Comparative Guides Editorial Board

The Comparative Guides have been an integral part of The Legal 500 since 2016, with over 50 practice areas covered, in more than 80 jurisdictions. We are committed to ensuring that the guides remain a valuable tool for in-house lawyers worldwide. To this end, we are excited to be working with the following General Counsels to help shape the content and enhance the quality of the Guides.

Juan Riego Vila

General Counsel & Board Secretary

Carrefour Spain

Juan started his working life doing a stage at the European Commission in Brussels, then worked for 8 years at the S. Muñoz Machado Law Firm, joining after the Carrefour group, as Legal Director of Centros Comerciales Pryca S.A. in 1997 becoming Legal Counsel of Carrefour Spain after the merger of the Carrefour and Promodés groups.

Mark Maurice-Jones

General Counsel

Nestlé UK & Ireland

Mark Maurice-Jones leads a team of legal staff dedicated to shaping the agenda of Nestlé UK & Ireland through proactive business partnerships and driving a culture of integrity. Before Nestlé Mark worked for 15 years with Kimberly-Clark in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.  Mark started his legal career as a competition lawyer with international law firms in London and Brussels.

Maria Marinelli

General Counsel

Bupa, Asia Pacific

Maria was appointed Bupa Australia and New Zealand’s General Counsel in July 2020.

Prior to joining Bupa, Maria practised as a partner at global law firm Ashurst specialising in IT and telecommunications law with significant experience advising on major and complex contracting arrangements across the telecommunications, information technology, media, banking, gaming, health and energy sectors. Maria has been consistently recognised as a leading lawyer by her peers and clients in industry publications for her areas of legal expertise and business acumen.

Maria has a keen interest in how health and technology can intersect, as well as transforming businesses for growth in disruptive times.

Janette Loh

General Counsel & Company Secretary

Canon Singapore Pte. Ltd.

With over 20 years’ experience in both practice and in-house, Janette is currently General Counsel and head of the Legal & Regulatory Centre of Canon Singapore, the regional headquarters for Canon Marketing Asia.  Apart from overseeing the Legal team, she also oversees a host of other functions covering areas including Risk Management, Intellectual Property, Product Regulatory, Quality, Environment, Health & Safety & Governance. She has grown the company’s legal & regulatory team from two to the current 15 member Singapore team that works closely with a wider group of 30 over colleagues based in other jurisdictions within Canon Marketing Asia. She believes in harnessing technology for efficiency and has in the course of her career with Canon developed their own in-house contract management, legal service management and productivity measurement systems, amongst others.  Entrusting her team members with a strong sense of ownership in their roles as strategic business advisors has helped her draw out the best in her staff and reinforce the value they bring to the business.

Gamze Gökçen Pilevne

Corporate Secretary, General Counsel and Senior Compliance Officer

Mercedes-Benz Türk A.Ş.

Gamze Gökçen Pilevne, graduated from Marmara University Law School in 2006.  After experiencing various law firms and companies as legal counsel, she joined Mercedes-Benz Türk’s in 2011.

Since 2016, she is leading the teams of legal, compliance and government relations including the Ankara liason office.

Lately, she has been appointed as President of Sustainability Committee as of January 2022 to coordinate the global and local ESG commitments as a local producer in Turkey.

In addition to her current roles, she is trying to serve the ecosystem as Board Member of AHK (Industrie- und Handelskammer) and Sustainability Committee President of Automotive Distributors Association.

Peter Schøtt Knudsen

General Counsel

ECCO Holding A/S

Peter Schøtt Knudsen started his professional career as an associate at the law firm Bech-Bruun. In 2001 he joined Novo Nordisk, and in 2004 he moved to Switzerland as Legal Director, in charge of setting up and heading the legal function for the Novo Nordisk international and regional sales activities. In 2010 he became General Counsel of the successful Danish brewery group Royal Unibrew. In early 2013 he assumed his current position as Senior Vice President & General Counsel for ECCO and member of the Group’s senior management team with the overall responsibility for Group Legal, Intellectual Property Rights, Enterprise Risk Management, Corporate Governance and Compliance, and Public Affairs. Peter graduated from the University of Copenhagen (Master of Laws) in 1998 and was admitted to the bar in 2001. In addition to his legal background, he has taken extensive general management courses, including courses at Wharton Business School (USA), Stanford University (USA), and IMD (Switzerland).

Timo Matthias Spitzer

Head of legal, corporate and investment banking

Banco Santander

Multi award-winning Head of Legal. Experienced with leading banks and major law firms. Dually qualified as German Rechtsanwalt and UK Solicitor with a First Class Honors Masters. Author of “The Importance of Human Leadership with Integrity in a Highly Regulated and Tech-Reliant Corporate Environment” published by Harvard Business Law Review.

Newman Debs

General counsel Latam

Unilever Home Care

Seasoned professional, with over 30 years of experience leading legal teams in global companies. Have lived in 4 different countries. Speak 3 languages. Currently, lead the setup of Unilever’s Global Powerhouses (our legal shared services) in three different locations: Barcelona, Bangalore and Mexico City. Master and PhD in Law. MBA in Business Administration. Former member of entities dedicated to self regulation of advertising (CONAR Brazil; Conarp Argentina; ICAS Global). Married, father of two. Love to cook and travel. Professionally, my passion is to develop people, helping them to be as great as they wish to be.

Silvio Cavallo

Group general counsel and chief compliance officer


Silvio Cavallo is the general counsel of Pillarstone, a platform established with the aim to partner with European banks to manage their exposure to non-core and underperforming assets by providing long-term capital and operational expertise to help the businesses which underpin these non-performing and non-core exposures to stabilise, grow and create value.

Silvio joined Pillarstone as general counsel in 2016; prior to that, Silvio worked in private practice advising private equity and hedge funds in the acquisition, maintenance, and disposition of portfolio investments, leveraged and structured finance transactions and corporate clients and financial institutions in cross border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate restructurings.  Silvio also worked in the Enforcement and Financial Crime division of the Financial Conduct Authority of the United Kingdom.

Valentina Gómez

General Counsel

Porsche Chile

Valentina Gómez, serves as a General Counsel of Porsche Chile. For the past four years, Valentina has been instrumental in guiding Porsche Chile through significant transformations, overcoming industry challenges, and embracing cutting-edge technology. With her commercially sensitive approach and a distinguished skill set, she has earned recognition as an influential figure within the company.

Valentina’s practicality, flexibility, and down-to-earth advice have made her views highly valued and respected by her colleagues from other areas. Her presence in the company’s major decisions stands as a testament to her role as a trusted advisor, guiding Porsche Chile towards success and growth.

Porsche Chile, as part of the Volkswagen Group, faced a significant worldwide situation that profoundly impacted the automotive industry in recent years. Valentina’s pivotal role involved skillfully orchestrating the local adaptation of the legal strategy, ensuring a seamless alignment to the company objectives. Through her dedicated efforts, the local company successfully navigated the changing landscape, embracing a completely new mission, values, and priorities.

As the head of a three-lawyer team serving the Porsche Holding Group in Chile, Valentina shoulders the responsibility of handling legal affairs for various entities under the group’s umbrella. From the importation of prestigious brands to a financial institution and an insurance broker company, her multifaceted role requires her to work diligently with cross-functional teams both locally and internationally.

As Porsche Chile continues to innovate and expand its horizons, Valentina’s vision and legal expertise will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in propelling the company toward a successful and sustainable future.