E-newsletter  -  July / August 2015

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Dispute Resolution
ICC and CIETAC arbitration: Convergence towards a fast, efficient and pragmatic arbitration?

Laure Marolleau

Rui Cheng

Arbitration has become the most usual alternative dispute resolution method for international disputes, in particular in the field of international trade. In the world, the most important arbitration body in this area is indisputably the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”), located in Paris. In China, the most important arbitration body is the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (“CIETAC”).

As the expansion of international trade and investment introduces additional complexity to the business relationships between the various economic operators around the world, arbitration rules should improve the administration of cases, provide for a more transparent and predictable resolution of disputes, and meet the needs for interim and protective measures.

This is the context surrounding the adoption of new rules of arbitration by the ICC in 2012 (“ICC Rules”) and by the CIETAC in 2015 (“CIETAC Rules”). It is interesting to note that there is a convergence, if not a similarity, between the amendments made to each of these two sets of rules.

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Corporate Law
Macron Bill: Continuation and… end of the saga?

Chems Idrissi

After months of stormy debates, the Bill on growth, economic activity and equality of economic opportunity, commonly known as the “Macron Bill”, was finally enacted on August 6, 2015.

This article is primarily intended to provide additional information on the measures adopted with respect to the confidentiality of accounts, the rules governing the allocation of free shares and so-called Bons de Souscription de Parts de Créateur d'Entreprise (company founder share warrants, i.e. security giving access to share capital reserved for employees or executives of new companies) and takeover bids, which were already partly addressed in past e-newsletters.

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Business Law
Legal status of commercial agents: contractual trial period and termination indemnity

Geoffroy Lacroix

The legal status of commercial agents provides notably that a commercial agent is entitled, subject to specific exceptions, to a compensation for the damage suffered as a result of the termination of the relationships with the principal.

In a decision dated June 23, 2015, the Cour de cassation (French Supreme Court) recalled that (i) this status, the application of which requires that the agreement be definitively concluded between the parties, does not preclude the provision of a trial period, and (ii) the commercial agent is not entitled to the statutory termination indemnities wherever the agency agreement is terminated prior to the expiry of this trial period.

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Labor & Employment
Employers have the obligation to ensure the safety of their employees who are on assignment or on travel in a foreign country

Véronique Vincent

A quick look at the website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, in particular, at the travel advice Section of this website, is sufficient to understand that employees on assignment in a foreign country face multiple risks, such as crime, extreme weather conditions, terrorist attacks, epidemics, volcanic activity, conflicts, kidnappings, etc. The reality of these risks is regularly reported in the newspapers.

While large companies have implemented a real process to manage these risks and designed an appropriate safety policy, all companies, whatever their size, must implement all means necessary to ensure the safety of their employees on assignment in a foreign country. If they fail to do so, their liability may be sought.

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Business Law
The use of advertising slogans similar to those of a competitor constitutes free riding

Stéphanie Yavordios

A company may not use advertising slogans similar to those that have been used by a competitor for several years, for which promotional efforts and investments were made by that competitor, and that are well known to the general public.

This is the finding of a decision rendered on June 9, 2015 by the Cour de Cassation (French Supreme Court) which opportunely recalled the concept of parasitical competition.

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