Search terms: Philippe Blaquier-Cirelli
Some commentators argue that a recent Supreme Court decision, in which it appears to have approved of the delivery of an anti-suit injunction à la française, provides a useful tool for international proceedings. However, others fear its consequences and point out that anti-suit injunctions can be subject to retaliations.
A Belgian distributor brought an action for damages against a French manufacturer, claiming that the latter had breached a contractual notice requirement in terminating the distribution contract. The Supreme Court ruled that since the products were supplied by the French company and Article 4(2) of the Rome Convention applied, the contract was governed by French law; but this decision may be incorrect.
A French appeal court has ruled that main insolvency proceedings against the French subsidiary of a UK company should not have been opened in France because the subsidiary's main centre of interests was in the United Kingdom, where such proceedings had already been opened. The ruling is the first application in France of the EU Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings.
The Commercial Division of the Supreme Court has held that the burden of proof of the content of foreign law lies on the party which seeks its application. The decision is at odds with recent case law of the court's First Civil Division, which places an obligation on judges to determine the proof of the content of foreign law.
The Supreme Court has confirmed that French judges may apply the Vienna Convention on the International Sale of Goods to international sales agreements. However, the convention will apply only if the parties have established their claims on the basis of its rules, either in a prior agreement or before the court.
In a recent case the French beneficiary of a documentary credit sought damages after the notifying bank failed to make a request for payment before the date of maturity. However, the Supreme Court ruled that under the International Chamber of Commerce rules on documentary credit, a notifying bank is required only to verify the authenticity of the credit.
The government recently adopted legislation that strengthens the legal framework combating money laundering and terrorist financing. Two new decrees implement the European Union's risk-based approach by reinforcing prevention obligations in high-risk situations. Further, a new law aims to modernise the regime by including e-money institutions among the professional bodies that are subject to prevention obligations.
According to the Criminal Code, money laundering presupposes the commission of an earlier criminal offence. In a recent decision the Supreme Court confirmed that the statute of limitations for that earlier criminal offence has no bearing on the limitation period for the money laundering offence.
In light of its next evaluation by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development working group on corruption, the Ministry of Justice recently drafted a circular in order to underline new criminal measures, emphasise the current framework on detection, raise awareness of international corruption and set out criminal policy objectives in the field.
The recently enacted France-Lebanon Mutual Assistance Convention marks a major advancement in cooperation on criminal matters between the two countries. Among other things, the convention asserts that the notion of banking confidentiality cannot be upheld in cases of financial crime and provides for cooperation between the authorities of both states in the investigation and prosecution of financial offences.