Legal Business

Atos

  • Group general counsel: Alexandre Menais.
  • Team headcount: 160 lawyers.

In 2014 the total value of deals handled by Atos’ 160-strong, burgeoning legal team reached €3bn, including acquiring part of Xerox for €1.1bn, as the French IT services company also spun off Worldline in a €2bn initial public offering (IPO).

Led by GC Alexandre Menais, the Xerox transaction saw the in-house legal team handle a large chunk of the corporate work, assisted by Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

While large corporate deals are typically immune to strict fee arrangements, the Worldline IPO saw Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advise Atos on a fixed-fee basis and Menais has banned all use of the billable hour outright.

The legal team has grown from around 150 in 2012 – the year after Menais joined from Accenture – to 210, which includes a contract management division of around 50 staff.

Menais has also introduced an in-house certification programme under which contract managers and other members of staff are able to achieve legal training and qualifications in modules such as compliance and company secretarial work.

Other initiatives rolled out by Menais and his team – where standout individuals include senior vice president, deputy group GC legal operations and contract management Maria Isabel Pernas Martinez, and head of contract management Beatriz Antona Rodriguez – have been adopted by Atos as a whole, including a buddy system to help new joiners integrate within the company. Menais has also brought in an external consultant to measure the success of Atos’ diversity programme.