Asset recovery—France—Q&A guide

The following Restructuring & Insolvency practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Asset recovery—France—Q&A guide
  • 1. Is there any restriction on civil proceedings progressing in parallel with, or in advance of, criminal proceedings concerning the same subject matter?
  • 2. In which court should proceedings be brought?
  • 3. What are the time limits for starting civil court proceedings?
  • 4. In what circumstances does the civil court have jurisdiction? How can a defendant challenge jurisdiction?
  • 5. What is the usual time frame for a claim to reach trial?
  • 6. What rules apply to the admissibility of evidence in civil proceedings?
  • 7. What powers are available to compel witnesses to give evidence?
  • 8. What sources of information about assets are publicly available?
  • 9. Can information and evidence be obtained from law enforcement and regulatory agencies for use in civil proceedings?
  • More...

Asset recovery—France—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to asset recovery in France published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: September 2020).

Authors: Reed Smith LLP—Daniel Kadar; Simon Le Reste; Stéphanie Abdesselam

1. Is there any restriction on civil proceedings progressing in parallel with, or in advance of, criminal proceedings concerning the same subject matter?

Civil proceedings can be conducted in parallel with criminal proceedings, as long as the subject matter is not identical to the criminal matter. The claimant who chooses to bring the case to the civil court first is not entitled to bring the case before a criminal court unless the Public Prosecutor’s Office brings the case before the criminal court before any decision on the merits (article 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code). In any case, civil courts remain competent in summary proceedings, to prescribe all necessary interim measures, even if the claimant has already brought a civil action before the criminal court (article 5-1 of the Criminal Procedure Code).

The only circumstance in which the civil judge is required to suspend proceedings would be in the case where the sole purpose of the civil action is to compensate the damage caused by the offence on which the criminal court is ruling. In all other cases, the civil judge would not be compelled

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