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Distribution law

France

Distribution networks today are increasingly dense and are being built in a highly competitive environment. The legal rules that must be followed when setting up and operating these networks are ever more numerous and complex, and even more so because a network often extends over several countries or continents, each with their own rules and operational principles.

In this situation, how can you ensure the economic and financial viability of your distribution network and enable it to be competitive? Our team is ready to provide you with solutions to all the problems that confront you.

Our practice areas

Our team supports our clients in dealing with problems arising both from French law and from European Union and international law, particularly in the following situations: 

Assistance with setting up distribution networks:

  • When establishing relationships between players in the network: pre-contractual information and negotiations
  • When talks break down
  • Verification that the network complies with the rules of competition law
  • Network design: setting up of networks and franchise contracts, exclusive or selective distribution contracts, the organisation of pooled purchases (affiliation, cataloguing, etc.)
  • Drafting of agreements
  • Establishing and securing of relationships with third parties: sales agents, paid distributors, sales representatives, freight forwarders, contracted managers, brokers, business introducers, etc.

Advice when establishing distribution relationships:

  • Defining contractual relationships between members of the network: obligations of parties (loyalty, effectiveness, monetary obligations, etc.), changes to contracts already in force, negotiations and renegotiations, contract renewals or terminations, re-qualifications, etc.
  • Management and usage of brands and other distinctive signs; disputes relating to infringement, unfair competition and free riding
  • Prevention of restrictive competition practices 

Assistance when withdrawing from distribution networks:

  • Amicable and/or contentious termination of commercial relationships within the network
  • Mediation, pre-trial settlement agreements and arbitration
Our approach

A complementary, multidisciplinary approach: our lawyers work with our firm's experts in other fields (tax, labour law, corporate affairs, etc...). 

The ability to address every aspect of your projects and cases, in France and internationally, in collaboration with the other members of CMS.

Our team
  • Our team comprises some 20 lawyers, including five partners.
  • The diversity of their legal skills and professional careers are a guarantee of their experience, adaptability and dynamism.
  • We usually create an ad hoc team for each client. This team is coordinated by a primary contact who is responsible for ensuring the quality of our different advisory services.
  • When a project or case is international or transnational in nature, team members seek input from their colleagues in the CMS network, with whom they maintain close ties, particularly when working in transnational working groups (PAG).
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28/02/2020
Com­bat­ing plastic: what the Anti-Wastage & Cir­cu­lar Eco­nomy Law says
Our law­yers sum­mar­ize the meas­ures re­lat­ing to plastic in the Anti-Wastage and Cir­cu­lar Eco­nomy Law. Dis­cov­er their ana­lyzes.
15 September 2020
European Com­mis­sion pub­lishes Staff Work­ing Doc­u­ment on Ver­tic­al Block...
The Staff Work­ing Doc­u­ment (SWD 2020 173 fi­nal) is the next step on the road to an up­dated VBER and cor­res­pond­ing guidelines. With the cur­rent VBER due to ex­pire on 31 May 2022, the Staff Work­ing Doc­u­ment...
28/02/2020
Anti-Wastage and Cir­cu­lar Eco­nomy Law
Our law­yers sum­mar­ize the main de­mands of the anti-wastage and cir­cu­lar eco­nomy law in France. Dis­cov­er their ana­lyzes.
02 July 2020
EU agrees new class ac­tion re­gime for con­sumer dis­putes
After a long gest­a­tion, on 30 June 2020 the Coun­cil of the EU pub­lished the text for the col­lect­ive re­dress dir­ect­ive (the “CR Dir­ect­ive”) (text avail­able here). This le­gis­la­tion is in­ten­ded to bet­ter...
28/02/2020
Meas­ures re­lat­ing to waste in the Anti-Wastage & Cir­cu­lar Eco­nomy Law
Our law­yers sum­mar­ize the meas­ures re­lat­ing to waste in the Anti-Wastage & Cir­cu­lar Eco­nomy Law. Dis­cov­er their ana­lyzes.
21 April 2020
Coty v Amazon: CJEU con­firms Amazon is not li­able for trade mark in­fringe­ment...
On 2 April 2020, the CJEU handed down its judg­ment in the Coty v Amazon[1] case, which relates to a re­fer­ral from the Bundes­gericht­shof, Ger­many’s Fed­er­al Court of Justice. The CJEU ruled in fa­vour...
28/02/2020
Re­in­force­ment and ex­ten­sion of the ex­ten­ded pro­du­cer re­spons­ib­il­ity (EPR)
Our law­yers sum­mar­ize the meas­ures re­lat­ing to pro­du­cer re­spons­ib­il­ity in the anti-waste and cir­cu­lar eco­nomy law. Dis­cov­er their ana­lyzes.
30 January 2020
New European rules for on­line plat­forms
A new Reg­u­la­tion, known as the Plat­form to Busi­ness Reg­u­la­tion or the On­line In­ter­me­di­ation Ser­vices Reg­u­la­tion, will come in­to force on 12 Ju­ly 2020. It ap­plies to on­line in­ter­me­di­ation ser­vice pro­viders,...
28/02/2020
Meas­ures re­lat­ing to wastage in the Anti-Wastage & Cir­cu­lar Eco­nomy Law
Our law­yers sum­mar­ize the meas­ures re­lat­ing to food and non-food waste in the anti-wastage and cir­cu­lar eco­nomy law. Dis­cov­er their ana­lyzes.
09 July 2019
New Dir­ect­ives reg­u­lat­ing sales to European con­sumers
As part of the European Com­mis­sion’s Di­git­al Single Mar­ket Strategy, the European Uni­on has re­cently ad­op­ted two Dir­ect­ives which will ap­ply from 1 Janu­ary 2022. The Sale of Goods Dir­ect­ive relates...
28/02/2020
New ob­lig­a­tions to in­form con­sumers
Our law­yers sum­mar­ize the con­sumer in­form­a­tion ob­lig­a­tions con­tained in the cir­cu­lar eco­nomy law. Dis­cov­er their ana­lyzes.
25 June 2019
New European Dir­ect­ive on un­fair trad­ing prac­tices in the food sup­ply chain
European Dir­ect­ive 2019/633 on un­fair trad­ing prac­tices in B2B re­la­tion­ships in the ag­ri­cul­tur­al and food sup­ply chain has been pub­lished in the Of­fi­cial Journ­al of the European Uni­on. This Dir­ect­ive...