Legal Business Blogs

International Women’s Day 2022: Agnes Rossi – Simmons & Simmons, Paris; Next Generation Partner – Fund Formation

Which woman most inspired you in your legal career and why?

Christine Lagarde. She is not only a very successful lawyer (having been named as chair of an international law firm) but she was also a high-level athlete (she was a member of the French national synchronized swimming team) and she has managed to become a well-known politician (she held various senior ministerial posts in France). She is now the president of the European Central Bank (after having been the managing director of the International Monetary Fund). Meanwhile she also has two children. I don’t know how she does all of these things, how she finds the stamina to do always more. It seems that nothing is impossible for her, which is impressive as well as inspiring.

What advice do you have for aspiring lawyers?

Trust life, trust yourself. You need to listen to people and remain open-minded. I always say to the members of my team: open your Chakras!

This year’s IWD theme is ‘BreakTheBias’ on gender inequality, discrimination and stereotypes – how biased is the Paris commercial legal market these days and what is the biggest change that still needs to happen?

A large majority of the lawyers coming out of Bar school are women. Unfortunately, the higher you go in the hierarchy of a law firm the less women you find, ending in having a large majority of male partners in French law firms. The biggest challenge is about changing this cultural mindset in order for women to dare taking the positions they are perfectly capable of taking.