | Remgro

Financials

Luche Joubert is a corporate legal executive with a career that spans 27 years. He spent 16 years working for UK listed multinational, British American Tobacco, in various legal jurisdictions...

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Maarten Van Hoven

Group head legal and strategy | Sappi

Materials and mining

Mahomed Ebrahim Essof

Senior group legal counsel and country manager - South Africa | Ericsson

Information technology

Mark Grobler

Director - legal and compliance | Samsung Africa

Industrials and real estate

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Mark Stafford

Group head of legal | Life Healthcare Group

Healthcare

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Marthinus Janse van Rensburg

Head of legal department | Capitec Bank

Financials

Matthew Burchell

Head of legal, Africa | Ninety One

Financials

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Matthew Welz

Head of legal and company secretary | Clicks Group

Healthcare

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Mawande Maqungo

General counsel | Datatec

Information technology

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Megan Timmer

General counsel South and Southern Africa | Unilever

Consumer products

Mershia Arumugam

Head of legal and company secretary | Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals

Healthcare

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Michael Maistry

Head of legal, compliance, privacy and risk | Roche Products

Healthcare

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Mohamed Adam

General counsel | ArcelorMittal South Africa

Materials and mining

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Moipone Khojane

Group general counsel | Pick n Pay

Consumer products

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Muhammad Sader

General counsel: corporate and investment banking | Absa Group

Financials

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Nichola Walker-Woodard

Head of legal affairs | Red Rocket South Africa

Energy and utilities

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Nikki Hammond

Director, legal | 2U

Education

Nikki Hammond is a commercial attorney based in Cape Town with experience in cross-border contracts, commercial law, corporate law, tech law, employment law, compliance, and litigation. Furthermore, Nikki is also...

Nkateko Nyoka

Chief officer, legal and compliance | Vodacom

Telecommunication services

Nomxolisi Mabuza-Sikhondze

Legal director | Imperial

Transport and infrastructure

Othelia Langner

Legal director | Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Healthcare

Othelia Langner is the regional legal director supporting Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical business in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as its global public health organisation. After starting her...

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Pasha Dion Karodia

General counsel Africa | Willis Towers Watson

Insurance

Paul C. Pretorius

Vice president, group legal | Gold Fields

Materials and mining

Pearlene Singh

Head of legal and compliance | Teraco Data Environments

Information technology

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Phila Mtya

Head of legal compliance and information officer | rain South Africa

Information technology

Philip Anthony Leavesley 

Head of legal | SuperSport International

Sports and media

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Pieter Badenhorst

Director legal | AFGRI Group Holdings

Food, beverages and tobacco

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Pieter du Preez

Chief legal and regulatory officer | Shoprite Holdings

Consumer products

Priza Mantsena

Assistant general counsel, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa | Mastercard

Financials

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Rene Du Preez

Group chief legal officer | Standard Bank Group

Financials

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Sally Seemole Mashiane

Legal director and executive director - South Africa | Colgate-Palmolive

Consumer products

Sandile Lukhele

Senior vice president, group general counsel and company secretary, head of legal | Massmart

Consumer products

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Shibishi Maruatona

General counsel | Ford Motor Company

Consumer products

Note: Shibishi has now moved to a new role

Simone Forshaw

Chief legal officer and head of RoSSA (Rest of Sub-Saharan Africa) | KFC

Food, beverages and tobacco

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Sinegugu Gule-Mbokazi

Head of group legal | The SOLA Group

Energy and utilities

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Siyabonga Madyibi

Executive director | Microsoft South Africa

Information technology

Songezo Maqubela

Legal and governance manager | Mining Qualifications Authority

Public sector

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Steven Budlender

Group general counsel | MultiChoice Group

Sports and media

Tamryn Sass

General counsel | Nelson Mandela Foundation

Non - profit

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Thabile Molokomme

Head of legal and company secretary - SA | Shell

Energy and utilities

Thabo Ngilande

Director and general counsel | 3M South Africa

Industrials and real estate

Thabo Ngilande is a qualified and seasoned senior corporate lawyer with multi-jurisdictional experience and exposure in various areas of law. In addition to his legal qualifications, he also holds multiple...

