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Litigation

Jeantet is renowned as one of the main litigation firms on the French market in business law generally and in its areas of specialisation.

The Jeantet lawyers use both their legal expertise and their understanding of the economic issues involved to advise their clients facing complex high value-added litigation cases in national and European courts and to work with them to develop strategies for anticipating risk.

They are part of the “Cercle Contentieux” (litigation circle), an internal network which meets twice a month to share and discuss their experiences, best practices and topical issues of a legislative and jurisprudential nature.

The litigation aspect is systematically integrated into the advisory activity carried out in all of the firm’s areas of expertise.

  • Administrative and electoral litigation

    Jeantet has significantly developed its presence and expertise in administrative litigation to respond to the increasing number of interventions by government authorities in economic and social life and to the increasingly fluid boundaries between public and private law.

    Recent reforms, such as the extension of the summary judgement, both with regard to administrative decisions and in contractual matters, especially for works contracts, call for rigorous support of economic agents, as claimant or defendant.

    These developments have resulted in a spectacular increase in certain types of litigation – and we provide the rapid innovative response that is required.

    Moreover, the Jeantet lawyers also have very specific expertise in litigation pertaining to national and local elections.

  • Banking and finance litigation

    Banking litigation:

    Jeantet assists or represents its clients in litigation and pre-litigation of a civil, commercial and criminal nature.We represent insurance companies and financial institutions banks in their claims before courts of law and defend them in cases where they are held liable by their clients or by third parties in their various activities:

      • Credit (rental investments, annual percentage rate of exchange, loan insurance);
      • Execution of payment orders (forged or falsified cheques and transfers, CEO fraud);
      • First demand guarantees, documentary credits, collateral;
      • Enforcement measures (seizures, exequatur, asset freezes, immunity);
      • Insolvency procedures (contested claims or collateral, agent liability);
      • Network relations (termination of contracts of banking transaction intermediaries or commercial partners);
      • Criminal (assisting the bank in its capacity as accused, witness, third party or plaintiff).

    Our predominant litigation practice, along with our close collaboration with the banking world, has given us expertise that we use for the benefit of our clients.

    Litigation relating to investment services and financial products:

    We represent banks, investment service providers and insurance companies when they are held liable by their clients, partners or by third parties in their various activities:

      • Investment advice (disclosure and information requirements, advice duty);
      • Individual or collective portfolio management (dynamic money market funds, subprimes, compliance with the terms of the mandate, reporting obligation);
      • Structuring, distribution and marketing of financial products;
      • Custodian function and custody account-keeping (Lehman Brothers, Madoff fraud).

    Litigation relating to financial regulation:

    We defend our clients before the Enforcement Committees of the AMF and the ACPR in litigation cases initiated by the supervisory or regulatory authorities in financial and stock market-related matters (amicable settlement, disciplinary procedures, market abuse, anti-money laundering) or action taken by the European Central Bank ECB.

    These procedures are designed either to ensure compliance with the professional obligations incumbent upon regulated institutions or to identify market abuse, such as insider dealing, price manipulation and providing misleading information to the public.

    We also assist our clients in inquiries, inspections or visits, and in investigations conducted on site, as well as in appeals before the supervisory courts.

    For all of these forms of litigation, we have developed expertise based on the decompartmentalisation of skills and an active approach to defending procedural rights (right to a fair trial, reasonable processing time, effective redress, etc.) based on the application of the constitutional (Preliminary Ruling on Constitutionality, Declaration of Human Rights) and international rules (European Convention on Human Rights) defending fundamental rights.

     

  • Commercial litigation, distribution and restrictive practices

    In France, commercial relations between economic players are subject to increasingly stringent regulations aimed at ensuring the transparency and trustworthiness of practices.

    Subjected to increasingly frequent controls, businesses are faced with authorities and courts that have significant powers to impose sanctions (criminal fines, administrative fines payable immediately, etc.) and to put a stop to any contractual clause or commercial practice which would infringe these regulations.

