Latest updates

Finance leasing: from resolution to lapse
  • Shipping & Transport
  • France
  • 18 September 2019

A Court of Cassation decision relating to a finance lease agreement for a truck has brought longstanding jurisprudence in line with recent legislation. As such, finance lessors must ensure that indemnity provisions are ring-fenced and protected from the voiding of the finance lease agreement if the underlying sales contract disappears.

Civil procedure reform: appeal proceedings regarding questions of jurisdiction clarified
Kalliopé
  • Litigation
  • France
  • 17 September 2019

The Supreme Court recently ended a conflict between the appeal courts and clarified that for any decision rendered exclusively on a jurisdictional issue, the party that wants to appeal such decision must file a motivated statement for appeal and, more importantly, appeal to the first president of the relevant appeal court through a formal request in order to obtain a fixed date on which the case will be heard. Otherwise, the statement of appeal will be declared void.

Franchisor's change of control and its impact on renewing existing franchise contracts
Aramis Law Firm
  • Franchising
  • France
  • 17 September 2019

The Paris Court of Appeal recently held that a franchisor had not breached its duty of loyalty towards its franchisee in reorganising its business following its change of control. In the context of an internal business reorganisation, franchisors should therefore be careful in statements that they may make to franchisees, including in the pre-contractual disclosure documentation.

Paris Court of Appeal confirms expansive scope of Article 1466 of Code of Civil Procedure
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • France
  • 08 August 2019

The Paris Court of Appeal recently clarified the scope of application of Article 1466 of the Code of Civil Procedure and for the first time confirmed that Article 1466 can also limit a party's ability to seek annulment based on a variety of arguments, whether relating to procedural irregularities or otherwise, that could have been raised in the arbitration.

Private M&A transactions and PACTE
AyacheSalama
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • France
  • 31 July 2019

The recently adopted Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation contains new rules that will be of interest to parties that undertake private M&A transactions, particularly those involving foreign investment. Further, it clarifies the measures that the minister of economy can take should an investor pursue an investment without prior authorisation or fail to comply with the conditions set out by the minister in such prior authorisation.

International Chamber of Paris Commercial Court and International Chamber of Paris Court of Appeal: one year later
Kalliopé
  • Litigation
  • France
  • 02 July 2019

In 2018 two protocols establishing the rules applicable to proceedings brought before the modernised International Chamber of the Paris Commercial Court and the new International Chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal (collectively the ICCP) were signed. Although the ICCP have rendered several decisions in 2019, there is still no sufficient hindsight to make a first assessment on the ICCP's functioning.

Industrial tribunals against the Macron scale: rebels with a cause?
Coblence & Associés
  • Employment & Benefits
  • France
  • 26 June 2019

The so-called 'Macron ordinances' overhauled the Labour Code in September 2017. One of the main effects was the introduction of a schedule of damages in French labour law, whereby a judge can award damages for unfair dismissal only within certain limitations depending on the employee's seniority. While some lower courts have applied the new law, an increasing number of courts are challenging it on the basis that it would be contrary to international law.

Preparations for no-deal Brexit: continued application of market master agreements
  • Derivatives
  • France
  • 29 May 2019

The government recently adopted Ministerial Order 2019-75, which aims to ensure that International Swap Derivatives Association-type master agreements on financial services continue to be used. To enable EU clients to pursue their existing contractual relationships after a no-deal Brexit, the order offers a simplified method of replicating a master agreement with an EU entity that belongs to the same group of companies as the UK financial institution with which that client had an existing contractual relationship.

French court rules that mandatory expert determination provisions do not render arbitration clauses inapplicable
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • France
  • 16 May 2019

The Court of Cassation recently confirmed the quasi-absolute priority given to arbitral tribunals to determine questions relating to their jurisdiction, even when this involves rules of French public order. Although this is well established in French case law, it is the first time that the court has upheld an arbitration clause that conferred on a tribunal the statutory power to value shares in lieu of a party-appointed or judicially appointed expert.

How to deal with existing pre-emption rights in private M&A transactions
AyacheSalama
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • France
  • 08 May 2019

The Supreme Court recently ruled that the granting of a call option over an asset which is subject to a pre-emption right violates such pre-emption right. In this specific case, the call option had been exercised when the pre-emption right was no longer applicable. However, the court held that the transfer had breached the pre-emption right as it had resulted from the exercise of a call option agreement that had been entered into when the pre-emption right was still applicable.

