Although the EU Product Liability Directive ensures a degree of uniformity across Europe in the area of product safety regulation, there are still areas in which France’s approach to product liability differs from other EU member states. In litigious disputes, a key consideration for lawyers is the court’s delegation of fact-finding duties to court-appointed experts which can result in considerable reliance on the conclusions of such experts. In light of this, French product liability defence lawyers are required to be highly specialised in reconciling the Directive with the intricacies of the French system. Our research identifies 10 key practitioners in the field.
A number of worldwide regulatory developments have impacted on the private funds industry, the key changes being the implementation of the AIFM Directive, the Dodd-Frank Act and FATCA. Practitioners have been fielding enquiries as to how these changes may affect clients and expect this to continue for the upcoming year as the industry comes to terms with the new regulations. We list 11 practitioners in this chapter.
As France looks to implement higher taxation to help cut its financial deficit, private client lawyers are seeing more and more of their clients looking further afield for better wealth planning solutions. This shift is seeing private client lawyers spending increasingly less time in Paris as they travel to meet their clients’ needs in an increasingly international field. In this evolving market we recognise four “first-rate” individuals.
During the course of 2013 there was a high level of case law regarding preliminary injunctions and supplementary protection certificates. Clients and practitioners are closely watching developments surrounding the Unified Patent Court, for which Paris has been selected as the venue for the court of first instance’s central division. The court is expected to be up and running by the first half of 2015. Twenty-one lawyers are selected for inclusion in this chapter.
2013 has been marked by change as authorities discuss new and more flexible employment legislation. In January an agreement was signed between three national trade unions and French employment federations which served as the basis for the new bill which was adopted by the French parliament in May and finalised by the constitutional court in June. Provisions of this new law include stricter requirements for proposed closures and greater time certainty for collective redundancies. Employment law specialists anticipate a busy year ahead advising clients on what the changes will mean for them. We feature 20 practitioners in this edition.
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.
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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.