The number of company insolvencies in France continued to rise in 2014 as a result of the enduring financial difficulties. However, creditors have benefited from recent legislative changes contained in Ordonnance 2014-326 (enacted in July 2014), which makes the use of amicable pre-insolvency proceedings more attractive, strengthens creditors’ rights in the event of judicial safeguard proceedings and creates a new accelerated safeguard proceeding which encompasses all creditors. Our research highlights 12 lawyers who stand out for their expertise in the field.
New EU public procurement directives published in 2014 aim to modernise the regime and provide more scope for negotiation between contracting authorities and bidders, as well as an extension of the grounds for disqualification and changes to the award criteria. In this chapter we single out 11 lawyers who will be assisting clients with the legal reforms.
France is an active hub for franchising work, as lawyers advise both mid-sized companies and major international groups on the setting up of their distribution networks and business development in the jurisdiction. A strong knowledge of the country’s competition law is also important for franchise practitioners; while EC Regulation 330/2010 on vertical agreements and concerted practices is applicable to franchise agreements that affect trade between EU member states, France’s Commercial Code has specific rules relating to the fixing of minimum prices and restrictions on customers that the franchise may serve. Our research identifies seven leading lawyers from as many firms.
Over the past year the French government has been increasing its efforts towards achieving an ecological transition. The 2014 budget introduced a carbon element to taxation and there are plans to ban the use of non-agricultural pesticides from 2020. With France set to host the United Nations Climate Conference in 2015, environmental matters look set to remain at the top of the agenda. In this hub of activity, we list 18 “outstanding” practitioners who expect a busy year ahead.
Increasing demand for power, energy diversification plans and large gas finds in Africa continue to drive activity in this market. The French legal market in this area is first and foremost occupied by leading global firms, who can leverage their networks to advise institutional French and foreign companies on implementation and financings of energy projects in Francophone Africa; however a small number of independent French firms also have the requisite expertise to advise on the complex cross-border projects that typify this market. This year we identify 24 leaders in the field.
The 2015 Finance Act and the Rectificative Finance Act for 2014 were adopted by the French parliament on 18 December 2014 with several measures affecting corporate taxpayers. The significant changes to the French corporate tax landscape have led to an even busier legal marketplace and we list 45 of the most highly sought-after practitioners in the country, as well as five leading corporate tax expert witnesses.
Corporate Immigration law in France continues to be an area dominated by boutique firms. Practitioners reported another steady year of work, which saw the recent introduction of the “skills and talents” visa. Although there is talk of new immigration legislation relating to EU migration, no major developments are expected in 2015, and lawyers expect it to be business as usual. In this edition we highlight three of the country’s top immigration specialists.
2014 saw a slow but steady growth for M&A activity following a series of mega deals including the proposed merger of cement makers Holcim and Lafarge. Looking forward activity is expected to increase further as uncertainty in the Eurozone presents challenges but also opportunities for some. There are 21 lawyers singled out in this chapter.
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