Insurance litigation—France—Q&A guide
Insurance litigation—France—Q&A guide

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Insurance litigation—France—Q&A guide
  • 1. In what fora are insurance disputes litigated?
  • 2. When do insurance-related causes of action accrue?
  • 3. What preliminary procedural and strategic considerations should be evaluated in insurance litigation?
  • 4. What remedies or damages may apply?
  • 5. Under what circumstances can extracontractual or punitive damages be awarded?
  • 6. What rules govern interpretation of insurance policies?
  • 7. When is an insurance policy provision ambiguous and how are such ambiguities resolved?
  • 8. What are the mechanics of providing notice?
  • 9. What are a policyholder’s notice obligations for a claims-made policy?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to insurance litigation in France published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: February 2021).

Authors: Kennedys Law LLP—Nicolas Bouckaert; Aurélia Cadain

1. In what fora are insurance disputes litigated?

In France, insurance disputes are litigated in the following fora:

  1. first instance civil courts;

  2. first instance commercial courts;

  3. courts of appeal; and

  4. the French Supreme Court (the Court of Cassation).

To identify which of the above fora has jurisdiction at first instance it is necessary to verify the identity of the parties (whether the parties are deemed to be commercial or civil entities). If all the parties are commercial entities, the dispute must be brought before the commercial court that has territorial jurisdiction, regardless of the amount of the claim. However, commercial entities can choose to bring their disputes before another commercial court or indeed a civil court, provided they entered into a valid choice of-jurisdiction clause. If all the parties involved are civil entities, the dispute must be brought before civil courts. Note that since decree No. 2019-912, which came into force on 1 January 2020, the organisation of French first instance civil Courts has been simplified: before the 1 January 2020, claims brought before civil courts would either be brought before the County Court or the High Court, depending on

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