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Two A&O partners win Women In Business Law Awards Europe 2021

Allen & Overy’s Denise Gibson and Laëtitia Bénard have both been named winners in their respective nomination categories at the Women in Business Law Awards Europe 2021.

Denise was presented as the winner of the Banking and Finance Lawyer of the Year and Laëtitia was named Patent Lawyer of the Year. Laëtitia was also included on the shortlist for the Life Sciences Lawyer of the Year Award.

Denise Gibson is co-head of A&O’s global leveraged finance group and a partner in the London banking practice. Her practice covers leveraged finance, private credit, and event-driven and structured finance transactions.

In addition to her client work, Denise is a champion of mental health and wellbeing initiatives across the firm. Denise is highly committed to the firm’s diversity agenda, and has used her position as a member of the A&O Board, which she was elected to in 2018, to take this forward as one of the firm’s strategic priorities.

Laëtitia Bénard leads the Paris IP practice and is co-head of Allen & Overy's Life Sciences Group worldwide. She has developed groundbreaking expertise in handling major multi-jurisdictional and national patent disputes, mainly in the Life Sciences sector. She also advises Life Science companies on regulatory matters such as price regulation, orphan/paediatric exclusivities and transparency requirements.

In addition to her client work, Laëtitia is actively engaged in promoting gender and ethnic diversity globally within the firm, a role she defends even more since her election to the Board of A&O in 2018. As an outspoken advocate for women’s right, she also became co-chair of the European chapter of the Chiefs in Intellectual Property (ChIPs) association. Laëtitia also regularly provides Pro Bono legal advice to NGOs (in France and in Africa) and is also a member of the Board of “Autisme Info Service”, a charity supporting people with autism.

Other A&O lawyers on the Women In Business Law Awards Europe 2021 shortlist included Jennifer Marshall for Restructuring Insolvency Lawyer of the Year, MaameYaa Kwafo-Akoto for Finance Rising Star and Karla Hughes for IP Rising Star.