Case study 4 - commercial law - contract - France

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In this case study on commercial law – contract, Member States were asked to advise the seller on litigation costs in order to consider the following situations:

Case A – National situation: A company delivered goods worth EUR 20 000. The seller has not been paid because the buyer considers that the goods do not conform to what was agreed.

The seller decides to sue to obtain the full payment of the price.

Case B – Transnational situation: A company whose head office is located in Member State B delivers goods worth EUR 20 000 to buyer in Member State A. The contract is subject to Member State B’s law and written in Member State B’s language. This seller has not been paid because the buyer located in Member State A considers that the goods do not conform to what was agreed. The seller decides to sue in Member State A to obtain full payment of the price as provided under the contract with the buyer.


Costs of proceedings


Costs in France

Costs for legal proceedings, appeals and the alternative dispute resolution process


Case study

Legal proceedings

Initial court fees

Transcription fees

Other fees

Case A

Court of first instance: no, there are no initial fees.

Commercial court: yes, initial fees are at least EUR 69.97

Court of first instance: no

Court of first instance: no

Case B

Court of first instance: no, there are no initial fees.

Commercial court: yes, initial fees are at least EUR 69.97

Court of first instance: no

Court of first instance: no




Case study

Appeal

Alternative dispute resolution process

Initial court fees

Transcription fees

Other fees

Is this option available in this type of case?

Costs

Case A

No

No

No

Yes

Conciliation

Judicial mediation

Extrajudicial mediation

Free

Fixed by the judge.

Agreement between the parties and the mediator.

Case B

No

No

No

Yes

Conciliation

Judicial mediation

Extrajudicial mediation

Free

Fixed by the judge.

Agreement between the parties and the mediator.



Costs for lawyer, bailiff and expert


Case study

Lawyer

Bailiff

Expert

Is representation compulsory?

Average costs

Is representation compulsory?

Pre-judgment costs

Post-judgment costs

Is use compulsory?

Costs

Case A

Court of first instance: yes

Commercial court: no

Appeal court: yes

Lawyers:

Statistics not available

Court advocates:

EUR 983

Yes

Summons: EUR 18.70 

Service: EUR 26.70

Service: EUR 26.70

No

Fees fixed by the judge.

Case B

Court of first instance: yes

Commercial court: no

Appeal court: yes

Lawyers:

Statistics not available

Court advocates:

EUR 983

Yes

Summons: EUR 18.70

Service: EUR 26.70

Service: EUR 26.70

No

Fees fixed by the judge.



Costs for witness compensation, pledge or other security


Case study

Witness compensation

Oath or other security

Are witnesses compensated?

Does this exist and when and how is it used?

Case A

Yes (decree of 27 December 1920 revising witness fees)

No

Case B

Yes (decree of 27 December 1920 revising witness fees)

No


Costs for legal aid and other reimbursement



Case study

Legal aid

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

When is aid total?

Conditions?

Case A

For-profit corporations (e.g. a company) cannot benefit from legal aid. In France, this can only be granted to individuals, as well as, under certain conditions, not-for-profit corporations and homeowners’ associations.

The State pays all court fees if the mother has full legal aid.

Full legal aid is granted if the monthly income declared by the petitioner does not exceed EUR 911.

Partial aid is granted for those with income between this amount and EUR 1 367.

The upper limits for income are raised by EUR 164 for the first two dependants and EUR 104 for the third dependant and any subsequent.

Case B

Idem

Idem

Idem





Case study

Reimbursement

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

If reimbursement is not total what is the percentage in general?

What costs are never reimbursed?

Are there instances when legal aid should be reimbursed to the legal aid organisation?

Case A

Yes

Total reimbursement of listed fees, unless otherwise decided by the judge.

Unlisted fees: indemnity fixed by the judge on an equitable basis

When the judge’s decision awards costs to a party who does not benefit from legal aid, the party has to reimburse the Treasury office with the costs advanced by the State in the defence of the party who does benefit from legal aid.

Case B

Yes

Total reimbursement of listed fees, unless otherwise decided by the judge.

Unlisted fees: indemnity fixed by the judge on an equitable basis

Idem


Costs for translation and interpretation


Case study

Translation

Interpretation

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximate cost?

Case A

Documents submitted to the judge must be translated.

There are no statistics available.

When the judge does not understand the language in which the parties communicate.

Fees fixed by the judge.

Case B

Documents submitted to the judge must be translated.

Part of the inquiry procedure under  Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001.

There are no statistics available.

When the judge does not understand the language in which the parties communicate.

Part of the inquiry procedure under  Council Regulation (EC) No 1206/2001 of 28 May 2001.

Fees fixed by the judge.



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Last update: 07/06/2019