International Commercial - France

International Commercial - France

Published May 2023


Evelyne Friedel

Firm: Taylor Wessing
Country: France

Practice Area: Commercial

  • 69 avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt

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With more than 1,000 lawyers in 29 offices in 17 different jurisdictions, Taylor Wessing is an international law firm, serving clients across the world’s most dynamic economies.

Taylor Wessing is highly experienced, flexible and can support all types of businesses, from large multinationals to start ups.

The commercial law department of the Paris office headed by Evelyne Friedel has a thorough understanding of the national and European rules, including competition rules.

Evelyne’s team advises on every aspect of commercial law, whether the client is opening up new sales channels, distributing or warehousing merchandise, establishing franchise networks, or operating R&D schemes. The consultancy of Taylor Wessing covers both day-to-day operations and strategic planning.

Evelyne’s team benefits from a renowned expertise in negotiating complex contractual solutions for clients operating in the life sciences sector, online retail/ecommerce, advertising, manufacturing and engineering.

Evelyne and her team benefit from a strong experience in contractual matters:

- Manufacturing and supply agreements
- Services agreements
- R&D agreements and license agreements (transfer of technologies)
- Sale and purchase agreements
- Distribution agreements (exclusive, selective, franchise)
- Commercial agency agreements 
- General conditions for sale BtoB and BtoC
- Payment and invoicing rules

The team also assists clients on the specific French consumer rules (advertising, presentations of products, prices, lotteries, gifts, warranty conditions, liability regimes).

The team assist clients in their national and international projects and have a real knowledge of conflict of laws and jurisdiction issues.

Over the last few years, Evelyne's team has regularly assisted major e-commerce platforms in commercial, consumer and competition law. In this respect, new rules are applicable to them since the entry into force of the EU Regulation and Guidelines of May 2022 governing vertical agreements and concerted practices. In commercial law, the support of these platforms concerns both their relations with their suppliers (btob) and their relations with their final customers who are consumers (btoc).

Evelyne’s team assists clients on several peculiarities of French commercial rules.

Much more than in other jurisdictions, French commercial rules govern and frame the relationship between business parties. Some examples are given hereafter:

- Specific rules apply to the general terms and conditions of sale, which must be the sole basis for commercial negotiations.
- Payment terms are also subject to strict mandatory provisions.
- Commercial relations between suppliers and distributors must be the subject of a framework agreement or a single agreement with a maximum duration of 3 years, in which many provisions are regulated.
- The imbalance in the rights and obligations of the parties may give rise to damages, particularly in the absence of negotiation.
- The abrupt termination of a commercial relationship is strongly sanctioned
- Most favoured customer provisions are prohibited.
- Retroactive rebates are prohibited.

Increased globalisation leads to a reduction in trade barriers, which is currently being challenged by rising protectionism. Combined with borderless data traffic, this has profoundly changed the requirements made on worldwide commerce. Although the legal framework is becoming increasingly homogeneous in certain areas, new players entering the marketplace and their associated national legislative systems have made things much more complex. As a result, manufacturers, procurement departments, distributors and importers are all challenged by new national and international contractual structures.

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