8 March 2021
On this Monday 8 March, we have decided to put the spotlight on 12 inspiring women of Gide, who tell us, very simply, why they get up every morning to work at Gide.
« To find the first firm I wanted to become an associate in, I took the care to define precisely the field in which I wanted to work, but above all the profile of the firm that would allow me to develop to my full potential. Gide, and more specifically the Projects team (Finance & Infrastructure), together met these criteria perfectly. I am fortunate enough to be able to develop my skills in the speciality that interests me, with partners who always push me to progress, whether in legal technique or in the development of my career. Progressing in this profession requires a lot of work and personal investment, but the environment in which we work is a determining factor that should not be overlooked. It is important to have models of professional success, which allow us to project ourselves and, above all, which inspire us. These are the strengths of Gide that all associates can draw on throughout their careers. »
Célia Alao, associate, Projects (Financing & Infrastructure), Gide Paris
« Gide is first and foremost about meeting people.
My first encounter with Gide was at Harvard, where I met an inspiring woman Dispute Resolution partner, a Harvard alumni, who made me discover, then love Gide, and became my mentor.
Another memorable encounter was with my office neighbour in Paris, who, 11 years later, is the partner I now work with in London on construction arbitrations in exotic locations, and who supports me on a daily basis in all my projects.
And with our colleagues from our New York office and our best friend firms, during my stint in New York, who have become dear friends.
Gide has not only been advocating and providing legal advice in London and Paris, via Hong Kong, Riyadh and Islamabad, it has also enabled me to represent an African NGO at the UN in Vienna, and train Indian lawyers in Paris and Singapore, African lawyers in London and Dubai, and Egyptian lawyers in ... Egypt!
Gide is also about unique experiences: For example, being the only woman in a meeting with the Pakistani Minister of Energy to explain under French law how to settle a dispute with Iran.
Gide is about being surrounded by strong women: the very first hearing I attended was at the World Bank's Paris office in a proceeding against the Republic of Chile, alongside a brilliant, all-female Gide team.
Lastly, Gide is about adventure: bruising my lip on a surfboard in British waters, and skinning my knee climbing on a camel in the desert.
Gide, above all, is about being a Franco-American lawyer, of Pakistani origin, speaking before French, German and Lebanese arbitrators in an arbitration case against an African state, in slippers, from my living room in England, with my 5-year-old daughter in the background! »
Saadia Bhatty, Counsel, Dispute Resolution, Gide London
« Looking back on 15 years of experience at the firm, for me Gide is above all a state of mind, which I embraced from the very first day I started working here as a trainee. Beyond the high standards of work, I found an atmosphere that fostered personal, and often friendly, relationships, including with our clients and partners of all nationalities. Gide is also the freedom to be oneself within a collective made up of other assertive and diverse personalities. In short, Gide is a firm that enables me not only to be a fully fledged lawyer, but also a singer in our in-house rock band, a cowgirl on the stage of a major Paris concert hall, and a (self) appointed organiser of team-building weekends! »
Laura Castex, Counsel, Competition & International Trade, Gide Paris
« I remember well my first day at Gide Brussels back in 2011, telling myself it would be a great opportunity as a young Brazilian international trade lawyer, but not necessarily a lasting one: I was not convinced it would be possible to make partner of an renowned international law firm, and have the family life I also dreamed of. Gide proved me wrong: it shows me every day that there is no single model. I remember even more clearly the minute I learned that the firm’s partners trusted me yet again, this time to make me one of their partners. That was when I happily realized that the challenges, opportunities, incredible life experiences and teamwork that I had had at Gide, would continue. That was also when I realized that I, an expatriate woman, mother of two incredible kids, could also be an international trade lawyer in charge of some of the most interesting trade law cases and issues in the world. Why settle for less when you can have it all? »
Anna Dias, Partner, Competition & International Trade, Gide Brussels
« In 2007, when I applied for an internship, I had no experience and a profile that was not at all in line with the activity of the team I was applying for. Where other firms would have seen these as reasons to turn me down, Gide saw them as an asset and signed me on. This openness to diversity is a strong characteristic of the firm, which I have felt since the beginning of my career at Gide. As a trainee and then as an associate, I worked, trained and learned from strong, diverse and caring personalities. The team in which I started has driven me to develop and has made me the accomplished lawyer I am today. I was named a Counsel in 2018, during my second maternity leave. Gide is a deeply human firm whose values are centered on inclusion and respect. »
Farah El-Bsat, Counsel, Banking & Finance, Gide Paris
« Being surrounded by people who always motivate, inspire and see the best in you helps you dig deep and give your best. I am lucky enough to have fun every day and enjoy working with a very different set of people: they are charismatic, intelligent, disciplined, serious, adamant, vital, energetic, professional and versatile lawyers.
