Following the 2008 financial crisis there has been considerable evolution in financial disputes in France. The French Market Regulator (AMF) has tightened its supervision and strengthened its sanctions, not only against financial institutions but also in the context of corporate transactions involving shares in publicly listed companies. Laws have been passed to support AMF’s intensified scrutiny, giving it new procedural tools and increased financial sanctions powers. Other types of disputes have also flourished before French Courts, for instance in relation to derivative contracts, categories of which have come to be known in the media as ‘toxic products’. In the future, the number of financial disputes will continue to increase. The new French Government has proposed the introduction of a new law enabling class actions. Mis-selling actions may also finally find a friendly environment in France. Covering these varied topics, the following endeavours to provide an overview of some of the current trends in French regulatory and financial disputes and attempts to identify the outline of major future evolutions.

Disputes before the AMF

The AMF has been crucial during the financial crisis. It has concentrated on supervision and sanctions. Efforts to strengthen regulation have led to the imposition of sanctions of up to 1.5m on financial institutions and 5m on an individual. There has also been closer cooperation between regulators and improvement of the investigation techniques being deployed by them.

Oct-Dec 2013 issue

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP