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French Commercial Agency Agreements - A Brief Overview in French law

At French law, the role of a Commercial Agent is strictly defined by legislative provisions, which are of a public policy nature.

The Commercial Agent must be registered as such upon a special statutory list held by the registrar of the territorially competent Commercial Court.

French law demonstrates that compared to many common law systems, the said provisions are very much in favour of the agent as opposed to the principal.

French law illustrates that it is extremely difficult to dismiss a Commercial Agent in France, indeed other than for "faute grave" or serious misconduct; it is virtually impossible to remove a Commercial Agent without paying considerable compensation.

The concept of "faute grave" is currently subject to much discussion in commercial case law and it might be useful for the principal to attempt to characterise this notion within the agreement, i.e. before future difficulties were encountered.

In any event, it will generally be necessary to pay compensation for loss of clientele upon the expiry or termination of her agreement under French law



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