Corporate immigration has remained a boutique area of practice in France with no significant legislative changes anticipated in the near future. Despite the legal stability practitioners note uncertainty on a bureaucratic level, with inconsistent decision-making a regular feature. France continues to roll out the issuance of biometric residence cards which may impact processing times but a steady year is anticipated for the four specialist practitioners highlighted here.
In 2013, the French government withdrew plans to introduce strict legislation controlling private-sector executive remuneration. Instead, an emphasis was placed on more demanding self-regulation for listed companies. Subsequently, the French Association of Large Companies (AFEP) and Mouvement des Entreprises de France (MEDEF) published a revised version of the corporate governance code for listed companies on 16 June 2013. Aimed at providing greater transparency and control for relevant companies, key changes include improved compliance measures, a new shareholder “say on pay” provision and stricter limits on executive remuneration. Therefore, 2013 was a very busy year for corporate governance lawyers as they balanced day-to-day to duties with advising on the far-reaching implications of the code for French listed companies. Our research identifies 16 leading lawyers in the field.
France’s construction sector is in the midst of a downturn and 2013 saw activity levels and new orders fall while the pace of job shedding quickened. Confidence for the year ahead remains low with few encouraging signs. Despite this outlook, lawyers in France have remained active on the dispute resolution front and with international projects. We select 11 lawyers to feature in this chapter.
Recent years have seen France’s Competition Authority (FCA) increase fines for price fixing and other violations and it has sparked criticism that the fines are not proportionate to the crimes. In response, the FCA has released new fining guidelines to help companies understand how totals are calculated. The competition bar is highly competitive and in this chapter we identify 41 of the leading lawyers.
Litigation levels have soared in recent years and many firms have responded by expanding their teams. While litigation has increased across most commercial areas, product liability and bankruptcy were reported to be particular areas of high activity. In this section we identify 24 leading litigators.
With France’s economy inextricably linked to that of Europe as a whole, the past year has seen very modest activity in the capital markets. One interesting development is the use of the capital markets by companies to raise funds by issuing bonds rather than taking out bank loans. According to the Bank of France governor financing costs on the market have been lower than bank credit since 2011. We list 12 leading professionals in this field.
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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.