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Survey data from French companies about responsibilities and reporting of heads of legal

The most recent report by Profit & Law, Helene Trink’s consultancy in France, covers 119 heads of legal (directeurs juridiques) in France. Approximately 60% of them are in charge of the corporate secretarial function (Secrétariat du Conseil) and a similar percentage lead compliance and ethics (Conformité/Ethique). The least common area shown on one chart was public relations (affaires publiques). These results are roughly in line with what a comparable question would find in the United States.

As for reporting lines, most commonly the general counsel report to the Directeur Général (34%) followed by approximately equal numbers to the head of finance (Directeur Financier), the Secrétaire Général, the Directeur Général Délégué, or the top lawyer of the corporate group. Trink comments (at 5) that there appears to be a trend toward more general counsel reporting to the CEO or President. More commonly, general counsel in the U.S. report to the CEO or the President.

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