On the wall of his Bar Association office, the framed photographs of his predecessors line up as unequivocal testimonies of a very masculine heritage. All that’s missing is the one who preceded her: David Le Reste, still a man. Since January 1, 2022, Elsa Guenno-Le Parc has been the president of Vannes.
She is only the third woman to hold this position. Before her, there was Annick Guillou-Moinard in the early 80s and Marie-Laure Chauvat in 2012-2013. However, women are now largely in the majority within the bar: 83 of the 128 lawyers are female lawyers. And the feminization of the profession continues to increase: “Today, on leaving the School of Lawyers of the Great West, the proportion is 80 women for 20 men. When I took the oath, twenty years ago, it was 50/50”.
Combining the function of chairman with the profession of lawyer requires commitment. “It’s the race, the race, the race,” says the attorney, before settling behind his desk. “My days are on average ten to twelve hours of work. Mother, lawyer, chairman, I have three jobs. It’s a question of organization, but it’s done. I recruited a collaborator to be able to continue to exercise my profession normally”. Married, she has two children aged 13 and 16.
Being a president means representing your peers in civil and judicial proceedings. It also means ensuring that litigants who come to the Order can be assisted by a lawyer. It is still settling disputes that may arise between a lawyer and his client, or between two lawyers. Finally, it means being the interlocutor of the court when there is an incident related to ethics or other during a hearing. “It happens to all the presidents of the bar”. And it’s probably many other things…
The future “indispensable” prison
On the profession of lawyer, the president says that it is becoming more complex “because the procedures are more and more demanding and that to this is added the problem of the delays of judgments”. On the severity of the Vannes magistrates complained of by some of her criminal colleagues, especially in the area of narcotics, she says that it is in the order of things “because a lawyer will always find that his client has been too heavily condemned. But I don’t think there are more Vannes cases on appeal than elsewhere. On the Vannes remand center which is full, like all prisons, Elsa Guenno-Le Parc thinks “that the future prison should solve the problem. It is necessary, even indispensable”.
In an exclusively female cabinet
At Lexouest, the firm in which Elsa Guenno-Le Parc practices, there are only women: five lawyers, three assistants. “We are the only firm in Vannes in this case. There is an element of chance, but also affinities that make the alchemy work well”. Elsa Guenno-Le Parc does not like the word president. “It’s a matter of aesthetics. I don’t find it beautiful. I prefer to be called Madame le Bâtonnier”. In this, it is in line with the internal regulations of the National Bar Association, for which the feminine of president does not exist, any more than the word lawyer. “There is a process to reform this”, informs the Vannetaise who does not define herself as a feminist. “I will not say that I would do better because I am a woman. I am for balance. The Council of the Order is made up of equal proportions of men and women”.
An eye on the engine
Elsa Guenno-Le Parc specializes in contract law and commercial law. But the one who was the former president of Adavie, an association renamed France Victimes, says she is “always invested in reparation for victims”. “A victim is a person in a weak situation. You have to be there humanly and to be there legally. This is a subject close to my heart”.
On the leisure side, it is less expected. Certainly there is the (motor) boat, okay there is also the kayak, but there are above all the cars and motorcycles of collection for which she devotes a passion. “It’s a family heirloom. If there is a gathering of old cars one weekend in Vannes, you are lucky to find me there”. Incidentally, this allows Madame le Bâtonnier to have a watchful eye on certain disputes. “In a car expertise file, I’m not lost if we start talking about such and such a part of the engine…”.
Birth in Vannes of a family from Bignan.
Bac B at Jeanne d’Arc high school in Pontivy
January 16, 2002
Elsa Guenno-Le Parc takes her oath as a lawyer. The following month she joined the office of Jean-Patrick Le Huédé in Vannes.
January 1, 2022
Elsa Guenno-Le Parc becomes the 27th President of the Bar of Vannes.