How the Legal Department Becomes a Business Partner – An Insider’s Guide

Dragana Radojevic, Head of M&A Legal, BNP Paribas Personal Finance SA

The current organization of our legal department has a 25-year history of expertise in international coverage of corporate, consumer finance, data privacy and contractual law, including M&A transactions. After an internal survey of our central legal team based in Paris , legal directors in countries where BNP Paribas Personal Finance operates and other internal stakeholders , majority of participants responded that BNP Paribas Personal Finance lawyers are considered as excellent experts and responsive to business demands. Yet, the participants in the survey rated our overall performance by a negative Net Promoter Score. On the top of that, our team was generally overstressed and unsatisfied with interactions with the business. These results inspired our legal director to launch an ambitious legal department transformation program. Together with a fellow manager, I focused on the positioning of our legal department as strategic business partner to our internal stakeholders. This article summarizes our experiences and learnings in this incredibly rich journey that took closely to a year of work. We hope that sharing of our experience could bring inspiration to other organizations with similar challenges to start acting and find solutions tailored to their needs.

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Management Banking & Finance November 2019 Vol.12, No. 49, Autumn 2019

Dragana Radojevic


Dragana Radojevic is the head of M&A legal team for BNP Paribas Personal Finance, an affiliate of the BNP Paribas group specializing in consumer finance. She leads a team of senior in-house counsels intervening in cross-border transactions such as acquisitions, investments, strategic alliances and partnerships, creation of joint-ventures, or other corporate restructurings and divestitures. Prior to joining BNP Paribas, she was attorney at law in an international law firm (Orrick) and legal counsel in international companies (DuPont de Nemours, Cisco Systems). Besides transactional work in banking and finance, she has strong experience in investments and cooperation with start-ups and fintech’s.

Management Banking & Finance November 2019 Vol.12, No. 49, Autumn 2019