France

We represent clients from all around the world in France every year. We see the globe as having no borders and are unafraid of language hurdles or time zones.

Legal Industry in France

Lawyers in France are employed by the state and are protected by law. They provide efficient legal services to people who cannot afford them and typically focus on civil cases. Although there is an increasing demand for lawyers from companies, most work in government or judicial sectors. The legal job market in France has been changing dramatically in recent years. The French Bar Association has estimated that the number of jobs for lawyers will be reduced by 30% by 2020. This is due to the fact that the legal market is becoming more digitized, which makes it difficult for lawyers to find work. That being said, many people have started going into law because they know it is a highly lucrative, stable career path. Those with a strong interest in the law, who speak fluent English and French, should consider getting a law degree in France.

Most common legal demands in France

Legal Market Overview in France

Lawyers, judges, paralegals, and bailiffs are some of the actors active in the French legal system. The legal services offered by some of these professionals are crucial for the functioning of the public justice sector and the private legal market in France. Indirectly, these same actors contribute to an international legal services market with a forecasted value of about 790 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. It goes without saying that legal services are not a niche business, with about eight percent of all French claiming having sought legal consultation in 2021. With over the 70,000 attorneys registered as bar members in the country in 2020, the importance of this market in France undisputable.

When Covid-19 landed in early 2020, everyone in France was thinking the same thing. Business executives, investors and political experts braced for a large-scale economic meltdown. Insolvency lawyers spoke openly of an ‘Armageddon’ on the way. Everyone was wrong.The country has seen remarkable growth since France’s first and only full lockdown was lifted in the spring of 2020. “The end of the lockdown in May 2020 liberated energies”, analysed one star corporate partner; and as “a lot of liquidities were available and a strong state financial support was already in place, this meant that the economy could quickly restart”.M&A, LBO, private equity, capital markets, real estate markets have all boomed, while conversely insolvency proceedings and unemployment rates have reached historically low records. And if 2020 turned out to be a good year for business – to the surprise of many – 2021 was a terrific one. Several emblematic private equity and M&A deals, such as the M6-TF1 merger in the audiovisual sector or the takeover of Suez by Veolia, testify of the extent of the investors’ appetite – the Veolia-Suez deal, for instance, gave rise to “one of the fiercest stock-market battles ever fought in France”. Business law firms are no exception and experienced exceptional growth – a number of them saw their revenues go up by a staggering 25% for 2021.

Research shows 69% of people in France experienced a legal problem,62% of them knew where to access help and 47% resolved the problem.

The average duration of resolving a legal problem in France is 16 months and also 42% experienced a hardship.

Frequently Asked Questions

Business litigation in tried by the French Commercial Court. Once the defendant is served with the summons of the plaintiff a judge will start analysing the evidence each party submits and make a decision. In order to avoid lengthy court proceedings our French lawyers can also recommend arbitration.

There are no special requirements for foreign investors opening companies in France. As long as they respect the requirements of the Commercial Code. The most employed types of companies in France are the limited liability company and the company limited by shares. There are no minimum share capital requirements, but you must deposit 20% of it in the case of limited liability companies and 50% in the case of companies limited by shares.

The first step when opening a company in France is to select a business name and have the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association drafted. These must be submitted with the appropriate authority depending on their object of activity.

Yes, depending on the company’s object of activity, special licenses or permits might be required. Our French attorneys will offer you personalized advice on how to set up your company.

Debt collection procedures in France can be done amicably or by legal means. The main goal is to achieve an amicable debt recovery solution. If no agreement is reached between parties the Commercial Court will try the case.

Foreign citizens of non-EU countries are required to apply for a short-stay or a Schengen visa before coming to France. All applications are processed by the French Embassy or Consulate in your country.

In order to obtain French citizenship you must live and work in France for at least five years. Having a French income source is essential in obtaining citizenship.