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Benoît Provost


CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats
2 rue Ancelle
92522 Neuilly-sur-Seine
Langues Français, Anglais

Benoît Provost a rejoint CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats en 1990, coopté associé en 2020.

Benoît intervient principalement sur des opérations de consolidation et restructuration pour le compte de sociétés cotées et non cotées.

Plus Moins


  • Magistère de Juriste d’affaires, Université de Paris II (1989)
  • DESS de droit des affaires et fiscalité, Université de Paris II (1989)
  • DESS de droit du commerce extérieur , Université de Paris I (1990)
  • Mentions de spécialisation en droit des sociétés et en droit fiscal (1994)
Plus Moins


  • Plan d'attribution gratuite d'actions : une limite de 10 % du capital en revolving ?, co-auteur - Capital Finance (08/07/2018)
  • LBO/Capital transmission, Dossiers Pratiques (2° édition 2013) - Editions Francis Lefebvre, co-auteur
  • LBO Juridique Fiscal Social. Collection Dossiers Pratiques, Editions Francis Lefebvre, 2012, co-auteur
  • Les difficultés pratiques d’ordre juridique et fiscal des opérations de fusions transfrontalières, Cahiers de droit de l’entreprise n° 6 (Novembre-Décembre 2011)
  • Fusions transfrontalières 2011 : attention à l’échéance du 31 décembre 2010, co-auteur, Option Finance (06/12/2010)
  • Guide de la fusion transfrontalière : premier retour d’expérience – Hors série, Option Finance (25/01/2010)
  • Ingénierie Financière. Le trust à la française au secours des opérations de LBO ?, co-auteur, Revue Banque (01/07/2009)
  • Auteur de divers articles du hors série : La Lettre de l’Immobilier / Option Finance
Plus Moins
Trans­fers of cross-bor­der re­gis­te­red of­fices
The ge­ne­sisIn 2003, the draft 14th Di­rec­tive on cross-bor­der trans­fers of re­gis­te­red of­fices was ini­tia­ted by the Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sion. It was sub­se­quently aban­do­ned in 2007, par­ti­cu­larly due to the re­sis­tance from cer­tain Mem­ber States which were op­po­sed to aban­do­ning some le­gis­la­tive au­to­nomy in the field of com­pany law1.To­wards a har­mo­ni­za­tion of the rules on re­gis­te­red of­fices trans­fers wi­thin the Eu­ro­pean Union?This pro­ject has been put on hold on the agenda and Vera Jou­rovà, Eu­ro­pean Com­mis­sio­ner for Jus­tice in charge of the draft 14th Di­rec­tive on cross-bor­der trans­fer ex­plai­ned: "I am well aware that cross-bor­der trans­fers are a com­plex sub­ject and that is why we are ca­re­fully as­ses­sing how to ad­dress it it. We want to take into ac­count all the dif­fe­rent in­te­rests at stake. "2. This pro­ject’s goal is to res­pond to the "ur­gent need for a spe­cial Eu­ro­pean fra­me­work for the cross-bor­der trans­fer of re­gis­te­red of­fices"3.A suc­cess­ful con­fir­ma­tion from the ECJWhile this pos­sible har­mo­ni­za­tion is pen­ding, the Eu­ro­pean Court of Jus­tice, in a 25 Oc­to­ber 2017 de­ci­sion, sanc­tio­ned Po­lan­d's re­fu­sal to re­move from the lo­cal re­gis­ter a com­pany that had trans­fer­red its re­gis­te­red of­fice to Luxem­bourg. In this ins­tance Po­land had con­si­de­red that the re­mo­val ne­ces­sa­rily im­plied the com­ple­tion of li­qui­da­tion for­ma­li­ties (ECJ, 25 Oc­to­ber 2017 n°C-106/16, Pol­bud-Wy­ko­nawstwo). In that de­ci­sion, the Court found that Po­lish le­gis­la­tion dis­pro­por­tio­na­tely in­frin­ged on the prin­ciple of free­dom of es­ta­blish­ment wi­thin the Union and es­ta­bli­shed for com­pa­nies the right to cross-bor­der con­ver­sion while re­tai­ning their le­gal per­so­na­li­ties4.France as a good prag­ma­tic stu­dentIn this res­pect, France is a ra­ther good stu­dent and, sub­ject to com­pliance with a now well-de­fi­ned pro­ce­dure and cer­tain con­di­tions, the clerks of the com­mer­cial courts de facto re­cog­nise the va­li­dity of trans­fers of cross-bor­der re­gis­te­red of­fices with main­te­nance of le­gal per­so­na­lity both when France is the coun­try of de­par­ture and when France is the host coun­try5; in the lat­ter case, a do­cu­ment must be sub­mit­ted to the French Re­gis­trar con­fir­ming that fo­reign law au­tho­rizes the trans­for­ma­tion