The French mining industry has seen some uncertain times recently. France’s decision to ban hydraulic fracturing in 2011 resulted in low-commodity prices and high operational costs deterring foreign investment in the oil and gas sector. However recent mining law reforms have bypassed the issue of fracking, exposing divisions in the government and leading to uncertainty in the legal framework of the industry. Given the vulnerability of the domestic market, many lawyers have turned their attention to projects in Africa.
Mediation in France’s commercial sector is slowly gaining momentum. The civil procedure code contains modern provisions to facilitate the use of mediation and new legislation is expected to encourage the development of ADR in France. Eleven lawyers are selected for inclusion, demonstrating its growing popularity.
Deal-making activity in France increased by 115 per cent in the third quarter of 2013 as confidence in the European markets grew. In this chapter we feature 24 of the leading lawyers in the sector.
The French Competition Authority announced a pharma sector inquiry in February 2013 to address the cost of prescription medicines for social security, the high prices of non-reimbursable medicines and the low level of generic competition in France. As such, there has been a strong focus on pricing and reimbursement issues. Litigation in the life sciences industry has also been active with patent litigators and product liability defence specialists seeing a strong volume of work. We list 38 lawyers in this chapter, experts in patent litigation, product liability defence, and regulatory and transactional matters.
France’s Prudential Supervisory Authority has recently been given greater supervisory powers on the European level with initiatives such as those proposed by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, who published guidelines in 2012 on restrictions regarding financial activities. The anticipated implementation of Solvency II by 2016 will ensure that insurance specialists are kept busy advising clients on what impact the demands of the directive will have on their insurance products or coverage. We feature 15 top-class lawyers in this edition.
French bankruptcy law has seen numerous changes over the past few years and this looks set to continue; in June 2013 the Council of Economic Analysis released a report outlining the need to improve creditor rights in bankruptcy proceedings and proposed a number of measures to improve the system. Following this, a reform of the Safeguard law is currently being drafted in order to implement these changes and so specialists in this field are expecting at the very least a similar volume of work for the upcoming year. Twelve practitioners are recommended for their insolvency and restructuring expertise.
France has a well-established franchise market, which according to the European Franchise Federation has become one of the largest in Europe. This dynamic market continues to experience steady growth, averaging at 10 per cent annually since 2000, according to the International Franchise Association. The legal market for this area of law is sophisticated, and in this chapter we single out six highly regarded individuals who are in demand for their expertise.
In October 2013, France’s constitutional court upheld a law prohibiting fracking for shale gas. The French environment minister described it as “a judicial victory but also an environmental and political victory”. Further developments include discussion over a bill that aims to integrate the concept of “ecological damage” in the civil code. In this chapter, we identify 18 lawyers.
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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.