Public Law

Public law is a very wide-ranging and distinct branch of French law. It applies to the State, local authorities, all public bodies and administrative and regulatory authorities as well as to any transactions among, with or involving these entities.

Given the key role played by the State and public bodies in the French and European economies be it as shareholder, contracting party or regulatory authority, public and administrative law is a crucial branch of law in France. Responding to this reality, Magenta has developed a comprehensive public & administrative law practice.

Matters relating to laws and regulations, administrative and public law contracts (e.g. public procurement procedures and public service concession contracts) are governed by Public Law. Public law also applies to questions relating to public property, State aid, transactions involving shareholdings of public sector companies, foreign investment control, environmental issues, town planning, public accountability. Regulated sectors such as energy (including renewables), infrastructure, telecommunications & broadcasting, transport are very often governed by Public Law. Moreover, a separate and distinct court system exists in France for public law matters (administrative courts, administrative courts of appeal, and a specific supreme court known as the “Conseil d’Etat”), with very specific rules of procedure making it absolutely essential to engage the services of a public law specialist.

Magenta, has extensive experience in public law matters and litigation as well as in-depth knowledge of industrial sectors and the applicable regulations.

Accordingly, we advise our clients on all matters relationg to :

  • Administrative and public contracts (e.g. public procurement contracts, public service concession contracts, complex contractual arrangements, etc.).

    Regulatory framework applicable to doing business in regulated sectors.

    The design and drafting of legislative and/or regulatory proposals or provisions and/or their amendments.

    Aspects of environmental law relating to classified facilities, water management, quarries, chemical and biocidal products, waste treatment, gas, oil or chemical products pipelines and any disputes arising therefrom.

    Urban planning & development issues including planning permission and disputes relating to these issues.

    Requests for authorisations or rulings under French foreign investment control rules.

    Corporate governance issues in state-controlled companies or where the State is a stakeholder and Transactions relating to their shareholding.

    Projects in Francophone Africa (e.g. public procurement procedures; concession contracts; environment related issues; etc.).

    Pre-contentious and contentious administrative procedures before domestic and European courts, regulatory authorities and/or arbitration tribunals (judicial review, planning permission appeals, authorisations to operate a business, recommendations and warning statements issued by administrative authorities, etc.) as well claims in public tort liability against a body governed by public law, etc.;

Recent exemples of transactions :

Advising operators and financial institutions on the development, acquisition or financing of solar plants and wind farms (both onshore and offshore) – analysis of the regulatory framework applicable to the erection of the solar plants and wind farms, the grid connection to the transmission network and the power purchase obligation (obligation d’achat d’électricité);

Advising an operator on the development of an interconnector between France and UK;

Advising a concessionaire in connection with issues arising out of the performance of a concession contract entered into with the Gabonese Republic;

Advising a financial institution in the context of a tender offer to provide certain payment services to French pension and social security entities;

Advising an operator of an electronic communication network holding several concession contracts for the implementation of a high-speed network in France in the context of the award and the performance of these contracts;

A judicial review challenge on behalf of several operators against regulations governing their businesses, notably on the basis that these regulations were unlawful under both

French and EU law;

Legal challenge of several taxes and royalties applied in the energy and electronic communication sectors on the basis that these taxes/royalties were not compliant with both French and EU laws;

Successful opposition proceedings against a revenue order before the administrative court, the administrative court of appeal and the Supreme Court (Conseil d’Etat);

Acting for the Paris Regional Transport Authority (STIF) in judicial review proceedings relating to passenger transportation in the Paris region (claims pending before the administrative court of Paris);

Appeal before the Paris Administrative Court of Appeal against a judgment of the French Polynesia administrative court of first instance declaring null and void a ministerial order establishing the wholesale price of leased lines.