Chicago, 3 June 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Baker & McKenzie announced today that Christine Lagarde, Chairman of the Global Policy Committee, has accepted an invitation to join the Government of France as Minister for Foreign Trade. Mme Lagarde will take up her new role with immediate effect.
An accomplished labour and anti-trust lawyer, Mme Lagarde has been a Partner with Baker & McKenzie in Paris since 1987. She was elected Managing Partner of the Paris office in 1991 before joining the Executive Committee in 1995. She also served as Chairman of the European Regional Council and the Professional Development Committee from 1995 to 1998, before being elected Chairman of the Executive Committee in October 1999. At the completion of her five year term as Chairman of the Executive Committee in October 2004, she was named Chairman of the Policy Committee. She remains amongst only a handful of women ever to lead a major international law firm.
A French national, Mme Lagarde read economics and American Studies at the University of Aix-en-Provence. She also studied at the Political Science Institute and the Paris Law School and, in 1980, graduated from Paris University with a post-graduate degree focusing on business and labour law. She lectured in law at Paris X University, before joining Baker & McKenzie in 1981.
A high profile, visionary and respected leader, Mme Lagarde was presented with the Legion D’Honneur by President Chirac in 2004; was named the 76th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine in 2004 and was voted the 5th most successful business woman in Europe by the Wall Street Journal Europe in 2002.
She is a member of numerous advisory boards, including the Strategic Council on the Attractivity of France and the international business advisory board to the Mayor of Beijing. She is also a regular speaker on the international conference circuit including the World Economic Forum and the ISC-Symposium St Gallen. Mme Lagarde is a member of the Board of ING. Mme Lagarde, 49, is the mother of two sons, 19 and 17.
Commenting on the news, John Conroy, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Baker & McKenzie, said, “We send our warmest congratulations to Christine on this very distinguished appointment, which is a fitting recognition of her extraordinary skills and talents. She will be greatly missed at Baker & McKenzie after a long and very successful career with our Firm. We wish Christine every success in her new role.”