Manufacturers' liability in wake of AirAsia crash
Odi-se Avocats
  • Aviation
  • France
  • 01 May 2019

The Court of Cassation recently rendered a decision concerning an AirAsia Airbus A320 which crashed in the Java Sea in December 2014, killing all crew and passengers on board. Notably, this decision reaffirms that, under French law, a manufacturer's liability cannot be limited or excluded on the grounds that another party or some other cause contributed to the damage if the product was defective and caused the damage.

Freedom of association and franchising: duty of loyalty in question
Aramis Law Firm
  • Franchising
  • France
  • 30 April 2019

The concept of loyalty is frequently used as a general (and often fallback) principle by franchisees and franchisors in the litigation context. As a franchise agreement cannot identify every illegal behaviour of the parties, loyalty and good faith are often used as key principles to determine what is allowed. The Court of Cassation recently considered the loyalty principle in a case opposing a franchisor and a franchisee in the computing school sector.

Troubled times for digital platforms
Coblence & Associés
  • Employment & Benefits
  • France
  • 17 April 2019

While French employment law has a reputation for being strict, judges have only recently been faced with the challenge of determining whether individuals who work for digital platforms are employees of said platforms or self-employed. As France has been somewhat reluctant to address the employment status of digital platform workers and has issued only a few pieces of legislation in this regard, recent decisions on platform workers' employment status have garnered significant interest.

Leisure drones: new rules for telepilots
Odi-se Avocats
  • Aviation
  • France
  • 13 March 2019

French drone legislation was recently updated to require telepilots who fly drones for leisure purposes to undergo specific training. In addition, Law 2016-1428 on enhancing drone operational safety recently entered into force. Among other things, the law requires telepilots who fly drones weighing more than 800g to undergo mandatory training and requires certain civil drones to be registered.

Preparing for a no-deal Brexit: master agreements on financial services
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
  • Derivatives
  • France
  • 06 March 2019

In January 2019 France passed Act 2019-75, which authorised the government to take measures to prepare for the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union without a deal by way of ministerial orders, particularly in the area of financial services. Subsequently, in February 2019 the government adopted a ministerial order which, among other things, aims to ensure that International Swaps and Derivatives Association-type master agreements on financial services continue to be used.

Private M&A transactions: new decree on foreign investments enters into force
AyacheSalama
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • France
  • 20 February 2019

The rules and procedures for protecting the interests of French companies when it comes to foreign investments have been amended by Decree 2018/1057, which came into effect on 1 January 2019. The new decree has extended the control of foreign investments to new sectors and enabled targets to take an active part in the process by giving them the right to directly ask the Ministry of Economy and Finance whether the foreseen investment is subject to a prior authorisation.

Paris Court of Appeal may revisit definition of 'investment' under Energy Charter Treaty
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
  • Arbitration & ADR
  • France
  • 31 January 2019

The US District Court for the District of Columbia recently lifted a stay of proceedings to confirm an award issued by an ad hoc tribunal in Paris under the Energy Charter Treaty. The district court noted that the French Court of Cassation had overturned a decision of the Paris Court of Appeal setting aside the award. This article revisits the relevant facts and issues that gave rise to the setting aside of the award in France, and the subsequent reversal at the highest instance.

Lifting of currency restrictions: impact on aviation industry
Odi-se Avocats
  • Aviation
  • France
  • 19 December 2018

In 2016 French contract law was restructured to render it more predictable and commercially attractive. The reform extended to the currency limitation rule, which was considered both restrictive and unclear. A recently passed implementing law is expected to provide greater flexibility for aviation transactions, as the currency limitations no longer apply to transactions between professionals where payment in a foreign currency is common practice in the relevant industry.

Private M&A deals: recent case law strengthens shareholders' agreements
AyacheSalama
  • Corporate Finance/M&A
  • France
  • 12 December 2018

In the context of the acquisition of group companies, the parties will carefully select what to insert in the bylaws of the company, whereas in separate private agreements, which are confidential, the parties may include further, more detailed information. If the advantage of such private agreements is their confidentiality, the drawback is their lack of enforceability against third parties. The Supreme Court recently held that a sale made in violation of a shareholders' agreement was void by application of the bylaws.

Ryanair aircraft arrested in France
Odi-se Avocats
  • Aviation
  • France
  • 12 December 2018

While developing its French network, Ryanair received support from various regional airports, including the Mixed Syndicate of Charente Airports (SMAC). The European Commission ultimately found this financial support to be illegal and, as a result, Ryanair had to repay the illicit subsidy to the SMAC. When Ryanair failed to make the payment in full, the SMAC requested the Bordeaux court to order the arrest of a Ryanair aircraft on its arrival at Bordeaux-Merignac Airport.