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Corporate Law

28 December 2022 | Sophia El Makhoukhi

French Constitutional Council confirms that exclusion clauses included in the by-laws of French sociétés par actions simplifiées are compliant with the Constitution

Pursuant to the first paragraph of Article L. 227-16 of the French Commercial Code, “In accordance with the conditions which they so determine, the by-laws may specify that a shareholder may be required to sell the shares he/she/it holds in the company.”

The second paragraph of Article L. 227-19 of the French Commercial Code, in its version applicable since July 21, 2019, stipulates that the exclusion clauses referred to in Articles L.227-18 “can only be adopted or amended pursuant to a unanimous decision of the shareholders, in the manner and under the conditions provided for in the by-laws”.

In a recent decision issued on December 9, 2022, following four applications for a preliminary ruling on the issue of constitutionality, the Constitutional Council ruled on the conformity of these provisions with the French Constitution.

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28 November 2022 | Florence Grangerat

The general public’s access to information on beneficial owners of companies held invalid

In a judgment handed down on November 22, 2022, the Court of Justice of the European Union, sitting as the Grand Chamber, held that, in the light of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the provision of the so-called anti-money laundering Directive whereby Member States must ensure that the information on the beneficial owners of corporate and other legal entities incorporated within their territory is accessible in all cases to any member of the general public is invalid.

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30 June 2022 | Claire Filliatre

The internal whistleblowing system must be adapted to comply with the Law designed to improve the protection of whistleblowers that will come into force on September 1, 2022

In order to strengthen the protection of whistleblowers and prevent the risks of retaliation measures within their company, Law No. 2016-1691 of December 9, 2016 on transparency, the fight against corruption and the modernization of economic life requires companies with more than 50 employees to set up an internal whistleblowing system.

Law No. 2022-401 of March 21, 2022 designed to improve the protection of whistleblowers requires companies to update their internal whistleblowing system.

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18 April 2022 | Sophia El Makhoukhi

Cross-border simplified mergers: The management bodies of the companies involved in the merger are required to prepare a written report

The Legal Committee of the Association Nationale des Sociétés par Actions (French association of joint stock companies, commonly referred to by its acronym “ANSA”) met on March 2, 2022 to express its opinion on the application, in the context of cross-border simplified mergers, of the exemption from the obligation to prepare a written report provided for in the context of domestic simplified mergers.

A brief reminder of the applicable rules in this area is necessary before presenting the issue at stake and the clarification given by ANSA.

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21 March 2022 | Florence Grangerat

French Supreme Court rules that the usufructuary is not a shareholder

It is clear that family-owned sociétés civiles immobilières (non-commercial property holding companies) are an inexhaustible source of litigation, particularly with regard to the rights of the usufructuary.

The ruling handed down by the Third Civil Chamber of the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) on February 16, 2022 provides another significant example of this as it was published in the Bulletin of the Cour de Cassation.

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