Gide Loyrette Nouel has announced a refresh of its administrative team, creating the new post of chief digital officer “to better respond to the challenges of its clients and teams,” according to the firm.
The additional director, as well as new heads of human resources and finance, bring long experience outside the legal world. They will focus on the firm’s “transformation and growth” particularly in lawyer training, CSR, financial performance, cybersecurity and data use, Gide said.
The additions are consistent with recent research findings that talent retention and cost control are among the chief concerns of law-firm leaders as 2022 gets underway.
They are also in line with Gide’s prediction that knowledge of advanced technology would become increasingly important in 2022.
“Accelerating our digital transformation, in particular, is an ambitious process that will enable us to uphold and develop our position in an increasingly competitive market,” Gide’s managing partner, Jean-François Levaud, said in a statement.
The new appointments are Frédéric Levaux, chief digital officer; Axelle Baranek, human resources director; and Cyrille Dreuillet, chief financial officer
Levaux has a background in business and entrepreneurship. The holder of an MBA from HEC, he worked for 12 years advising on technology and digital strategy for a variety of groups including KPMG, Oliver Wyman, Greenwich Consulting, EY, Pernod Ricard and Legrand. He also set up three companies: a web agency in 2000, a mobile software editor in 2004 and a digital transformation consultancy in 2011.
“Digital transformation follows three driving themes: cybersecurity, strategic cloud choices and the development of AI to manage data and optimize processes,” Levaux said in a statement. “For Gide, as an international law firm, the challenge is to be able to meet the requirements of its clients, in particular as regards managing and protecting data.”
Baranek comes from Deloitte Finance, where she worked for more than 10 years as human resources manager and member of the executive committee of the financial advisory activity of the firm. A graduate of the elite Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Sciences-Po), she began her career as a senior auditor at the French firm Mazars.
“In an environment as competitive as that of law firms, it is crucial to be able to attract and retain the best-talented lawyers,” Baranek said in a statement. “This means we must keep a close eye on the market and ensure the professional development of our lawyers by boosting our training policy, fostering diversity and inclusion, and putting in place a competitive remuneration policy.”
Dreuillet comes from Archetype, a global architecture and construction company, where he was group financial director. A graduate of two elite French institutions—the civil engineering school ESTP and the business school HEC Paris—he previously worked as a consultant at Kroll, director-general at the architecture firm Equator and managing director of Archetype in Vietnam.
“The continued improvement of the financial performance of each practice and each office is necessary to uphold Gide’s leadership and growth ambitions,” Dreuillet said in a statement.
Gide has 500 lawyers in 11 offices around the world, including New York, London, Casablanca, Shanghai and Warsaw.
The firm maintains a scientific council that brings Gide lawyers together with outside consultants from academia, government and business to advise on strategy.