In two decisions dated July 12, 2017, the Commercial Chamber of the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) ruled that wherever two contracts are interdependent, “the termination of one entails the voidness of the other, thereby excluding the application of the clause of the void contract that provides for the payment of a termination indemnity”.
On the other hand, in a decision dated July 5, 2017, the Commercial Chamber held that “a jurisdiction clause, because of its autonomy from the main contract in which it is inserted, is not affected by the ineffectiveness of the legal instrument”, i.e., in the matter at hand, the jurisdiction clause was not affected by the voidness of the contract in which it was included.
In a decision dated June 21, 2017, the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) ruled that the termination of a distribution agreement during the contractual trial period could not be considered as abusive.
It follows from this decision that the parties are free to include in a distribution agreement a trial period during which each of them has a unilateral termination right.
In the wake of the large-scale program launched in France in 2013 to simplify the regulatory framework applicable to businesses, Decree n°2017-932 of May 10, 2017 introducing various simplification measures for businesses has streamlined the formalities that foreign companies must carry out to invest in France.
This simplification must not, however, mask the French government’s intention to maintain an effective screening of foreign investments in so-called sensitive sectors deemed crucial to France’s national interests in terms of public order, public security and national defense.
Six years after the entry into force of Decree n°2009-1524 of December 9, 2009 referred to as the “Magendie” Decree, the appellate procedure is about to be significantly amended. Indeed, Decree n°2017-891 of May 6, 2017 relating to pleas of lack of jurisdiction and appeals in civil matters, published in the Official Gazette on May 10, 2017, brings about substantial changes to this procedure.
Such changes, which are primarily aimed at speeding up the appellate procedure and limiting court congestion, introduce strict rules that must be followed to avoid serious pitfalls such as invalidation, inadmissibility or nullity which may in the worst case scenario entail the sudden and final end of the appellate proceedings.
This article addresses the main procedural innovations brought about by the reform, such innovations to become effective on September 1, 2017.
In his book entitled Intelligence artificielle : vers une domination programmée ? published in 2007 by Le Cavalier Bleu editions, Jean-Gabriel Ganascia defines Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) as “the discipline in computer science that seeks to develop machines that mimic the superior faculties of intelligence”.
In practice, when applied to the legal industry, AI could be used for a number of tasks, including, but not limited to, the generation of legal documentation, the definition of strategies in disputes and litigations, the automation of basic tasks commonly performed by trainees and junior associates. In this context, should we fear the progressive end of lawyers?
In a decision dated June 28, 2017, the Criminal Chamber of the Cour de cassation (French Supreme Court) specified that “free access to personal information on a company’s IT network does not mean that such information may not be fraudulently appropriated by any means of reproduction”.
This landmark decision revives the debate on the tricky issue of theft of information.
Since the election of Emmanuel Macron as President of the French Republic, the whole world has its eyes on our country and one of the issues for which Emmanuel Macron and his Government will be under much scrutiny is of course French labor and employment law. The Government’s ambition is to find innovative solutions very quickly, by relying on consultations between social partners (i.e. employees’ and employers’ representative bodies) in order to articulate social and economic performance.
While it is still too early to tell whether the “work program to renew our social model” submitted to the social partners on June 6 will be the launch pad for ambitious and efficient major labor reforms, one thing is certain: The wind of hope and positivism is blowing again on French social partners and actors.
Unlisted companies and legal entities required to be incorporated with the Register of Trade and Companies and headquartered in France (in particular branches of foreign corporations) will very soon have the obligation to file with the clerk of the Commercial Court a document that sets forth identification data on their beneficial owner(s), his/her/their personal place of residence as well as the way in which he/she/they exercise(s) control over the relevant company or entity.
Since March 1, 2017, new provisions govern the statutes of limitations for the prosecution of criminal offenses (i.e. the time-line during which an offense must be prosecuted) and the statutes of limitations for the enforcement of penalties.
What are the consequences of these changes?
Ordinance n°2017-748 of May 4, 2017 adopted in furtherance of the so-called “Sapin II” Law on transparency, fight against corruption and modernization of the economy, adds a new element to the concept of Security Agent in the context of syndicated loans, thereby offering banks and other institutions an efficient and secure device comparable to what is known, in particular in Anglo-Saxon countries, as the “Security Trustee”.
This widely welcomed reform should contribute to improve the competitiveness of the French finance industry with respect to syndicated financing.
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