French Business Law in Translation - Second Edition
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French Business Law in Translation sets forth a unique collection of translations of those French laws relevant in an international business context. It presents a bilingual version of the French laws and regulations that the authors have condensed from tens of thousands of pages down to the “essence” of the law in each of the fifteen subject areas. They refer to rules and regulations in French law of recurrent importance to business professionals and legal practitioners involved in international business.
By adding the relevant French text in a column directly across from the translation into English, this 2nd edition has a whole new dimension which makes it an invaluable resource in legal linguistics for international practitioners and academics.
The selection of texts has been made by members of the Paris office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker (Europe) LLP, under the direction of Pierre Kirch. A team of advanced French and American law students at Columbia University Law School, supervised by Professor Bermann, has prepared the basic translations. The definitive translations and chapter introductions were prepared by the authors.
Through a sound translation of the legislation which recurringly applies to ordinary and usual business situations, it is possible to discern the philosophy underlying the French system, reflective of how France conceives and regulates business phenomena that are in themselves essentially universal.
Significant excerpts of fast-evolving areas of the law have been translated because in a French setting, transactional work involves not only fundamental contractual concepts set out in the Civil Code, but also securities law, intellectual property, competition, tax and labor law considerations. Each chapter opens with a brief introduction to the subject and an outline of its contents. The purpose is to allow the reader to place the translated legislation and rules in their overall context. The selection of translated material is done in such a way as to enable the reader to appreciate in their full scope the fundamentals of each area of the law, as conceived by the legislator, the French Government and, in certain cases, independent regulatory authorities. A glossary added to each chapter is intended to give a preliminary idea of the conceptual linguistic tools used in each of the subject-area chapters.
Legal translation is not an exact science, but based on the authors' combined experience of more than 50 years in dealing with the fascinating differences between French law and U.S. law, they are keenly aware of the fact that the translation of legal language is not made by the translation of words, but rather by an attempt to use words to achieve an (often rough) equivalence of concepts. By putting the French original across from the translation, and by investing themselves in the qualitative value of seeking not words but conceptual equivalents or explanations for the rules of French law, they hope to have fostered a deeper understanding of the laws and regulations governing business in France. This should not only better inform those lawyers involved internationally but also be instructive to French lawyers interested in the recurrent linguistic characteristics of French legal texts. This can only be shown when the French original is compared with the appropriate conceptual link to American legal English.
George A. Bermann is the Jean Monnet Professor of European Union Law and Walter Gellhorn Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, where he also directs the European Legal Studies Center.
Prior to joining the Columbia faculty in 1975 he practiced as an associate at the New York law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell. Professor Bermann is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Professor Bermann teaches and writes extensively in the fields of European Law, Comparative Law, Transnational Litigation and Arbitration, and WTO dispute resolution. He is the author or editor of, among other books, Introduction to French Law (co-editor Picard, Kluwer Pub.), Transnational Litigation (West Pub.), Law and Governance in an enlarged European Union (co-editor Pistor, Hart Pub.), Transatlantic Regulatory Co-operation: Legal Problems and Political Prospects (co-editor Lindseth, Oxford Univ.), and Cases and Materials on European Union Law (co-authors Goebel, Davey & Fox, West Pub.). He is a visiting member of the law faculties of the Universities of Paris I and II, the Collège d’Europe (Bruges, Belgium) and the Institut des Sciences Politiques (Sciences Po) in Paris.
Professor Bermann is currently President of the Académie internationale de droit comparé (based in Paris) and Co-editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Comparative Law. He founded and is chair of the executive editorial board of the Columbia Journal of European Law. He has served throughout his academic career as an expert on foreign law in U.S. courts and international arbitral tribunals. He is currently Chief Reporter of the American Law Institute’s new Restatement of the U.S. Law of International Commercial Arbitration.
Pierre Kirch, a graduate of Dartmouth and the University of Paris Law School (Paris I and Paris II), a past president of the Dartmouth Club of France, immediate past chair of the EU law section of the Union Internationale des Avocats, currently serves as the rapporteur of AmCham EU's working group on State aid in Brussels. He is also a founding member of the Editorial Board of the French language quarterly review of competition law, Concurrences.
Mr. Kirch has contributed to publications such as European Competition Law: A Guide to the EC and its Member States (LexisNexis/Matthew Bender; chapter on France), Merger Control in Europe (Kluwer Law International; chapter on France), Droit europa en des affaires (co-author, Dunod), Economic Analysis of State Aid Rules: Contributions and Limits (co-author, Lexxion). Mr. Kirch is a member of the Paris and Brussels Bars. Before joining Paul Hastings as a partner in 2004, he was a partner at Moquet Borde & Associates.
"A superb translation into English
of the main French laws and regulations on commercial matters, enlightened by
carefully written introductions and basic glossaries; this work, in the present
second edition, will be of great assistance to practitioners in understanding
and addressing issues of French business law".
- Professor Pierre Mayer, is a Partner at the
Paris office of Dechert LLP. He is an Associate member of the Institut de
Droit International, a Member of the Council of the ICC Institute of World
Business Law, and Former President of the Committee on Private International
Law of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA).
"I offer my profound gratitude to
both authors for the fantastic job they have done. As a lawyer admitted to both
the Paris and the New York Bars, I am very familiar with the difficulties of
translation. Translating not only words, but legal concepts is a daunting task
which requires linguistic skills, of course, which both authors possess to the
highest degree, but also a deep knowledge of the Law, of the History of the Law
and of the legal cultures concerned. Bermann and Kirch have truly done an
outstanding job at it. I was unable to find just one sentence, or even one word
that I thought could have been better translated. The English version of the
French legal texts reads as precisely, and as freely as the French. This book
is and will be invaluable to practicing attorneys like myself who can now rely
on a very accurate and precise translation of all the laws and statutes that
are part of our day-to-day practice. I am also very impressed by the sheer size
of the book and the considerable amount of work it represents. There is simply
no body of business law that I can think of for which a translation of all the
main provisions under French law is not provided by this book. My warmest
congratulations and my thanks to both authors for this book that will now sit
with Black’s Law Dictionary at the forefront of my book shelf, right by my
-Pierre Servan-Schreiber, Co-Head of Skadden, Arps, Slate,
Meagher & Flom LLP Paris office, is one of the leading lawyers in France
for mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. He regularly advises
prominent European and U.S. corporate entities on major strategic cross-border
transactions, and he has assisted clients on some of the most visible
transactions involving French companies
Law in Translation is
an invaluable legal tool for international law practitioners. This reference
book is a remedy against the "lost in translation syndrome" and a
value added resource for handling a sound Franco-US legal business practice.
The outlines and the glossaries are contextualizing the selected regulations in
an easy to read format."
- Philippe Coen - Board Member
of the AFJE (French In-House Counsel Association)
and Kirch’s work should become an indispensable tool for all students and
lawyers with transnational questions involving French business law. The
selection of materials is excellent, and the facing translations are not only
an invaluable tool for the Anglo-American lawyer, but should be extremely
useful to their French counterparts when they seek accurate translations of
their law in English."
- Professor Vernon Palmer is a
Thomas Pickles Professor of Law; Co-Director, Eason-Weinmann Center of
Comparative Law; and Director, European Legal Studies Program; Tulane
University Law School. He is a "Chevalier" in the French Legion of