Elected representatives of employers and employees are jointly represented on French labor court benches, making them a unique institution in Europe. They have jurisdiction over individual disputes related to employment contracts, which they can resolve through interim orders and judgments on the merits.
brL avocats represents corporate clients at labor court hearings throughout French territory (including the Overseas Departments and Territories) in all types of dispute for which labor courts are the proper venue, in particular litigation over:
brL avocats also represents clients before the appeal courts for employment-related litigation, even if it did not handle the case before the court of first instance. brL avocats assists both appellant and respondent clients, regardless of the type of appeal procedure (appeals on the merits and interim appeals, motions to challenge jurisdiction, motions concerning related cases, motions to dismiss if the matter is pending before another court and procedures before the chief judge to suspend provisional enforcement, etc.)
The Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) and Supreme Administrative Court (Conseil d’Etat) are the highest courts in France. The Cour de cassation is the supreme authority for civil, commercial, criminal and labor matters, the Conseil d’Etat for administrative matters.
In principle, these highest courts do not rule on the merits of the cases they hear. Rather, they primarily have jurisdiction over the correct application of the law by the lower courts and appeal courts under them, with the aim of ensuring consistent interpretation of the law, regulations and contracts.
Representation before the supreme courts is provided exclusively by a special corps of advocates. Their monopoly was extended to include employment law cases on January 1, 2005.
This means that brL attorneys cannot plead before the supreme courts on behalf of their clients; nevertheless, they still play a key role in supreme court proceedings.
brL avocats has privileged partnerships with certain supreme court advocates who have a proven track record of effective, sound services, in particular in terms of their technical knowledge of supreme court appeals in the field of labor and employment law. brL attorneys are the key point of contact for the supreme court advocates, with whom they work in order to define the strategy and ensure the appeal is heard (on behalf of appellants and respondents).
brL avocats strongly believes in bringing cases before the supreme courts and advises its clients to do so where appropriate, as appeals on points of law are sometimes the only way to bring about change in positive law and case law precedent.
Moreover, since March 1, 2010, all litigants can, during judicial or administrative proceedings, make an application for a priority preliminary ruling on an issue of constitutionality (the “QPC” procedure).
The court hearing the case on the merits transfers the application to the Supreme Court or the Supreme Administrative Court, then to the Constitution Council.
brL avocats also assists its clients in this type of procedure.
The appeal courts and the administrative appeal courts are the courts of second instance (for judicial and administrative matters, respectively), that in principle offer litigants a means of appealing on the merits of a case (unless the court of first instance has handed down an unappealable judgment).
brL avocats assists and represents its clients before all appeal courts on French territory (including in the Overseas Departments and Territories), as a continuation of the first instance proceedings, or when taking over a client’s defense at the appellate stage, from another attorney, for example.
These are the courts of first instance for administrative matters. Their jurisdiction is expanding to encompass an increasing number of labor law fields.
brL avocats represents clients before all administrative courts on French territory (including in the Overseas Departments and Territories), in particular for disputes concerning:
Since the Job Security Act was adopted, the administrative courts have exclusive jurisdiction over the validity of procedures for mass layoffs on economic grounds (the Job Protection Scheme and the consultative procedure are now initially overseen by the DIRECCTE regional authority, and only brought before the administrative courts in the event a dispute).
brL avocats has developed specific labor law expertise for corporate restructurings and assists clients with this new type of litigation, which will inevitably become commonplace, that is at the heart of restructuring proceedings (as was the case previously for interim actions to suspend the procedures to inform and consult employee representatives before the courts of first instance).
brL avocats defends its clients (both legal entities and executives) if they are taken into police custody or appear before the criminal courts, in particular if these clients are implicated in matters involving criminal labor law, for example:
These are the ordinary courts for civil law matters. They rule on disputes for which the law does not specifically confer jurisdiction on another court. They also have jurisdiction over specific areas and types of action defined by law.
brL avocats represents clients before all courts of first instance on French territory (including in overseas countries and territories) in disputes involving, for example:
brL avocats also represents clients during evidentiary hearings before the Court President, in order to obtain orders under Article 145 of the Civil Procedure Code (investigative measures, for example to marshal or protect evidence, where necessary with the assistance of IT experts, judicial officers, etc.) or before the enforcement judge for disputes on the execution of court decisions.
These courts have jurisdiction over general social security litigation, which includes all disputes concerning statutory social security systems, especially litigation over affiliation to social security systems, contributions to these systems, benefits provided, occupational accidents and diseases. brL avocats represents clients before social security courts throughout France (including in overseas countries and territories), in particular for:
brL avocats represents clients before social security courts for both equitable relief and litigious proceedings.
Local courts have specific jurisdiction over labor-management relations, since they rule on disputes over workplace elections and the appointment of employee representatives.
brL avocats represents clients before local courts throughout France (including in the overseas departments and territories) in litigation over:
These courts have jurisdiction over technical social security litigation, which includes all medical disputes over the temporary or permanent disability of social security beneficiaries/employees with regard to occupational accidents and diseases.
brL avocats represents clients before disability courts throughout French territory (including in the overseas countries and territories) and has developed specific expertise in this area, especially in the implementation of comprehensive legal strategies to optimize occupational accident and disease rates and reduce the associated social security contributions.