The former global chair of Baker & McKenzie is the frontrunner to become the new head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister, officially announced her candidacy to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn as the IMF head yesterday (25 May).
Strauss-Kahn stood down last week after he was charged with sexual assault and attempted rape. He has been released from custody on bail.
Prior to her entry into politics in 2005, Lagarde was a senior partner with Baker & McKenzie, first joining the firm in 1981. She subsequently went on to hold the role of managing partner of the firm's Paris office, was elected as the firm's first female global chair in 1999 and appointed as the head of the global strategic committee in 2004.
She was also a champion synchronised swimmer, gaining selection for the French national team.
Lagarde was the first woman to head the finance or economic portfolio of a G7 country when she was appointed finance minister in 2007. Previously, she was France's trade minister and later the minister for agriculture and fisheries.
Lagarde has the backing of several key European Union member countries to succeed Strauss-Kahn, with the head of the IMF traditionally coming from a European country.
The former Australian federal treasurer, Peter Costello, has not ruled out his candidacy for the position. He served as a part-time governor of the IMF for 12 years.