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Corporate Law

28 October 2021 | Sophia El Makhoukhi

Mismanagement by a manager who did not prompt the regularization of the shareholders’ equity: Further clarification from the French Supreme Court

The liability of the manager of a company placed in judicial liquidation is often sought on the basis of Article L. 651-2 of the French Commercial Code which allows the court, in the event of mismanagement having contributed to the company’s shortfall of assets, to decide that the amount of this shortfall shall be borne, in whole or in part, by said manager.

In a decision issued on September 8, 2021, the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) has clarified the application of this Article to a manager who did not convene the shareholders to regularize the situation of the company, the shareholders’ equity of which had fallen below half of the share capital.

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30 June 2021 | Sophia El Makhoukhi

Recognition of the existence of a manifestly unlawful disturbance resulting from the failure to file annual accounts and statute of limitations applicable to actions based on ordinary law provisions

While many company managers fail to comply with their obligation to file annual accounts, the Cour de cassation (French Supreme Court) has decided to reinforce the applicable sanction mechanism in an unprecedented decision issued on March 3, 2021.

Recognizing for the first time the non-exclusive nature of the special provisions of the French Commercial Code allowing a third party to obtain the forced filing of a company’s annual accounts, the Cour de Cassation held that the failure to file annual accounts constituted a manifestly unlawful disturbance that justified the initiation of summary proceedings with a view to putting an end to such disturbance.

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26 May 2021 | Florence Grangerat

Public access to information entered in the register of beneficial owners

Since April 2021, some information relating to the beneficial owner(s) of unlisted companies and legal entities incorporated in France is now freely accessible via the website “DATA INPI” managed by the Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle (French National Institute of Industrial Property).

This information includes: The identity, month and year of birth, country of residence and nationality of the beneficial owners, as well as the nature and extent of the beneficial interests they hold in the relevant company or legal entity.

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26 March 2021 | Sophia El Makhoukhi

COVID-19: New extension of the rules governing meetings and deliberations of shareholders and governing bodies

Ordinance No. 2020-321 of March 25, 2020 adopted in furtherance of Law No. 2020-290 of March 23, 2020 has adapted the rules governing the holding and deliberations of meetings of shareholders and meetings of governing bodies of private law businesses and entities without legal personality to deal with the Covid19 pandemic.

Decree No. 2021-255 of March 9, 2021 extends until July 31, 2021 the application of the rules derived from said Ordinance and its Implementing Decree No. 2020-418 of April 10, 2020.

The entry into force of Decree No. 2021-255 is a good opportunity to review the various changes that have occurred since our last article on the subject published on our Blog on September 29, 2020.

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26 February 2021 | Catherine Nommick

Transfer of criminal liability in merger transactions: A major reversal of case law

In a fully reasoned ruling dated November 25, 2020, the Criminal Chamber of the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) has reversed a case law that had been established for more than twenty years in “merger by acquisition” transactions (i.e., when a company is merged into another): The acquiring company may now, under certain conditions, be held criminally liable for an offence committed by the acquired company prior to the merger and for which it had not been convicted.

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