I keep learning, teaching and mentoring; I think positive, stay proactive and on top of my game. In short, be happy, be colorful and be fabulous at Gide! »
Min Guo, Partner, Tax, Gide Beijing
« Gide is, above all, great freedom. As partner in charge of networks and international partnerships during my six years on the executive committee, it was a unique opportunity to forge professional ties and friendships with all the teams in our international offices and our partners around the world. For me, Gide in three words would be: freedom, friendship & fun! »
Nadège Nguyen, Partner, Mergers & Acquisitions, Gide Paris
«Working at Gide has, of course, helped me to cultivate professional qualities. The firm has also always been enthusiastic about the corporate or charity initiatives in which I took part. I have been able to set up a softball team for the Paris lawyers' tournament, organise our first team building weekend in years, become a mentor of Frateli (now Article 1), which Gide partners through its Pro Bono programme, and set up a relay team for a charity running event organised by the Women's Foundation (Fondation des Femmes). All these activities have punctuated my professional career and contributed to my personal development. Thanks to them, I have been able to create strong relationships with my team, expand my network within the firm and opened myself up new horizons. Far from being a hindrance, my involvement in these projects has allowed me to grow and has certainly contributed to my appointment as counsel! »
Lucie Pernet, Counsel, Public Law, Energy & Environment, Gide Paris
« I joined Gide's Employment team in 2015. It was the first time I joined a firm as an associate. The partners in the department trained me in the practice of law and enabled me to gradually build up my skills and independence on cases and with clients. Over the last few years, I have observed Gide's attachment to the liberal nature of our profession, which I particularly appreciate. On a daily basis, this allows me, as far as possible and in view of professional demands, to be free both in the management of cases and in the organisation of my work, and thus to ensure a good balance between my professional and personal life. I also appreciate the firm's international and multidisciplinary dimension, which means I can work on complex, varied and cross-disciplinary cases alongside different teams and international offices. »
Bénédicte Perrier-Walckenaer, Associate, Employment, Gide Paris
« I applied to Gide six years ago. As a student in chemistry and political science at the time, I was told that my application had no chance: my profile that was far too atypical, and the firm was far too traditional. The complete opposite turned out to be closer to the mark and, after an internship, it is at Gide that I began my career as a lawyer. I joined a team that focuses on litigation, made up of profiles that are more diverse than one could first imagine. It's also a female-dominated team, where determined women give their voice both internally and before the courts. I am discovering the power of networking and the great solidarity among associates, as well as freedom of speech and unsuspected talent! In short, I am working with people who are so much more open than those described to me six years ago. »
Célia Révy, Associate, Intellectual Property, Telecommunications, Media & Technology, Gide Paris
« I joined Gide's Real Estate Transactions & Financing team almost 10 years ago by chance, and have since learned a lot about the world of real estate! To complete my training, Gide even gave me the opportunity to spend a few months in the London team of an American investment fund. We handle major files at Gide, and no day is like any other. But what I really enjoy about this fantastic firm is the friendships we build up, not only between lawyers but also with our clients. The hallmark of Gide is the freedom we enjoy: our partners trust us very quickly on managing both our cases and our relationship with our clients. »
Cléopha Thomann, Counsel, Real Estate Transactions & Financing, Gide Paris
« Arriving through the back door as an intern at Gide in Prague, I don't think I imagined for one minute I would still be working in the same firm almost 25 years later! With hindsight, the explanation is simple: Gide is several firms rolled into one. From Prague to Moscow, via Paris and back again, my adventures at Gide have been - and still are - many and varied. Amazing encounters await you at each turn and on each case, all you have to do is seize every opportunity. No limits, no boundaries! The greatness of the firm for me stems from the deep bonds and friendships forged over the years, with associates, partners, teams, and clients, over files, studious (and non-studious) evenings, team-building events and weekends, sports events and charity challenges. If I had to use three words to sum up what Gide has been, and still is, for me: freedom, entrepreneurship and friends! »
Axelle Toulemonde, Partner, Mergers & Acquisitions, Gide Paris
> Go to our Instagram page to find out more!