Former Bakers chief named French finance minister

Baker & McKenzie‘s former chairman Christine Lagarde has been promoted to finance minister in Nicolas Sarkozy’s French government, the first woman to hold the post in the country.

Lagarde left Bakers in 2005 to become the French minister for foreign trade. On the formation of Sarkozy’s government a month ago she was given the position of agriculture minister and moved up to the finance seat in a reshuffle following the country’s presidential elections at the weekend.

Lagarde, who worked out of Bakers’ Paris office, was a partner in the firm from 1987 until 2005. During that time she held a number of high-profile positions, serving as Paris managing partner for four years until joining the firm’s executive committee in 1995.

She chaired the committee from 1999 until October 2004 when she took up the policy committee chairmanship.