Thandeka Nhleko

Head of legal and company secretary | Sandoz South Africa

Healthcare

Tshepo Legodi

General counsel, divisional executive - legal and compliance | Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)

Financials

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Velile Memela

Group chief legal officer and chief compliance officer | Sanlam

Insurance

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Victor Omoighe

Group general counsel and company secretary | Samancor Chrome

Materials and mining

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Vimla Parbhoo

Director, legal and secretariat services | Tshwaledi Investments

Financials

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Viwe Soga

Legal and corporate security director – South, West and Central Africa | Diageo

Food

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Yesthiel Singh

General counsel | IQbusiness

Commercial and professional services

Yesthiel is the general counsel and company secretary at IQbusiness, the largest independent management and technology consulting firm in South Africa. Yesthiel has played a critical role in propelling the...

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Yurika Pistorius

Executive head group compliance (group compliance officer) | Clientele

Insurance

Yurika Pistorius holds a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Bachelor of Law (LLB) degrees, following which she completed her articles of clerkship and legal training at a prestigious law...

Yvonne Perumal

Executive, legal  | Liberty Group

Insurance

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Zanele Mngadi

Chief legal counsel | Nedbank Group

Financials

Zinhle Mariani

General counsel Africa | Experian

Commercial and professional services

Zinhle Mariani is a C-suite corporate governance and legal practitioner with over 22 years of professional expertise in organisation-wide strategy execution, legal, compliance, governance, and senior stakeholder relationship management for...

Zinta Strydom

Executive head of legal, governance and compliance | Nexio

Information technology

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The Legal 500 is thrilled to bring its Powerlist publication to the Rainbow Nation for the first time ever in 2024! On behalf of The Legal 500, I am honoured to present the inaugural edition of the GC Powerlist: South Africa. This edition marks a long overdue milestone in the Powerlist Series, having covered Africa wholly as a continent previously, it was about time we shone the spotlight directly onto South Africa – recognising and celebrating the impressive pool of in-house talent that the nation hosts.  
 
The interviews conducted in this edition provide us with unique insights into the intricate workings of some of the most impressive cases and transactions handled by these individuals. However, they offer more than just a means to present legal specificities. The selected in-house counsel grant us a holistic understanding of the ever-evolving role of the South African general counsel. Moreover, this edition sheds light on the burgeoning landscape of South African business, revealing key trends that drive business success as well as the challenges that can hinder such growth. In essence, through these conversations, you will gain invaluable insights not only into the legal handlings of our counsel but also into the broader business dynamics and challenges at play in the region.  
 
There is a widespread consensus among our in-house counsel that the role of the general counsel has evolved and will continue to evolve in a manner congruent with the idea of the general counsel stepping outside of their conventional legal remit. As expressed by Mershia Arumugam, head of legal and company secretary for Reckitt South Africa, the role of the general counsel is moving from a purely legal advisory role to that of a legal strategic partner. Moreover, she believes the general counsel will be heavily leaned on for critical strategic transactions. Mark Grobler, director of legal and compliance for Samsung Africa, further builds on this sentiment with a thought-provoking idea – he believes that the general counsels role in South Africa will begin to mirror that of the US and the UK, with more general counsel taking seats at the C-Suite table they will increasingly become more operationally invested. To really cement this point, Candice Pillay, the general manager of legal services at BMW Group South Africa, highlights some of the driving forces behind this evolution. She sees the shift as a result of growing demands from the business based on economic and trade pressure, industry bodies, changing regulatory landscapes, labour and workforce demands, as well as geopolitical conflicts. 
 