    We have sound experience in litigation cases of this kind and in procedural instruments used before the courts (challenge to the jurisdiction, the applicable law, summary judgement, etc.). Our practice primarily covers litigation concerning:

    • contracts: litigation cases involving the breakdown of negotiations, performance, non-performance or breach of contracts (distribution, supply, provision of services, etc.);
    • relating to failure to comply with invoicing rules, sales conditions or payment deadline;
    • restrictive practices: significant imbalance between suppliers and distributors, sudden breakdown in established commercial relations, etc.;
    • unfair competition: disputes relating to the breach of non-competition clauses, appropriation of know-how, poaching and soliciting of clients, parasitism.
  • Competition litigation

    We intervene in all the aspects of the national and European dispute concerning the anti-competitive practices (cartels and abuse of dominant position) and State Aid, in particular regarding:

    • dawn raids (immediate capacity for assistance in situ, treatment and management of IT seizures, disputes concerning the authorisation and/or conduct of inspections and seizure operations);
    • procedures undertaken before the competition authorities and their supervisory courts (Paris Court of Appeal, in particular), either as claimant or defendant, of an emergency nature (provisional measures) or of a substantive nature, in commitment procedures or complex litigation proceedings, particularly those with a leniency aspect;
    • litigation cases relating to the compensation of victims of anti-competitive practices before the civil and commercial courts: Following a conviction by the Competition Authority or European Commission, we assist in particular with issues of determination – and disputed determination – of heads of loss or damage depending on the practices concerned: cartels and civil agreements (evaluation of a price premium, loss of opportunity, etc.), abuse of dominant position (damages due to eviction, exploitation, etc.);
    • Proceedings before European Commission (State Aid, Pre-Merger notification and Merger Control issues
    • Representing clients in antitrust and competition litigation claims before European courts (General court and European Court of Justice)
  • Consumer litigation

    We assist our clients in the criminal and administrative courts, and in cases involving the authorities (DGCCRF [French Directorate for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Prevention of Fraud], DDPP [Departmental Directorate for the Protection of Populations], etc.) whose powers have recently been increased by the Consumer Affairs Act.

    Above all, we strive to take a pragmatic and creative approach, particularly when dealing with complex cases that call for Jeantet’s other areas of expertise (directors’ criminal liability, labour law, etc.).

    Our practice covers litigation concerning:

    • advertising and commercial practices: in particular we regularly handle disputes related to commercial practices likely to be considered deceitful or unfair;
    • product conformity and safety: disputes concerning compliance with standards (AFNOR, etc.), certifications (AOC, AOP, etc.) and even health and food safety;
    • compensation of victims: particularly following a ruling on the liability of a company, we offer assistance in relation to, or in anticipation of, class actions. Our assistance mainly covers dispute issues regarding injury or loss assessment for which, in more complex cases, we regularly work in close collaboration with economists.
  • Corporate litigation

    Jeantet combines its proficiency in complex operations with strong litigation practice and offers its assistance and expertise to managing directors and businesses, working with them to develop a personalised legal strategy to ensure their interests are defended. The litigation cases we deal with most frequently concern:

    • conflicts between shareholders: management expertise, ad hoc mandate, agreement resolution, general meeting postponement, interpretation and implementation of shareholders’ agreements (compliance with the formality of pre-emption or approval, or the conditions of a right to withdrawal or joint assignment, for example) abuse of majority, equality or minority powers;
    • the incurrence of directors’ liability for mismanagement (individual or collective shareholder action, social derivative action), particularly in situations of conflict of interest (regulated agreements, golden parachutes, breach of the duty of loyalty, etc.);
    • post-acquisition litigation: the incurrence of liability guarantees (complying with notification formality and determining the amount of compensation due under a claim, in particular), price supplement (disputes regarding the principle of the right to a price supplement and regarding its valuation).
  • Insolvency litigation

    Jeantet’s litigation expertise relating to restructuring and businesses in difficulty is a valuable asset in both court and informal proceedings to resolve difficulties, and when defining the associated responsibilities or liabilities.

