A measure that makes Paris very attractive as forum of jurisdiction for international agreements

Paris now has an international commercial chamber both at the low level (its Commercial Court) and at the level of appeal (its Court of Appeal) that makes Paris and France very appealing as the forum of jurisdiction for international agreements.

1. On February 7, 2018, the Paris Bar signed protocols with the Paris Commercial Court and the Paris Court of Appeal in order to organize how the international commercial chambers set up in these two courts will work.

2. Thanks to the signature of these protocols, Paris now offers a tailor-made solution for the settlement of international trade disputes, which makes France an extremely suitable jurisdiction for litigations regarding international trade agreements and, in particular, international share purchase agreements:

a. Judges are empowered to deliberate under laws other than French law (e.g., if the law of the contract is not French law, such court can still hear the case);

b. Procedural documents in English can be produced without any requirement of translation in the French language;

c. The use of the English languagefor evidence, hearings of parties, witnesses or experts is possible;

d. Decisions are drafted in French with a sworn translation in English which is part of the judicial costs;

e. The articles of the French procedural code allowing the hearing and examination of parties, witnesses and experts do apply;

f. Judges are English-speaking and internationally competent judges;

g. This jurisdiction benefits of the double degree of jurisdiction;

h. The costs of such procedure are extremely low (those of French jurisdictions), in particular as compared to those of some other judicial institutions in particular Anglo-Saxon and to international arbitration;

i. A procedural calendar, in particular of hearings and testimonies up to the final ruling, can be set by the judge.

3. By establishing these international chambers, Paris met the expectations of international trade actors seeking an international, independent and high-level forum to settle their disputes.

4. As the United Kingdom prepares to leave the European Union, it guarantees the parties an easier enforcement of the court decisions on the whole European territory since France is part of it. Indeed, after the Brexit, judicial decisions of the United Kingdom shall not benefit anymore of the automatic enforcement of their decisions in countries that are members of the European Union.

5. In order to benefit of such advantages, the Parties just have to choose the international chamber of the Paris commercial court and of the Paris court of appeal as forum of jurisdiction for any dispute arising out of their contract, in particular in connection with its formation, validity, construction or implementation.

Dominique Dumas, Partner - Business law firm Courtois Lebel / 34-36 avenue de Friedland, 75008 Paris, France

ddumas@courtois-lebel.com / + 33 1 58 44 92 92