Case law

  • Case Details
    • National ID: N° 02-13.935
    • Member State: France
    • Common Name:link
    • Decision type: Other
    • Decision date: 27/09/2005
    • Court: Cour de Cassation (Supreme court)
    • Subject:
    • Plaintiff:
    • Defendant:
    • Keywords:
  • Directive Articles
    Unfair Contract Terms Directive, Article 2
  • Headnote
    Because of the French concept of non-professional which is different from the concept of consumer, national unfair terms regulation might benefit to legal entities.
  • Facts
    The French Athletic Federation contracted a loan of 14 millions of French francs with a bank to finance a new building for its headquarter. One term of the contract specified an early repayment penalty based on financial market conditions which turned out to be equal to 3.902.875 French francs.
    The Federation sued the bank in order to benefit from the unfair contract term regulation.
  • Legal issue
    Article L.132-1 of the French Consumer code protects consumers and non-professionals aginst unfair contract term.
    In a first case (Cass., civ. 1ère, 15 mars 2005), the Cour de Cassation upheld that because non-professionals can be legal entities, legal entities can in some occurencies benefit from the unfair term regulation.

    In the current case, that position is confirmed. The written clause of the contract might have been void. However, the Federation was not entitled to the protection offered by the unfair term regulation because the purchase of a building for professional use is not within the scope of the legislation. The Federation was acting within its professional capacity.

    In that case, as in the one before, the protection could not be applied due to the specific circumstances. Nevertheless, those decisions remain significant.
  • Decision

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