Our people

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Katia Gauzès 

Managing Partner 

"Advising the largest and most recognised financial investors and corporates is of course a challenge, but I feel very proud going through the news and seeing one of the deals I worked on in the headlines."

I joined Clifford Chance Luxembourg in May 2016 as a corporate partner. I currently have different roles within the firm, including Luxembourg Co-Head of the Corporate practice, Partner in Charge of Best Delivery, Partner in Charge of the Responsible Business Committee and Partner in Charge of Diversity and Inclusion. At a global level, I sit on the Global Corporate Leadership Group.

I completed most of my education in France with a Master's degree in Business Law from Paris II Pantheon-Assas, an MBA from ESSEC Business School and the Paris Bar. I have since also qualified as a Luxembourg lawyer and currently sit on the Luxembourg Bar Council (Conseil de l'Ordre).

Before joining Clifford Chance, I was a corporate partner at the largest domestic law firm in Luxembourg, which I joined as a trainee in 2002 upon my arrival in Luxembourg. When Clifford Chance approached me in 2015 to join the Corporate team as a partner to support the development of the practice, I thought it was a very interesting challenge which could give another turn to my career.

I am French and I speak English, Catalan and Spanish, with basic knowledge in German and Luxembourgish. Luxembourg is very international, so it's important to know the languages to communicate effectively with people where you live and work.

On a more personal side, the picture would not be complete without mentioning my family: I am the mother of 3 boys, they are a huge part of my life as well as my husband who is also a corporate partner in another global law firm in Luxembourg.

Why I joined

I joined because of the people and the culture. After nearly 15 years with the same domestic firm, I thought taking on the challenge of joining an international firm could add a new perspective to my career. I admired the culture of Clifford Chance and when I met the partners, it was the team spirit and collegiality I could feel between them that confirmed the impression I had of the firm.

The growth strategy and the objectives of the firm both at a local and global level were also important. The ambition the firm had for the practice matched my expectations and the idea of being part of this challenge was very interesting.

The best thing about my job

Working in integrated teams throughout the various practices and offices within the network and with the same goal of excellence in delivering legal advice to our clients is really what I like best. I think it is the combination of interacting with people and the overall responsibilities I have that make me happy and makes every day different and stimulating.

Advising the largest and most recognised financial investors and corporates is of course a challenge, but I feel very proud going through the news and seeing one of the deals I worked on in the headlines.

Advising my team, mentoring the associates and being close to them throughout the different stages of their careers is also rewarding.

Finally, being able to support the values of the firm which align with my own beliefs is fortunate. The work I do for our Responsible Business Committee and the Diversity and Inclusion Committee created a strong link between my professional expertise and my personal beliefs.

There are so many great and exiting perspectives for the financial industry in Luxembourg, it’s a challenging and motivating time to be at Clifford Chance!

The recruitment process

I was a lateral hire for a partnership role, so it was a lengthy process! I met with all partners from the Luxembourg office as well as some of the most senior partners globally including; Matthew Layton, former Global Managing Partner, Guy Norman, Global Practice Area Leader for Corporate, Rob Lee, Global Practice Area Leader for Global Financial Markets, and Yves Wehrli, former Managing Partner for Continental Europe. The final round was an interview marathon day in London, where I was interviewed by nine people including top executives such as Laura King, former Global Head of People and Talent, Caroline Firstbrook, Chief Operating Officer, and Jeremy Sandelson, former Partner and Global Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution. It was a challenging but incredibly enjoyable process, where I got to learn a lot about the firm and got a good sense of the culture, which was eventually decisive in my choice of joining Clifford Chance.

My most exciting deal so far...

One recent matter I am particularly proud of is the Allegro deal. Allegro is Poland’s number one e-commerce platform and most recognised e-commerce brand. We advised the Cinven and Permira consortium on their acquisition of Allegro in 2018 and then eventually on their exit strategy through an IPO process and related corporate restructuring in Autumn 2020. It was extremely challenging and also very interesting to support Allegro on this next stage in the firm's success story shaped for over 20 years, from a local start-up to a European e-commerce champion. This transaction was Warsaw's Stock Exchange's largest IPO to date and represents the second largest capital raise in Europe in 2020. Various teams from various offices were involved and collaborated for months throughout the pandemic, showing Clifford Chance at its best.

It was rewarding to see this landmark deal on all major headlines and the challenge was even greater as the deal was processed during the COVID-19 pandemic, where we had to be more agile, collaborative and creative than ever.

The people

The first words to describe the people are Collaboration, excellence and innovation. These are without a doubt our key differentiators.

Team spirit and collaboration are what I experienced from the very beginning and this feeling has only grown over the years.

Excellence in our work which is directly linked to the high level of expectations, the quality of our advice to clients and the commitment of our teams. We are going further than pure legal advice and are always trying to find the best solutions for our clients. Being pragmatic in our approach is of particular importance.

Finally, what clearly differentiates Clifford Chance is our international network, it's really a great advantage and this is probably what forces us to be innovative in the way we work and collaborate with each other internally and with our clients. The aim is to make sure that the client experience throughout our network is consistent and allow each office and team to benefit from lessons learned in other offices or practice areas, an approach not all firms have.

My advice

I would always encourage anyone interested in a career in law to do an internship to find out if it's what you really enjoy and don't be afraid if it's tough you just need to persevere. Law is vast, so you need to find the best field of expertise and also the best team for you. There are many different skills that are needed in our profession. Be brave and speak up. This is especially important for women who often think that building a career in law isn't for them. Be bold, express clearly what your aspirations are and then try things out to know what is best for you.

In addition, making sure that the values and the culture of the firm you work with match your own is imperative. It is important to thrive on the legal side but also to find an alignment on a personal level.

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