What is truly fascinating to observe in these interviews is that this evolution of the role from legal to business partner is not just driven by external forces as those mentioned above. It is also a demand that these legal professionals place upon themselves and their legal teams so that they may perform their duties to the highest levels. When contemplating how to build strong relationships with business partners, a common theme emerged – understanding the business and its goals. Tshepo Legodi, the general counsel of Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) succinctly summarises this point. It is critical for in-house lawyers to see themselves as business partners and enablers. This includes an intimate knowledge of the business, company strategy, and priorities. It is important to be a ‘trusted advisor. In-house lawyers must know the industry, trends, and regulatory landscape affecting their business. 
 
The GC Powerlist: South Africa 2024 offers an important and informative view into the South African legal community, providing us with a glimpse into the mindset, legal acumen, and business savvy of elite-level in-house counsel. We observe the role they play and the strategies they employ when traversing a challenging landscape fraught with economic pressures, regulatory changes, and recent geopolitical events, among other factors. Upon reading these interviews, it becomes obvious why these individuals have been chosen by their respective organisations to steer the corporate and legal direction of their businesses.  
 
On behalf of The Legal 500, I would like to extend our congratulations and gratitude to everyone who was featured in this inaugural edition of the South Africa Powerlist. We thank them for sharing their time and insights, allowing us to celebrate their achievements and acknowledging their rightfully earned spot in this milestone edition. 
 
 
Jugroop Singh | Lead Researcher GC Powerlist South Africa 2024  

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It is indeed an honour and a privilege for Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr to partner with Legal 500 in bringing the Legal 500 GC Powerlist to South Africa for the first time in 2024 to highlight those in-house lawyers who have been instrumental in driving their businesses forward across South Africa, particularly those who have done so in an innovative way.

 

In-house numbers have increased in recent years as companies look to harness more value from their legal departments and develop their own internal skillsets. Since 2013, The Legal 500 has been instrumental in recognising those in-house lawyers who are driving business forward. Thank you to Legal 500 for giving us this opportunity to honour these strategic players in businesses across South Africa.

In the complex legal, regulatory and economic landscape that businesses have to navigate, the role of General Counsel (GC) has evolved into a pivotal position across South Africa. Traditionally viewed as the chief legal advisor, the GC now occupies a multifaceted role that extends beyond legal counsel to encompass strategic, ethical, esg corporate integrity and multiple risk management functions. According to a recent report, GCs say their top three priorities are risk identification and mitigation, keeping abreast of regulation/legislation, and enabling company growth.

CDH continues to recognise the value that GCs add as integral and indispensable members of corporate executive teams, respectful of their ability to wield well-informed influence in key strategic decisions and contribute to the overall success of the business. As a firm that accompanies clients from vision to fruition in relation to their business and strategic objectives, we believe that the relationships that we hold with GCs are vital to the success of businesses across South Africa, and ultimately economic growth for our country. We are therefore delighted to be partnering with Legal 500 to shine a spotlight, “not only on the most distinguished in-house lawyers in South Africa, but also on the rising stars/next generation lawyers being groomed to lead the best in-house legal departments in the country.”

We congratulate the GCs and in-house lawyers who are included in this year’s GC Powerlist. It is worthy recognition of these ‘unsung heroes’ of business and corporate development and progress that have for the longest time had a rightful claim to being best of breed when measured against their global peers. We hold each of you in high regard and believe that your role as GC across South African businesses remains critical for navigating legal complexities, managing risks, and upholding ethical standards and corporate integrity in an ever-changing and challenging business environment. We recognise that GCs, by addressing emerging challenges proactively and leveraging legal expertise and business nous to drive strategic decision-making, help their businesses thrive in the face of uncertainty, adversity and change. Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is honored to acknowledge the impact of those GCs on their business and on South Africa’s corporate landscape that have been included on the Powerlist South Africa, for the first time this year.