    We stand out because of:

    Our ability when a situation arises to carry out an analysis of risks (both real and theoretical) and opportunities, to aid in the decision-making process of the managing director, the company or its partners and creditors with regard to amicable proposals for restructuring or to prepare, or defend themselves in legal proceedings,

    An instant response team aimed at defusing crippling situations for the company, or implementing urgent measures to protect the interests of counterparties and financial, banking or industrial partners,

    Our excellent understanding of litigation techniques which enables us to effectively support court-appointed officers, company partners, or the company itself, and its managing directors or shareholders, in determining the responsibilities and reason for failure, and in defending their interests,

    Our expertise in labour litigation cases concerning corporate restructuring which enables us to support the company and court-appointed officers in increasingly frequent corporate restructuring disputes.

  • International financial litigation

    Jeantet is renowned for its practice in the resolution of disputes of a transnational strategic nature and which are factually or legally complex, through arbitration or judicial proceedings or alternative dispute resolution. We support our clients from businesses, banks, funds and insurance companies at every stage of the case, from risk analysis to enforcement of the decisions obtained.

    Our scope of involvement mainly covers recovery or liability litigation cases related to international financing of trading, assets and projects, the structuring and marketing of complex financial products, investment operations, the consequences of credit institution collapses and international financial sanctions.

    Thanks to our teams’ cultural diversity, linguistic skills and ability to act in a range of legal systems, in addition to the technical support provided by specialists in the disciplines concerned, and because of our network of correspondents, we are in a position to offer our clients a targeted team for every type of dispute. Our references include many iconic cases.

  • Labour litigation

    Jeantet provides support to its clients in pre-litigation and litigation proceedings and alternative dispute resolution, both nationally and internationally, for all their legal issues that stem from management of their human resources.

    On their behalf, we manage all collective and individual disputes concerning risks, strike management, criminal liability of managing directors due to workplace accidents, industrial disasters and product liability.

    We also act in litigation cases involving the labour management of company acquisitions or restructuring in synergy with our team specialising in collective proceedings.

  • Real estate litigation

    We assist our clients in all disputes they encounter, particularly concerning:

    • liability guarantees for portfolio sale transactions;
    • incidents arising during real estate construction or at the acceptance stage of construction works; particularly expertise in defects
    • rental disputes in addition to those relating to commercial, business and residential leases;
    • litigation cases linked to real estate management to protect the assets and rights of our clients.
  • Stock market litigation

    Jeantet works on behalf of its individual and corporate clients beginning at the initial AMF investigation stage, and supports them through any administrative proceedings conducted by AMF’s Board and Sanctions Committee. These proceedings are often based on a criticism with regard to the timing or quality of publicly reported information, or even the alleged existence of market abuses (dissemination of false information, insider trading violations, market manipulation, etc.)

    More broadly, we assist our clients (issuers, majority and minority shareholders, investors, company executives, financial brokers) throughout the course of any litigations featuring a “stock market” dimension, meaning those with public shareholders, shareholder disputes (abuse by majority shareholders, governance issues), and even specific regulations (takeover bids, AMF Doctrine, “golden parachutes,” etc.).

    We have developed an expertise for all of these litigations that breaks out of individual skill silos (corporate law, stock market regulation, civil and/or criminal proceedings) to work with other teams in the firm (financial regulation, labour law, collective insolvency proceedings). To cite one example, we were called on to file an application with France’s Constitutional Council for a preliminary ruling of Constitutionality (Question prioritaire de constitutionnalité or QPC) founded on the Declaration of the rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 in a matter involving threshold crossing by parties acting in concert.

  • Tax litigation

    Jeantet supports its clients in the event of tax audits where those clients are the subject of litigation proceedings in the administrative and judicial courts. In this regard, the texts of the firm’s tax doctrine are an undoubted asset but Jeantet prefers, first and foremost, a pragmatic approach that takes into account the appeal deadlines and the specific objectives of its clients.