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Home > Country profiles > France > Articles > Article detail

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Ambitious French international court plans will be welcomed by businesses, says expert

Thursday, 9th February 2018

"Detailed protocols relating to the new court sections were signed yesterday by justice minister Nicole Belloubet and Marie-Aimée Peyron, head of the Paris Bar Association, at the Paris Court of Appeal. The new court sections will permit parties to plead in English and feature English-speaking judges, who may have expertise in common law legal systems.

Paris-based dispute resolution expert Melina Wolman of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind, said that the creation of the new court "should influence international companies having operations in France to opt for jurisdiction clauses electing French courts", particularly after the UK's anticipated departure from the EU.

"French decisions will still benefit from the Brussels Regulation on recognition and enforcement of judgments and will thus be very easily enforceable in Europe; this will not be the case anymore for UK decisions, which should not be automatically recognised and enforceable anywhere in Europe," she said. "That may be a crucial issue which could considerably change the way jurisdiction clauses are drafted."

"This is a very ambitious project, which clearly reflects a pro-business approach and the desire for France to attract international companies and investors to the French market. Non-French speaking companies will welcome the fact that they will be able to plead in their own language, without fearing the language barrier," she said.

Jean-François Le Gal of Pinsent Masons, who is qualified as both a solicitor-advocate in England and Wales and an avocat at the Paris Bar, said that "this initiative is another illustration of the increasing trend, in Europe and throughout the world, to use law as an integral part of a state's economic strategy to gain a competitive advantage and attract investors".

France is one of a number of EU countries which have put initiatives in place to attract international dispute resolution business post-Brexit. Currently, London is one of the leading jurisdictional hubs for financial disputes, in a market worth an estimated £25 billion."

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Language: English

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