Strategic Lawering Paris Lyon Bruxelles

Business Law

Published at 30 August 2018
E-newsletter: August 2018
In a decision dated April 5, 2018, the Commercial Chamber of the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme court) confirmed that failure by a party to achieve the sales targets set forth in a contract does not alone suffice to justify the termination of an established business relationship without prior notice. The trial judges must indeed specify why failure to meet this obligation is likely to establish the existence of a breach that is sufficiently serious to justify the termination.
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Published at 30 May 2018
Author : Anaëlle Idjeri
E-newsletter: May 2018
While it did not drastically alter the changes brought about by Ordinance n° 2016-131 of February 10, 2016, the Ratification Law n° 2018-287 of April 20, 2018 did modify some aspects of French contract law and introduced a distinction between substantive amendments that will become effective as from the entry into force of the Ratification Law, i.e. October 18, 2018, and so-called “interpretative” amendments that will apply retroactively to contracts entered into on and after October 1, 2016. This article provides a non-exhaustive overview of the provisions of the Ratification Law which have a practical implication on business law, in particular at the formation of the contract and throughout its performance.
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Published at 27 April 2018
E-newsletter: April 2018
In a judgment dated February 16, 2018, the Paris Court of Appeals recalled that the party which suffers from a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the contractual parties, within the meaning of Article L. 442-6, I, 2° of the French Commercial Code, must be able to demonstrate that it had no real power to negotiate the contentious clauses, in particular in case of a model contract or standard-form agreement. If it is not able to do so, any claims brought on that basis will be dismissed.
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Published at 30 January 2018
Author : Flore Foyatier
E-newsletter: January 2018
Two of the three Decrees adopted on September 29, 2017 in furtherance of the Law for a digital Republic came into force on January 1, 2018. This provides the opportunity to recall the new transparency and fairness requirements imposed on operators of digital platforms.
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Published at 22 December 2017
Category : Business Law
E-newsletter: December 2017
The action for damages for breach of an established business relationship brought in the context of an intra-EU dispute is not an action in tort if a tacit contractual relationship existed between the parties. This is the principle laid down by the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) in a decision dated September 20, 2017. By ruling so, the Cour de Cassation followed the findings of a recent judgment handed down by the Court of Justice of the European Union, and departs from the case-law it traditionally applies in domestic disputes.
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Published at 29 November 2017
E-newsletter: November 2017
In an opinion dated September 21, 2017 and released in early November, the Commission d’examen des pratiques commerciales (Commercial Practices Review Committee) ruled on the lawfulness of the payment of year-end rebates provided for in an annual agreement between a supplier and a distributor whereas the requirements applicable for such payment were not met.
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Published at 30 October 2017
Category : Business Law
E-newsletter: October 2017
The validity of clauses imposed by suppliers on their authorized distributors prohibiting the online sale of their products has given rise to numerous disputes in recent years. French and EC courts generally hold that such clauses are invalid because they restrict competition. Yet, in a decision dated September 13, 2017, the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) softened its stance by recognizing suppliers who have a selective distribution network the right to impose on their distributors – subject to conditions – contractual terms prohibiting them from selling products on unauthorized online sale platforms.
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Published at 29 September 2017
E-newsletter: September 2017
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.
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Published at 30 May 2017
Category : Business Law
E-newsletter: May 2017
Appeals lodged in disputes based on Article L. 442-6 of the French Commercial Code (the “FCC”) on restrictive trade practices – including, but not limited to, significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of contractual parties and sudden breach of established business relationships – fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Paris Court of Appeals. This rule had been so far applied extensively by the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court). In a decision dated March 29, 2017, confirmed by a second decision dated April 26, 2017, the Cour de Cassation reversed its case law and ruled that in certain circumstances such disputes can escape the exclusive jurisdiction of the Paris Court of Appeals and be validly brought before another court of appeals.
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Published at 31 March 2017
Category : Business Law
E-newsletter: March 2017
The Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) recently held that a price reduction clause contractually agreed upon between a supplier and its distributor can create a significant imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties, within the meaning of Article L. 442-6 I §2 of the French Commercial Code. The concept of “significant imbalance”, sometimes criticized for its vagueness, is addressed in a growing number of court decisions that provide a concrete illustration thereof through a factual analysis of behaviors and contractual provisions agreed upon between business partners. The decision commented in this article is particularly noteworthy because it recalls that, as per the terms of the above-mentioned Article, the judge is empowered to check the price set by the parties.
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