Competition law and, more generally, economic law have become strategic for companies.
All facets of economic law require a thorough understanding of the challenges faced by companies, their markets and their environment, a mastery of the workings of complex procedures, and finally an excellent knowledge of the competent authorities and jurisdictions.
In order to meet your needs as accurately as possible, we have developed an operational and pragmatic approach to the matters we handle, whether in terms of advice or assistance in the event of litigation.
COMPETITION, MERGER CONTROL, COMPLIANCE
The added value of our experts stems from the integration of our clients’ strategic objectives into our action, both in defense and in prosecution, particularly in the areas of :
- Cartels, vertical restraints, abuse of dominant position ;
- Dawn raids : immediate on-site assistance, handling of computer seizures and legal forensics, litigation regarding authorization and/or the conduct of operations, confidentiality management ;
- Litigation before competition authorities and courts (French Competition Authority, Paris Court of Appeal, Court of Cassation, European courts) ;
- Litigation involving compensation or criminal law, etc.
- Merger control :
- Controllability (analysis of thresholds, qualification of control in complex schemes and joint ventures) ;
- Identification of relevant authorities inside and outside the European Union ;
- Prior competitive analysis, identification of risks and chances of success ;
- Upstream advice during the structuring of the transaction, in conjunction with corporate lawyers and investment banks ;
- Fine management of multi-filing : coordination of procedures and timetable, consistency of the overall strategy ;
- Assistance during the negotiation of possible commitments and during the in-depth review phases (“phases II”) ;
- Strategic assistance to third parties relevant to a merger.
- Compliance :
- Conducting competition audits ;
- Implementation of compliance programs and codes of conduct, spontaneously or in the context of litigation (commitments) ;
- Training, e-learning, serious games, etc.
COMMERCIAL, DISTRIBUTION AND CONSUMER LAW
We assist and defend our clients in all aspects of their commercial operations, both as counsel and in litigation before the competent authorities and courts (DGCCRF (French General directorate for competition policy, consumer affairs and fraud control), DIRECCTE( French Regional department of enterprise, competition, consumer affairs, labor and employment), DDPP (French Departmental offices for the protection of populations), criminal courts, commercial courts, etc.), particularly in the context of regulated activities (network industries, financial activities) in the following areas:
- Distribution : exclusive supply and/or distribution contracts, remote sales, etc.
- Restrictive or unfair commercial practices : significant imbalance, termination of established business relationships, unfair competition (breach of non-compete clauses, appropriation of know-how, detour and canvassing of customers, parasitism);
- Advertising and commercial practices : consumer information, unfair practices, misleading practices, comparative advertising, unfair terms, sales, sales promotions and price reduction announcements, product labeling, etc.
- Product compliance and safety : risk assessment, compliance with standards, certification (AOC, AOP, etc.), health and food safety, management of product recalls and withdrawals, etc.
- Regulations : industry, energy networks, telecommunications, transport, etc.
- Lobbying : assistance in the design of contemplated standards, relations with national and European institutions.
We advise companies likely to be confronted with State aid issues, whether it be compensation for public service duties, subsidies or rescue or restructuring aid, on the following issues:
- Analysis and evaluation of practices with regard to the specific applicable regimes;
- Strategic advice to the beneficiary of the aid or to the operator suffering from a distortion of competition;
- Possible litigation.
We also advise and assist our clients, more broadly, on European regulations:
- Freedom of movement / freedom of establishment;
- Free movement of goods;
- Free movement of persons and provision of services;
- Respect of the rights guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights;
- European regulatory affairs.
We act in all aspects of domestic and European litigation relating to anti-competitive practices (cartels and abuse of dominant position) and State aid, in particular in the following areas:
- Dawn raids: litigation concerning the authorization and/or the conduct of the search and seizure operations;
- Proceedings before the competition authorities and their supervisory courts (in particular the Paris Court of Appeal), whether as plaintiff or defendant, in emergency proceedings (interim measures) or on the merits, in commitment proceedings or in complex litigation, in particular when they have a leniency component;
- Litigation for the compensation of victims of anti-competitive practices before the civil and commercial courts: after a decision of conviction by the French Competition Authority or the European Commission, we handle in particular the issues of determination - and dispute of determination - of the heads of damage relevant to the practices concerned: cartels (assessment of a price premium, loss of opportunity, etc.), abuse of dominant position (eviction damages, operating damages, etc.);
- State aid procedures before the Commission and the European courts;
- European competition litigation before the General Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union.