Past Issues‎ > ‎Past 2011‎ > ‎2011 April‎ > ‎

Arbitration reform

Arbitration reform makes France more attractive for international law firms
 
International law firms find France a choice market. The 24,000 foreign companies operating there and the 30,000 French companies with foreign investments are exposed to a wide variety of national laws. As such, they need to be able to consult legal specialists.
 
Almost half of the world’s top 100 commercial law firms have offices in Paris. With an average staff of 140, these offices employ around 7,000 people in Paris, of whom almost 4,000 are lawyers (Source: Radiographie des cabinets d'avocats d'affaires en France, 2009). These firms (usually American) include Reed Smith, Morgan Lewis, Orrick, K&L Gates, Nixon Peabody and Bryan Cave.
 
Their business involves not only legal counseling and litigation in French courts, but also international arbitration, for which Paris is the leading European venue due to the presence in the city, since 1923, of the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) International Court of Arbitration. In 2009, the ICC Court registered almost 900 new arbitration cases.
 
The arbitration process, which provides an alternative for settling commercial disputes between companies of all nationalities, takes place behind closed doors. The parties themselves choose the arbitrators who make up the arbitration panel.
 
International arbitration in France operates within the framework of two decrees issued in the early 1980s with a view to streamlining the process and improving its effectiveness. These decrees allow government judges to intervene in Court matters in order to ensure that it functions as it should.
 
After 30 years, the need for reform was apparent, and on January 13, 2011, France issued an arbitration reform decree. This decree has two objectives: to consolidate some of the advances in case law and to improve the effectiveness of the previous decrees by incorporating provisions inspired by foreign laws that have proved useful in practice.
 
According to IFA Chairman and CEO David Appia, “There are a large number of commercial law firms in Paris to take advantage of the proximity of the International Chamber of Commerce and its Court of Arbitration, which settles international commercial disputes. These firms provide valuable legal counsel and support for foreign investors in France. The recent modernization of arbitration strengthens Paris as a business location; there is every reason for foreign commercial law firms to continue to locate in Paris, to the benefit of foreign investors as a whole.”
 
The Invest in France Agency (IFA) is the national agency responsible for promoting and facilitating international investment in France. It also coordinates initiatives to promote France’s economic attractiveness. The IFA network operates worldwide, with offices in France as well as in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In France, the IFA works in partnership with regional development agencies to offer international investors outstanding business opportunities and customized services. For further information, please visit www.investinfrance.org/china

仲裁改革提升了法國對於國際法律事務所的吸引力

對於那些業務遍及世界的法律事務所來說,法國市場是最大的市場之一:設立在法國的兩萬四千家外國企業和三萬家在外國有投資的法國企業都要面對各國的多種的法律事務,因而需要求助於專業法律人士。

全世界百大商務律師事務所中超過一半在法國設立有機構。這些事務所工作人員的平均人數在一百四十人,在巴黎僱用的人數總計達七千人,其中四千人是律師(資料來源:《2009年法國商務律師事務所透視》)。在設立於巴黎的事務所當中,大多數是美國的事務所,其中包括Reed Smith、Morgan Lewis、Orrick、K&L Gates、Nixon Peabody、 Bryan Cave,等等。

這些事務所的業務涉及諮詢和法國法院管轄的爭議案件,但也涉及到國際仲裁。法國的國際仲裁在歐洲排名第一位。法國的這一地位主要是由於一九二三年以來在巴黎設立了國際商業法院的國際仲裁庭。二零零九年,近九百件新的仲裁案件經過國際商業法院的審理。

仲裁程式是各國企業之間商業糾紛司法解決的一種替代程式,採用閉門審理的方式,案件涉及到的各方自己選擇仲裁員組成仲裁庭。

法國對國際仲裁實施管理的有兩項政府法令。在八十年代初,頒佈這些法令的目的是簡化程式,改善程式的效率,同時允許國家法官干預仲裁機構,以確保其運行的良好。

經過三十年的實踐之後,法國認為有必要改革這些法令的文本,從而發佈了二零一一年一月十三日關於改革仲裁的政府法令。改革的目的是雙重的:加強一部分已有的法律原則,同時對以往的法律文本給予補充,以改善其效率,另外加入了一些新的受外國法律啟發的、實踐已經證明其效益的機制。

法國政府投資部(AFII)的主席David Appia認為「巴黎有很多外國的商務律師事務所,由於解決國際商業糾紛的國際商業法院和國際仲裁庭在法國,外國的律師事務所也可以得近水樓臺之益。外國的律師事務所向在法國投資的外國人提供諮詢和支援服務。最近,仲裁法律的現代化進一步加強了巴黎的地位:所有的條件均已具備,外國的律師事務所在巴黎設立辦事機構可以使外國的投資者更加受益。」

法國政府投資部介紹(AFII):
法國政府投資部是一個國家公共機構,負責促進、宣傳和接待國際投資。法國政府投資部可以為外國投資者在法國的投資項目提供方便,是提高法國對外國投資者的吸引力,優化法國形象的重要經濟機構。法國政府投資部以國際、國內和地區網路為基礎,與地區經濟發展署密切合作,向投資人提供個性化的服務。欲知詳情,請瀏覽網站www.investinfrance.org/china

Comments