The construction industry in France is in a state of disarray and activity fell further still at the end of 2014 as confidence remained low. While 2015 is expected to also be a difficult year, experts are predicting that 2016 will see the industry stabilise once more. We list 10 lawyers in this chapter.
The president of France’s Competition Authority, Bruno Lasserre, has recently announced that the enforcer will amend its settlement procedure in 2015 so that parties can directly negotiate the level of their fines. It is hoped that this will not only increase predictability for parties but also reduce appeals against settlement decisions. In this highly important sector, we single out 45 lawyers and 12 economists.
It has been another busy year for litigation practitioners in France, with those we spoke to reporting an increase in class actions disputes. Litigation between shareholders in takeovers and mergers has also been an active source of work, with lawyers predicting this to continue in the coming year. We highlight 27 “impressive” litigators in this chapter.
The French economy is inextricably tied to the debt crisis in the eurozone; however, the continent’s struggles were lightened when the ECB announced an unprecedented €60 billion-a-month bond-buying programme at the start of this year. Mario Draghi’s quantitative easing policy promises to buy more than €1 trillion in securities. This should ensure a more promising year for the global law firms that have the greatest stake in the French market. We have selected 19 practitioners who are considered leaders in this field of law.
Following the critical report issued in 2012 by the OECD on France’s efforts to combat international corruption, our sources indicate that the government has recently been focusing on the fight against money laundering and tax fraud. The interministerial group concerned with preventing corruption in France is expected to propose new legislation at the start of 2015 to facilitate these efforts. In this climate of renewed determination on the part of the authorities, our 24 “world class” lawyers expect an active year ahead.
In July 2013, new legislation was enacted which made extensive changes to the French Monetary and Finance Code, including changes requiring financial institutions, credit institutions and holding companies to transfer some central trading activities to subsidiaries if they exceed certain thresholds. Lawyers have been active in advising clients on the implications of the legislation and this will be an enduring issue for affected institutions, which must effect the actual transfer of relevant proprietary trading activities by 1 July 2015. Our research highlights seven prominent lawyers in the sector.
A major issue for asset recovery lawyers in France is the complexity associated with complying with requests for foreign legal assistance. The jurisdiction has two distinct regimes: a regime under the ordinary law and a simplified structure pertaining to the closer relationships between member states of the EU. Practitioners must navigate these regimes in order to accurately advise a client in cases with a cross-border element. Five lawyers stand out in our research for their “sector-leading expertise” in the field.
2014 saw two key decisions from the first chamber of the French Supreme Court that contributed to the ongoing development of French law with respect to arbitrators’ obligations of disclosure: Groupe Antoine Tabet c/République du Congo, and Sté Tecnimont SPA c/Sté J&P Avax. In this active sector we single out 59 leading lawyers and seven expert witnesses.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.