French legal departments, vous ette tres magnifique

The French bar group, Juristes Associes, recently surveyed the top 40 French public companies. Four of them were reorganizing their legal departments or were otherwise unable to give precise figures, while three companies (Lafarge, LVMH and Oreal) declined to respond. Of the 33 legal departments that gave data, 10 had between 9 and 39 lawyers, 7 between 40 and 100 lawyers, and the largest 16 each had more than 100 in-house lawyers.

According to the item posted by ECLA, the confederation of national associations of company lawyers in Europe, representing almost 31, 000 company lawyers in 17 countries, “The companies with the largest legal departments are BNP-Paribas (510), France Telecom (424), Société Générale (330) and Total (300).” (See my post of July 5, 2006 about the scale advantages of large law departments; and June 15, 2006 about whether they are more managerially innovative.)

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