Mag. Petra Pracher-Ratnik, LL.M.
Since Dez.2018: Head of Legal for Austria & Switzerland; LeasePlan ÖsterreichFuhrparkmanagement GmbH
2002 – 2018: Kapsch CarrierCom AG
6 years Vice President Legal, Supply & Facilities; New focus: Supply Chain Responsibility (Manufacturing, Sourcing, Logistics, Inventory etc.), Partner and Facility Management
2 years Vice President Legal; New focus: Structure the legal department per worldwide business needs on an international level with an international team
7 years Head of Legal; Member of the Kapsch M&A Team for the acquisition of the GSM/GSM-R assets from Nortel Networks – Legal Support in one of the most complex Chapter11/Administration proceedings worldwide where Kapsch CarrierCom succeeded in buying the GSM/GSM-R asset of Nortel Networks through a stalking horse process
Counsel; SIEMENS AG
Focus: Legal support for IT/Telecom matters; Public Procurement Law, R&D contracts, License Contracts
1999 – 2001: Legal Counsel; Tele.ring Telekom Service GmbH
Focus: Legal Support for Marketing, Sourcing and Customer Care Department; Legal Interception, Regulatory Affairs, IPR, Competition Law
Where did you study law?
I studied law in Graz and added a post graduate in Vienna for LLM.
In short, please describe your career steps?
I started as a legal counsel at a telecom provider within a small team. After 2.5 years of experience I moved to Siemens Austria as member of a large legal department (17 inhouse counsels). Then I changed to a family owned company (Kapsch) where I made my way from Head of Legal to VP Legal, Supply and Facilities and worked on an international level. After 16 years I decided to leave the IT/Telco industry and start anew at LeasePlan as Head of Legal for Austria and Switzerland.
In short, what were the obstacles in your career path?
At a certain level it is very hard to break through the glass ceiling. If you have achieved the upper management levels it is very difficult to further improve your position as most boards in Austria are still male dominated. You need lots of networking which is by nature probably not a female strength.
In which position / company / institution are you currently working?
I am working as Head of Legal at LeasePlan Austria where I am responsible for legal issues in Austria and Switzerland.
What is your take on work-life balance?
I was struggling a lot in the past to keep the balance, in particular after my son was born. However I was lucky to work in companies where I could align work and private life according to my personal needs most of the times. Last year for example, I decided to go on a sabbatical to focus on my son when he started school.
What is your motivation to speak at “Women in Law”?
I would like to encourage women for working in technical industries. I experienced that women in those areas can bring a real value add in negotiations as well as working attitude. In my leadership role I was in particular supporting female colleagues to get back to work very soon after maternity leave and acting as a role model. Many young female lawyers might not be interested in working in technical industries on an international level, as it might seem for them to be non-compliant to family life. A concern which a male colleague would probably never raise.