of a fo­reign com­pany into a French com­pany; this do­cu­ment may be a le­gal pro­vi­sion of the do­mes­tic law of the coun­try of de­par­ture (as­su­ming such a pro­vi­sion exists) or, more ge­ne­rally, a le­gal opi­nion is­sued by a no­tary or lawyer from the coun­try of de­par­ture. In prac­tice, it is at this stage that dif­fi­cul­ties may arise. A pro­mi­nent example of these dif­fi­cul­ties is il­lus­tra­ted by the fact that less than 200 days from Brexit, and since the Uni­ted King­dom does not have le­gal pro­vi­sions or prac­tice go­ver­ning such ope­ra­tions, trans­fers of re­gis­te­red of­fices from the Uni­ted King­dom to ano­ther EU coun­try (and in par­ti­cu­lar France) are not pos­sible. In short, a trans­fer of head­quar­ters to (or from) France takes place in 4 stages:France as the coun­try of de­par­tureFrance as the host coun­tryStep 1Una­ni­mous de­ci­sion of the sha­re­hol­ders to trans­fer the re­gis­te­red of­fice, sub­ject to the re­so­lu­tory con­di­tion that the com­pany will not be re­gis­te­red in the re­gis­ter of the host coun­tryDe­ci­sion of the sha­re­hol­ders to trans­fer the re­gis­te­red of­fice to France in ac­cor­dance with the pro­vi­sions of lo­cal do­mes­tic law Step 2Com­ple­tion of the for­ma­li­ties in France, i.e. fi­ling with the RCS the pro­ject to trans­fer the re­gis­te­red of­fices abroad Re­quest to the French judge to pro­ceed with the re­gis­tra­tion of the trans­fer with the re­qui­red cer­ti­fi­cate (e.g. le­gal opi­nion above)Step 3Com­ple­tion of for­ma­li­ties in the host coun­try with main­te­nance of le­gal per­so­na­lity (if per­mit­ted by the law of the host coun­try) for its re­gis­tra­tion Re­gis­tra­tion of the com­pany in FranceStep 4Fi­ling of the re­quest for can­cel­la­tion of the com­pany from the French RCS with main­te­nance of le­gal per­so­na­lity (cf. form M4 of can­cel­la­tion avai­lable on In­fo­greffe and no lon­ger via a re­quest ad­dres­sed to the judge)Re­mo­val of the com­pany from the re­gis­ter of the coun­try of de­par­ture and com­mu­ni­ca­tion to the French Re­gis­trarAl­ter­na­tive tools in the ab­sence of har­mo­ni­za­tionIf it is not yet pos­sible to re­con­cile the con­di­tions im­po­sed by the man­da­tory pro­vi­sions of each na­tio­nal law on the trans­fer of re­gis­te­red of­fice (and, for example, in France, the una­ni­mity re­qui­re­ment in the case of a cross-bor­der trans­fer), prac­tice has de­ve­lo­ped al­ter­na­tive so­lu­tions that achieve more or less the same re­sult, such as prior trans­for­ma­tion into a Eu­ro­pean com­pany fol­lo­wed by a trans­fer (Eu­ro­pean Re­gu­la­tion 2157/2001 of 8 Oc­to­ber 2001) or cross-bor­der mer­gers wi­thin the Union (Di­rec­tive 2017/1132 of the Eu­ro­pean Par­lia­ment and of the Coun­cil of 14 June 2017) or even out­side the Union, sub­ject to the com­pa­ti­bi­lity of na­tio­nal laws (and, for example, with Swit­zer­land), wi­thout for­get­ting - in the spe­ci­fic case of a reor­ga­ni­za­tion in­vol­ving France as the coun­try of de­par­ture -, a tool of­fe­red by the French Ci­vil Code for the uni­ver­sal trans­fer of the as­sets of a French com­pany to its sole sha­re­hol­der - re­gard­less of the coun­try of re­gis­tra­tion of the sole sha­re­hol­der - by way of dis­so­lu­tion wi­thout li­qui­da­tion (cf. Ar­ticle 1844-5 of the Ci­vil Code).In this con­text, one may won­der whe­ther such har­mo­ni­za­tion – even though it has been long awai­ted for -  is still im­pe­ra­tive.1 Source: Eva­lua­tion of Eu­ro­pean ad­ded va­lue EAVA 3/2012 (p. 23)2Brus­sels ta­ckles head of­fice mo­bi­lity, Fré­de­ric Si­mon, 3 Oc­to­ber 20173Cross-bor­der mer­gers and di­vi­sions, trans­fers of seat: Is there a need to le­gis­late? Study, June 2016; in the same vein, Com­pany law: the Com­mis­sion pro­poses new rules to help com­pa­nies cross bor­ders and find on­line so­lu­tions, 25 April 20184"Right to cross-bor­der trans­for­ma­tion of com­pa­nies in the Union: the ECJ passes the third! "Tho­mas Mas­trullo, Bul­le­tin Joly So­cié­tés Ja­nuary 1, 2018 n°1 p. 195See in this sense Cass. 27 Oc­to­ber 2009 n°08-16115 Com­ment Mi­chel Men­jucq Bul­le­tin Joly So­cié­tés - Fe­bruary 2010


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