Principal areas of expertise
A legal subject's duties and liabilities often cover a broad range of subjects, requiring the mastery of numerous legal fields.
The Firm's lawyers therefore master and combine several special laws, which are applied by respecting general legal principles, thus guaranteeing its clients consistency and efficiency.
Transport and Maritime Law
They are the Firm's historic practice areas and are structured into a specific division today.
We apply our expertise and experience to assist our clients with drafting framework contracts, forwarding contracts, maritime shipping contracts (charter parties, agency agreements, terminal operator contracts, financing agreements), terrestrial (land, inland navigation and rail transport) and industrial projects.
Our knowledge of the sector and its economic realities is a major asset for our clients during negotiations.
We also perform insurance cover and risk management audits.
We defend the interests of our clients, transporters and logisticians, and their insurers, nationally and internationally in the following fields:
- Liabilities of the shipping agent, forwarding agent, terminal operator, transporters of all kinds, transporter auxiliaries, customs agents, maritime agents, ships agent, maritime charterers, naval boarding, general average;
- Passenger transport liability, cruise and yachting;
- Assistance with legal expertise ;
- Conservation and enforcement measures, right of retention, pledges, attachment of vessels, equalisation payments, and receivables.
Law of commercial contracts, competition law
Each meeting of wills is different in this area of regulated freedom.
We assist our clients to negotiate and draft special contracts and General Terms of Sale, as well as the settlement of disputes or contractual terminations.
We advise our clients to assess the risks associated with each new partnership and to adapt insurance cover or make the contractual modifications required with the insurance broker.
Our priority is to protect corporate value.
We therefore guide our clients through commercial litigation involving debt collection, termination of established commercial relationships, contractual disputes, unfair competition and the direct or indirect poaching of staff.
Risk management, which is almost systematically part of any legal problem, requires adapting insurance cover to economic growth.
Liability litigation is almost systematically affected by insurance law issues.
The experience we have acquired over 20 years in advising and defending logisticians and transporters, in close collaboration with their brokers and insurers, guarantees our clients complete mastery of this multiple faceted subject.
The law of commercial and business leases
We provide specialist advice on drafting commercial and business leases and representing commercial landlords and asset managers.
We assist our clients to recover rent and charges, with rent reviews and uncapping rent, and to renew and terminate leases.
We implement the necessary conservation and enforcement measures to ensure that judgements are effective.
Finally, we have the expertise to assist landlords in the specific context of an insolvent tenant: declaration of the debt, claim, termination or recovery of the lease.
Company law and mergers and acquisitions
We advise on the transfer of companies and businesses (nondisclosure agreements, sale agreements, deed of sale and subsequent formalities) including regulated sales.
We also advise on company creation (drafting Articles of Association for all corporate forms and registration formalities) as well as operations to transfer company shares, and restructuring.
Finally, we assist our clients with the day-to-day running of their companies (General Meetings, modifications to the Articles of Association, shareholders' agreements, related party agreements etc.).
We represent mostly creditors throughout the different stages of insolvency proceedings: conciliation, ad hoc mandate, safeguard procedure, legal redress and judicial liquidation.
We represent our clients before commercial courts and specialist jurisdictions as well as with administrators and official receivers.
We assist senior corporate executives "under the protection of the commercial court" who are faced with serious difficulties by introducing an insolvency proceedings or, as far as possible, before a cessation of payments occurs.
Non contentious work
The experience of several of the Firm's members in sometimes tricky situations means that we can provide "hands on" advice to senior corporate executives, their HR departments as well as national and local business organisations.
We provide accurate and flexible advice for all legal instruments concerning human resource management:
- Collective bargaining agreements of all kinds ("place" agreement, companywide agreements, etc), internal rules
- Professional elections, Economic and Social Unit Configuration Agreements and Social and Economic Committee /Health and Safety at Work Committee legal monitoring
- Choice on drafting of employment contracts
- Consensual terminations
- Individual and collective dismissals and redundancies (drafting and implementing the Employment Protection Plan)
- Social mandates, delegations of authority, and the senior corporate director's social regime
- Modifications to the employer's legal position
- Social audits
Recent legislative changes have led to a fall in labour law litigation.
However, the sometimes conflicting decisions of the social chamber of the Supreme Court means that a suitable defence is still required.
Although a settlement is always envisioned, if this is not possible, we put our litigation experience to serve our clients' interests as follows:
- Obstruction on the freedom to work and entrepreneurship, and harm to corporate property and equipment during strikes
- Litigation concerning collective bargaining agreements and contractual agreements
- Individual and class actions before Employment Tribunals
Criminal Labour law
The Company has extensive experience in defending companies and senior corporate executives and their appointees in delicate criminal proceedings involving work accidents, sometimes tragic.
We provide our support and defend our clients from the start of the inquiry and during any judicial investigation.
We represent our clients before the criminal courts, at first instance and on appeal.
We understand the importance of the respect which is owed to the victim and to his or her beneficiaries, where indemnification is not an issue during the criminal proceedings whilst placing the facts in an operational context to obtain the dismissal of criminal proceedings.
The Firm's successes in this type of litigation bear witness to its close collaboration with corporate HSE departments and sound pedagogy concerning the chain of liabilities which create the conditions for an adapted and measured legal outcome.
Intellectual property law applied to new technologies
Intellectual property is now a part of the development and communication strategies for designs which create value.
The Firm can adapt to its clients' requests concerning intellectual property law, the problems they encounter especially those concerning the development and protection of their intangible creations (trademarks, software/software packages, drawings and designs).
We protect our clients' rights at the advice as well as the contentious stage.
The Firm has developed the following expertise:
- Trademark and domain name law: registration and filing
- Copyright and neighbouring rights (specific software drawings and designs, website)
- Industrial designs law
- Valuation of intellectual property rights
- Drafting contracts: operating licence, transfer of intellectual property rights
- Defence of intellectual property rights: opposition procedures and litigation (infringement etc)
As a high quality of service is primordial, we recommend specialist lawyers to our clients if we lack a specific expertise in-house..
The client is therefore free to contact the partner lawyer directly or to allow the Firm to manage this relationship within the global context of the case.
Social Security law
The Firm advises organisations and companies to negotiate and implement voluntary retirement agreements schemes (early retirement for arduous working conditions, specific provisions for early retirement).
We advise our clients on drafting and updating compulsory HSQE documents.
We assist our clients during URSSAF inspections (contestation of letters of observations).
There has been a lot of caselaw since the start of the century on risks at work which has become a major expense for employers.
Public health issues such as asbestos have acted as a catalyst for this trend.
Companies cannot individually assume (sometimes without insurance cover) this transfer of expense by the courts, especially as the legislator has until now been loath to legislate in this area.
We therefore represent clients in an area where there is a wealth of varying caselaw in: