Employment Law – France

Lawyers in our Legal 500– recognized French employment practice have significant experience in counseling French and international clients, employers and top managers/executives, as well as representing them in litigation relating to various employment and labor-related issues, such as:

Individual Employment Relations

The lawyers in our Paris office provide day-to-day advice to numerous French and foreign companies regarding French employment law, including employment contracts, restrictive covenants (non-competition clauses, exclusivity clauses, confidentiality clauses), terminations and dismissals, pre-litigation negotiations and settlement agreements, group/international mobility, risk prevention at work (discrimination and moral harassment), and health and safety.

Collective Employment Relations

Our lawyers regularly assist clients in collective matters, such as reductions in workforce and collective redundancies, implementation of internal rules, remuneration systems (executives’ compensation, incentive plans, profit sharing, stock-options, and restrictive stock units (RSU)), working hours, and professional training.

We also assist clients in meeting their obligations vis-à-vis trade unions and personnel representatives (implementation of employee representative bodies, negotiation of collective agreements, annual mandatory negotiations, information/consultation obligations) and in dealing with collective litigation involving those bodies.

Corporate Restructuring

Our lawyers in Paris also regularly conduct employment-related due diligence and assist companies with all employment-related aspects of French acquisitions, mergers, restructurings, buyouts, and other commercial transactions (including consultation of French staff representatives on the project, employment aspects of business transfers, reductions in workforce, collective redundancies or voluntary dismissals, determination of the status/social coverage of the managers, drafting and negotiation of non-competition clauses and incentives for key managers, and compliance with various related regulations).

Top Management

In Paris, our lawyers advise clients concerning top-managers/executives and corporate officers (status, social coverage, negotiation, drafting and termination of employment contracts and management agreements, remuneration, incentives and stock-options).

Social Security

The firm advises a wide range of clients on social security issues such as social security and tax treatment/optimization of termination indemnities paid to French employees/managers, stock options plans and RSU, work-related accidents, and diseases.

Our lawyers regularly assist clients during audits conducted by the authorities in charge of collecting Social Security contributions (URSSAF).

Through our Paris office, the firm assists a wide range of French and international clients operating in various economic sectors such as:

  • Automotive
  • Aviation
  • Chemical Industries
  • Communications
  • Financial Institutions
  • Hospitality and Leisure
  • Life Sciences and Health Care
  • Luxury, Fashion, and Beauty
  • Retail
  • Technology (IT)
  • Transportation

Key Contacts

All Attorneys

Our lawyers in Paris have represented, among others:

A major private equity fund with respect to its acquisition of a portfolio of hotels in France.

A manufacturer of medical devices in connection with the closure of one of its French subsidiaries, including the economic redundancy of its French employees.

A U.S. pharmaceutical group in connection with its acquisition of a French pharmaceutical group, including due diligence of employment issues.

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Cohen & Gresser's Paris office has been recognized in The Legal 500’s 2019 Europe, Middle East, and Africa guide for its work in seven separate practice areas: Compliance, Commercial Litigation, Employment, Stock Market Litigation, Tax, White Collar Crime, and IT, Telecoms and the Internet. Clients note that the team in Paris is “solution driven” and has the “ability to deliver a holistic approach, from providing strategic analysis to delivering concrete action plans and execution,” with “strong technical and interpersonal skills."

Cohen & Gresser has been recognized in Legal 500’s 2018 Europe, Middle East, and Africa guide for its work in France in five separate practice areas: Compliance, Employment, Stock Market Litigation, Tax, and IT, Telecoms and the Internet.  Our Paris team is lauded for an "excellent level of service" and for offering "a very good and rare combination of high legal expertise and accurate business understanding."

C&G partner Angéline Duffour participated in a roundtable interview of the French labor minister, Muriel Pénicaud, for the French publication Le Parisien. The minister answered questions regarding the upcoming labor law reforms, known as the “Macron Decrees.”

Read the full article in French.

C&G's Paris office has been recognized in the 2017 edition of Legal 500’s Europe guide for its work in four separate areas: Mergers & Acquisitions; Employment; IT, Telecoms and the Internet; and Tax. 

Eiffel Investment Group, an alternative asset investor specializing in European credit and equities and a subsidiary of Cohen & Gresser client, the Impala Group, has reached a deal to acquire 100% of the ownership of Alto Invest, an independent asset management firm specializing in European small and mid-cap companies. Franck Le Mentec advised Impala on the tax aspects of the deal, while Angéline Duffour and Anna Milleret-Godet advised on the labor law aspects of the deal. 

C&G announces the promotion of Mark Spatz to partner and Anna Milleret-Godet and Matthew V Povolny to counsel.

"Congratulations to all three of these outstanding attorneys," said Managing Partner Lawrence T Gresser. "These promotions are the result of their commitment to excellence, integrity, and client service, and reflect our confidence in them and the continuing growth of the firm." 

We are pleased to announce that Cohen & Gresser's Paris office has been recognized in Legal 500's 2016 France guide for its work in three separate practice areas:  Mergers and Acquisitions; Employment; and IT, Telecoms, and the Internet.  Legal 500 also noted Cohen & Gresser's growth in Paris over the course of 2015 in its overview of the French legal market. 

Legal 500 analyzes the capabilities of law firms across the world.  Its rankings highlight "practice area teams who are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel." 

In this article, Paris partner Angéline Duffour discusses the potential impact and limitations of the new proposed law redefining the legal framework for economic dismissals and allowing for more flexibility in employment relationships.

In this article, Anna Milleret-Godet speaks to French publication Les Echos about a recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights, in line with the French Supreme Court, which allows an employer to monitor an employee’s private use of professional messaging tools.

