Anne-Marie Pecoraro, Partner at law, Aklea
How long have you been working for your current company?
I have been working for Aklea since January 2009 which I was one of the co-founders.
Briefly explain your career history and what led you to your current position.
I started my career as an in-house lawyer for production agencies and companies in the movie and music sector. I later co-founded a "niche" IP law firm, before joining a leading French law firm called Bignon Lebray. At the beginning of 2009, I co-founded Aklea, along with 16 other partners from my previous law firm. Aklea is now a 100 lawyer strong legal practice based in Paris, which operates out of 3 offices in France, one office in continental China and another office in Brazil.
I work with clients in the evaluation and defence of their intellectual property rights and in the management of projects where IP rights protection, whether literary or artistic, are a key issue. My expertise has been recognized in the professional environment, in the press and in national and international legal directories, most notably within the new technology and media sectors.
As a result of my IP and media law experience, I have developed valuable expertise in strategic communication, ranging from privacy right protection to crisis communication. I act for numerous talents and key actors in the music and entertainment fields.
What is your proudest professional achievement and why?
Some of my clients belong to the industrial and institutional sectors; others come from creative fields such as producers, editors, authors, celebrities, artists’ agencies, museums, etc.
I am very proud to advise and represent authors, artists’ rights but also unions such as SEIU (http://www.seiu.org/ ).
What are the greatest challenges that you face in your current role and what do you do to overcome them?
The greatest challenge I face in my current role is the world’s globalisation. In order to overcome it, I am very open-minded and I am glad to work with foreign lawyers, clients and businesses, trying to understand how they work and think all over the world.
How difficult is it for you personally to attain work-life balance and how do you endeavour to do this?
It is quite difficult to attaint work-life balance because I have 4 children at home (2 to 16 year old) and a very absorbing position. I have to be very organised and structured in my professional life if I want to spend as much time as I want with my family. Therefore, I do not have a lot of time for my friends.
Did you have a mentor or role model in your career or while you were studying law? Who were they and how did they help you?
Perhaps my professor of economic law Mister Gerard Farjat, who was very helpful. He taught me how to build my economic thinking, ideas and strategies.
Were there any points in your career when you felt you were at a disadvantage or at an advantage because you were female?
Beyond traditional disadvantages of being a woman, the main point is that if I want to work as much as men, I need some time. So I need some means to be able to educate my children, and I need some help to take care of them. For instance, when I have to leave my home-town for a business trip, I often travel with my little daughter (to spend enough time with her) and I need baby sitters everywhere – not easy! However, it is the only way to protect both my work and my family life. It’s not easy and very expansive to have an organization to take care of your children, and also work a lot.