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Know Your Lawyer: Francine Brogyanyi of Dorda

Know Your Lawyer: Francine Brogyanyi of Dorda

Issue 11.2
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An in-depth look at Francine Brogyanyi of Dorda covering her career path, education, and top projects as a lawyer as well as a few insights about her as a manager at work and as a person outside the office.

Career:

  • Casinos Austria; Member of the Supervisory Board; 2019-2023
  • Dorda; Managing Partner; 2019-present
  • Dorda; Partner and Head of Health & Life Science Group; 2012-Present
  • Dorda; Principal Associate; 2006-2012
  • Dorda; Associate; 2001-2006
  • Magna International, Legal Counsel; 2001-2001
  • United Project Management (Sydney, Australia); Project Manager; 1994- 1994
  • Mobil Australia; Trainee; 1994-1994

Education:

  • University of Vienna; Mag Iur; 1999

Favorites:

  • Out-of-office activity: Cooking and bringing together interesting people over good food
  • Quote: “Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • Book: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Movie: The Way They Were with Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand

Top 5 Projects:

  • Advising BioNTech and Moderna as the COVID-19 vaccine frontrunners in connection with conducting clinical trials in Austria and the subsequent distribution of their COVID-19 vaccines in Austria during the pandemic.
  • Representing Align Technology in internationally coordinated litigation against DrSmile to level the playing field on the European market by enforcing regulatory compliance of DrSmile’s business model and advertising across jurisdictions, making Aligner therapy safer for all patients.
  • Advising Novartis Pharma in implementing its cutting-edge CAR-T cell therapy, an individualized treatment designed specifically for each patient to fight certain blood cancers. This project was highly complex and innovative from a legal perspective as it was the first individualized cell therapy on the Austrian market, in addition, it was of utmost importance to make this therapy available and reimbursable in Austria.
  • Successfully representing Philips in numerous product liability cases in Austria and coordinating litigation with other jurisdictions due to Philips’ international recall of CPAP medical devices in 2019.
  • Assisting BrainHero in connection with the certification of their product as a medical device and, thus, allowing BrainHero to help hundreds of children.

CEELM: What would you say was the most challenging project you ever worked on and why?

Brogyanyi: Initiating Women@Dorda, I was the only female Partner at the time, and still young. I wanted too much too quickly.

I then realized that it was important to speak to the other Partners and find out which steps they were willing to take, which points were an easy fix, and which steps would take more time. I then realized that the Partners were willing to agree on flexible work models for lawyers (Principal Associates and Partners) if the parameters were clear. So that was the first step we worked on and rolled out for all lawyers (male and female). That lead to more retention of female talent and lawyers reducing working hours to look after their families. Currently, we have more male than female lawyers taking advantage of our flexible work models. So, that one step was very impactful and led the way for many other initiatives.

CEELM: And what was your main takeaway from it?

Brogyanyi: It’s better to take small steps and constantly move forward. Rather than getting fixated on the big steps, but not getting anywhere.                        

CEELM: What is one thing clients likely don’t know about you?

Brogyanyi: I was a professional synchronized swimmer in the Austrian national team.

CEELM: Name one mentor who played a big role in your career and how they impacted you.

Brogyanyi: Stefan Guenther, who was my team Partner at Dorda. He is very intelligent and quick-witted, so he was intellectually demanding but fascinating to work with because we always found a solution. He taught me to be very straight and honest with people because they might not always like what they hear but they will respect that you were honest. And that is something that has helped me tremendously as a team leader. Clarity – which is Dorda’s mission – is not only meant as clarity in our advice for clients but also as clarity – and thus respect – toward our employees. I want my team members to always know what they are doing well, but also in which points they could improve and how. Respect is very important to me.

CEELM: Name one mentee you are particularly proud of.

Brogyanyi: I am proud of all my mentees (three at the moment) for different things, but if I have to choose then I choose my only female one: Magdalena Nitsche, who is part of the restructuring and insolvency team. I really think that Magdalena is a very good lawyer and that she will be a terrific Partner. She truly is a great woman, using a lot of her time to co-lead Women@Dorda together with me. She is an expert in her chosen field – restructuring & insolvency with a crossover to insurance law – initiating an Austrian network for women in restructuring. She is terrific with clients and her team, so I definitely believe that Magdalena is a next-generation legal star. I can’t wait to see her climb the career ladder.

CEELM: What is the one piece of advice you’d give yourself fresh out of law school?

Brogyanyi: Live outside of your comfort zone, be vulnerable, and be open to all ideas – it’s the only way to grow.

This article was originally published in Issue 11.2 of the CEE Legal Matters Magazine. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the magazine, you can subscribe here.

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