CDH is a full-service law firm consisting of more than 260 lawyers across Africa and with a track record spanning over 170 years. We provide experienced corporate and commercial legal support and authentic, knowledge-based, and cost-effective legal services for clients looking to do business in key markets across Africa. Our Africa practice brings together the resources and expertise of leading business law firms across the continent that have direct experience acting for governments, state agencies and multinational corporations. This combined experience across the continent produces an extensive African corporate legal services capability. We also partner with other professional disciplines such as audit, business consulting and corporate finance to provide a seamless and integrated solution for projects that have a multi-disciplinary and cross-border dimension.

For more information please contact Karushka Naicker, Business Development Manager via Karushka.Naicker@cdhlegal.com

GC Summit Portugal 2024

On April 9th, The Legal 500 was delighted to be back in Lisbon, hosting the GC Summit Portugal 2024 at the EPIC SANA Lisboa Hotel. The event convened the nation’s in-house legal community alongside five leading law firms and 20 esteemed speakers, providing a platform for the highest calibre of legal expertise to examine pressing issues faced by corporate counsel.

The conference kicked off with opening remarks from Francisco Castro, The Legal 500’s editorial lead, underscoring the significance of uniting the in-house community and collaborating with law firms to deliver top-notch content tailored to their interests.

The first panel, in collaboration with Abreu Advogados, brought the topic of Intellectual Property to the forefront. César Bessa Monteiro Jr., partner at Abreu Advogados moderated a discussion with Sara Barbot, legal director at BA Glass, Pedro Gonçalves, director of legal and compliance at Unbabel and Rita Branquinho Lobo, head of legal affairs at Novabase. The session explored challenges companies encounter in safeguarding their rights and sharing intangible assets in collaborative endeavours.

The subsequent session, brought by CMS Portugal, with esteemed speakers Bernardo Cunha Ferreira, partner at CMS Portugal, Pedro Amaral Frazão, adviser to the chairman at Grupo Sousa, Tiago de Magalhães, senior associate at CMS Portugal and Sandro dos Santos Zeineddin, director of information systems at Portway, delved into the transformative power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), exploring innovative strategies and cutting-edge technologies reshaping the corporate landscape.

After a short coffee break to exchange ideas on the topics discussed, the third panel of the afternoon, in collaboration with Morais Leitão, introduced the firm’s ML Assessment.ai, the firm’s innovative approach to navigate the complexities of the legal landscape, through AI-driven solutions. The session was moderated by Magda Viçoso, partner at Morais Leitão and Carlos Coelho, director of innovation and knowledge at Morais Leitão, alongside guest speakers Bruno Pina, chief legal officer at Repsol and Ana Moniz Macedo, director of corporate affairs at Millennium BCP.

The session that followed, brought by VdA, focused on the Voluntary Carbon Markets newest legislation, both at the Portuguese and the EU levels, which brings new opportunities to, among others, create financial products on the grounds of bold carbon credits. The discussion was led by Assunção Cristas, partner, ESG integrated services platform and the environment at VdA, Hugo Moredo Santos, partner, banking & finance at VdA, Patrícia Mendes, head of legal and compliance at Volkswagen Financial Services and Angela Lucas, co-founder, partner & board member at LAND Fund.

Concluding the day, leading firm PLMJ, brought a dynamic discussion on the evolving fintech scene in Portugal, taking an in-depth look at the latest trends, from the acquisition of regulated entities and the creation of new ones to the opening of branches and the establishment of joint ventures. Speakers were Bruno Ferreira, managing partner at PLMJ, and André Abrantes and Tomás Almeida Ribeiro, managing associates at PLMJ.

In summary, the GC Summit Portugal 2024 served as a catalyst for fostering legal excellence, promoting business innovation, and forging meaningful connections within the legal and corporate community. Following the event’s impressive conclusion, the dialogue continued into a drinks and canapes reception. Here, lingering questions were addressed, and attendees seized the opportunity to reconnect with their peers.

On June 27th, The Legal 500 will return to Lisbon for the release of its annual GC Powerlist: Portugal, highlighting the top in-house lawyers in the country, in collaboration with PLMJ.