This article disccusses new incentives for small businesses in France. C&G's Angéline Duffour and Franck Le Mentec weigh in on the tax and employment incentives France is offering to promote the creation of companies.

Note: Article is in French 

For the second consecutive year, Décideurs has recognized Cohen & Gresser's Paris office and Partner Angéline Duffour in the Employment section of its rankings guide. The guide has recognized the firm's Paris office as well as Ms. Duffour individually for Employment in general and more specifically in its Restructurings, Employment Related Reorganizations, and Related Collective Litigation listings. 

In this article, Paris office attorneys Angéline Duffour and Elise Farcy discuss the main changes brought by Macron’s decrees on staff representatives. 

Dans cet article, Angéline Duffour et Elise Farcy, avocats au sein du bureau de Paris de Cohen & Gresser, analysent les principaux changements apportés par les ordonnances Macron en matière de représentation du personnel.
 

In this article, Paris office attorneys Angéline Duffour and Elise Farcy discuss the new “collective mutual termination” created by Macron’s decrees and its differences with the voluntary departure plan.

Dans cet article, Angéline Duffour et Elise Farcy, avocats au sein du bureau de Paris de Cohen & Gresser, analysent le nouveau dispositif de rupture conventionnelle collective, créé par les ordonnances Macron et le comparent avec le plan de départ volontaire autonome. 

Announced by Emmanuel Macron during his electoral campaign, the bill authorising the government to pass laws by ordonnance (decree), i.e. without a parliamentary debate, in order to improve social dialogue - adopted by the French Senate on 2 August - is the first part of the programme the government wants to propose to employer organizations and trade unions. According to the official timetable, three decrees are expected to be published between now and 21 September 2017.

Le Figaro interviewed Angéline Duffour about Macron's campaign promises of creating a unique maternity leave for all women, independently of their status (employee, independent worker, etc.). 

Anna Milleret-Godet speaks to L’Express about a reform proposed by one of the candidates in the French presidential election, concerning consequences of an unfair dismissal. 

In this article, Paris office attorneys Angéline Duffour and Hélène Berion discuss from an Employment law perspective the key issues and new obligations of the recently adopted Lapin II legislation in France regarding transparency and anti-corruption, with particular regard to the new status of alerts launchers.  

*Article is in French

In this article, Paris partner Angéline Duffour discusses the potential impact and limitations of the new proposed law redefining the legal framework for economic dismissals and allowing for more flexibility in employment relationships.

In this article, Anna Milleret-Godet speaks to French publication Les Echos about a recent decision by the European Court of Human Rights, in line with the French Supreme Court, which allows an employer to monitor an employee’s private use of professional messaging tools.

In this article, Paris office attorneys Angéline Duffour and Anna Milleret-Godet discuss the key issues and potential impact of internal audits/reviews that can be mandated by US legislation, including data and information sharing issues. 

*Article is in French

A client alert addressing recent changes to French employment law. 

Under French law, a company's manager can be a legal representative (corporate officer) of the French entity and/or an employee of the French entity. The most appropriate status will depend on the company’s needs and the candidate’s expectations, and either designation will impact the determination of the law applicable to the relationship, the obligations and responsibilities of the manager, and his social security status. This article addresses this new legislation and how it can affect companies and managers. 

Partner Angéline Duffour discussed the necessary steps involved in successful business creation, risk anticipation and entrepreneurship at a Salon des Entrepreneurs Conference titled “Créateurs: anticipez, maîtrisez vos risques... Et provoquez votre réussite!” (Entrepreneurs: Anticipate, Control Your Risk… And Generate Your Success!)

View photos from the event:  Photo 1;  Photo 2;  Photo 3;  Photo 4

Partners Muriel Goldberg-Darmon and Angéline Duffour spoke at a roundtable on “Grey areas in privilege” during the Women in Investigations conference in London on June 28, 2018. The panelists were: Jane Shvets, Partner at Debevoise & Plimpton, Polly Sprenger, Partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman, Mona Vaswani, Partner at Allen & Overy, and Muriel Goldberg-Darmon, Partner at Cohen & Gresser. The moderator was Martina de Lind van Wijngaarden, Partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Muriel discussed the French Bar rules regarding privilege and internal investigations as well as cross border investigations (DOJ investigations and AMF/SEC investigations). Angéline spoke about specific issues in France regarding employment law (disciplinary sanctions and protection of employees).

C&G partner Angéline Duffour led a workshop on French Labor Law Reforms at Paris EUROPLACE's Expanding Your Business in Paris Workshop in London. President of the Paris Region, former Education Minister and Treasury Minister, Valérie Pécresse, introduced the workshop. 

Les cinq ordonnances portant réforme du Code du travail, signées vendredi 22 septembre dernier par le Président de la République, ont été publiées samedi 23 septembre au Journal officiel.

Certaines mesures prévues par ces ordonnances sont d'application immédiate, telles que le barème des indemnités prud'homales ou la réforme du télétravail, tandis que d'autres, comme la fusion des instances représentatives du personnel, écessitent des décrets d'application. Selon le gouvernement, une vingtaine de décrets est attendue d'ici le 31 décembre 2017. Les ordonnances devront toutefois, pour être pérennisées, être ratifiées par l'Assemblée nationale.

Nous vous proposons, lors de cette matinale, de faire le point sur ces ordonnances et, plus particulièrement, de :

  • décrypter et analyser les mesures phares de la réforme,
  • identifier les impacts sur les pratiques existantes,
  • bénéficier de conseils opérationnels pour se mettre en conformité.

Intervenants :

  • Angéline Duffour
  • Anna Milleret-Godet

Date : Mardi 17 octobre 2017

Heure : 8h30 - 10h30