General Counsel Roundtable

Hilton Paris Opéra
12 April 2019

ECLA General Counsel Roundtable – Shareholder activism


The General Counsel Roundtable is an invitation-only event for general counsel all across Europe, hosted by the European Company Lawyers Association (ECLA). It brings 30 general counsel and decision makers from legal departments together to discuss challenges that shareholder activism brings.  The event is planned as a half-day exclusive meeting. General counsel are invited to the event and only have to organise and pay for their travel arrangements.


The General Counsel Roundtable will be held under the Chatham House Rule , with no press invited nor attending. This is done to ensure the openness and integrity of the roundtable discussions.


There is an increasing momentum for shareholder activism in Europe, as European companies are becoming increasingly targeted. The number of activist investors against European companies has nearly doubled over the past five years, with over 120 European companies targeted in 2018. 


In 2018 alone, a hedge fund gained an executive board position at P&G, with their white paper on restructuring the company also gaining serious consideration. In Europe, companies such as Pernod Ricard and Suez came under heavy pressure, whereas ThyssenKrupp was pressured into splitting into two separate companies. Other companies, such as Apple, AkzoNobel, Néstle, Barclays, Bayer, Stada, Whitbread, Hyundai, and many others have also come under considerable pressure in recent years. 2018 was a record year for activists – what will this year bring?


Though shareholder activism is becoming commonplace in Europe, around two-thirds of European companies do not have a well-developed strategy to combat such attacks. The roundtable discussion will demonstrate, how to address this rapidly increasing challenge and is the perfect platform for sharing experiences and best practices.


12 April 09:30 to 15:30


Hilton Paris Opéra

108 rue Saint Lazare

75008 Paris, France


Bruno Dondero
CMS France

François Gilbert
CMS France

Thibault Jabouley
CMS France

In cooperation with

Topic of Discussion:

Shareholder activism



12 April 2019:


09:30 Light breakfast reception

Opening speeches: Jonathan Marsh, President of ECLA &
 Bruno Dondero, CMS France

10:20 Addressing different profiles of investor activism


11:30 Coffee Break

12:00  Do's and don'ts for a company under an activist attack

 Lunch Break

14:00:  Are worker representatives an efficient defense against shareholder activism?


14:45: Is EU Law a paradise for non-EU activists?


15:30: Open discussion with participants

16:00: End of event

Participants of the roundtable will be general counsel and decision makers in the legal departments, the ECLA board as well as representatives from CMS. 

Participants from the following companies:

Impressions from General Counsel Roundtable Rome 2018


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