Droit de la distribution & contrats commerciaux

Distribution law & commercial contracts

Our expertise

The legal framework applicable to supplier-distributor relations in all business sectors is ever-changing and raises many issues including: general and special terms and conditions of sale, payment terms, commercial negotiations, single agreements and logistics agreements, related penalties, remuneration for commercial cooperation services, support agreements, pricing issues, drafting complex agreements, etc.

Magenta assists clients at all stages of their commercial relations to provide operational advice and solutions adapted to their needs.

Magenta also helps create and manage distribution networks (selective or exclusive distribution, franchise agreements, commercial agency agreements, commission agreements, etc.).

We are convinced that to optimise assistance provided to clients, it is also necessary to be able to defend them before the competent courts or authorities. Magenta also has outstanding expertise in litigation (and pre-litigation), in particular in complex agreements with high financial, industrial and reputational stakes (contractual litigation, abrupt termination, significant imbalance, etc.).

Our work

Advising and assisting in negotiations for various suppliers during annual negotiations (single agreements and logistics agreements, listing agreements, etc.) with distributors (retail, pharmaceutical, agro-food, DIY, phytosanitary, fast-moving consumer goods sectors, etc.).
Assisting in drafting and negotiating affiliation and supply agreements in the food and non-food retail sectors.
Assisting with negotiation strategy and contract drafting to set up a franchising network.
Assisting in pre-litigation negotiations on the validity of non-compete and non-reaffiliation clauses.
Assisting and representing clients before the commercial courts in contractual litigation, liability disputes and summary applications for expert opinions.

Restrictive Trade Practices

Law on restrictive trade practices covers rules governing various aspects of commercial relations, ranging from negotiations (general or special terms and conditions of sale, single agreements, payment terms) to termination of commercial relations (abrupt termination of established commercial relations), including contractual content (unpaid-for advantage, significant imbalance, resale outside the network, logistics penalties, etc.).

This law combines general provisions and other special provisions adopted for specific sectors or products (food, fast-moving consumer goods).  Implementing such provisions is often complex for many players and partners, especially when business relations are international, even though the risk in event of non-compliance is high given the ceilings for civil, criminal or administrative fines.

Magenta assists clients with all of these aspects in an advisory and litigation role, notably by helping them to assess the validity of their agreements under these rules, negotiate or terminate contracts, or defend and protect their interests in litigation.

Our work

Assisting manufacturers in assessing reasonable notice periods for contractual termination.
Assisting in the scope of many disputes as claimant or defendant relating to abrupt termination of established commercial relations.
Assisting a distributor sued for alleged significant imbalance practice.

Consumer law

Consumer law is a major concern for all economic operators on BtoC markets (and also for some BtoB relations).  Multiple and complex rules apply: pre-contractual information, advertising, pricing display, contractual formalities and content, contract formation process, warranties and liability, after-sales service, black and grey lists of unfair clauses, rules on tied selling, etc.

In view of the applicable penalties, it is essential to take account of consumer law rules in operational processes to avoid heavy penalties.  Specific obligations apply on top of these general rules depending on the marketing method used (e-commerce, distance selling, door-to-door sales, etc.) and the contract type (electronic communications services, energy supply, consumer credit and financial services, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, etc.).

Magenta is well-versed in all of these issues to provide operational advice and pragmatic solutions to all companies in the development of their retail product and service offers.

Our work

Assisting in the scope of inspections conducted by the French Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention Directorate (DGCCRF) or competent Regional Directorates for the Economy, Employment, Labour and Solidarity (DRIEETS), which may result in settlements being reached.
Assisting in validating promotional initiatives (price discounts, loyalty programmes, competitions, lotteries, etc.).
Drafting general terms and conditions of sale and services for offers in the telecoms, hotel, payment services and platform sectors.
Validating comparative and non-comparative advertising campaigns.
Litigation before the commercial courts resulting in changes to a national multimedia advertising campaign (press, TV, billboards) for an Internet access offer.
Assisting various companies (mainly in the mobile telephone sector) before the commercial courts in various disputes resulting in the validation of several comparative or non-comparative advertising campaigns (press, TV, Internet, billboards).

Our rankings

Excellent en Concurrence et Distribution – Droit de la Distribution 2023

Décideurs 2023
Droit de la Distribution

Recommandé dans la catégorie Droit commercial, des affaires et de la concurrence.

Palmarès Le Point 2020
Droit commercial, des affaires et de la concurrence.

Magenta is a French boutique dedicated to competition, regulatory and public law issues. The nine-lawyer team combines strong competition law expertise with in-depth regulatory know-how in the telecoms sector, regularly earning it leading instructions in that area. The group notably manages key abuse of dominant position and anticompetitive antitrust cases in Polynesia and other French overseas territories in addition to handling high-profile merger control issues, often for telecoms clients, but also for clients from other sectors. Leading mass retailer Carrefour has entrusted highly sensitive matters in the distribution sector to the team. Sylvain Justier heads the practice which includes also key members Vincent Jaunet and Gaël Hichri, who became a partner in 2019.

Legal 500 2020
EU, Competition And Distribution

Magenta combines its expertise in the field of competition and antitrust with an in-depth knowledge of regulatory issues to advise an impressive list of clients in the heavily regulated industry sectors such as energy, transport and telecoms. Counsel Gaël Hichri supports joint practice heads Sylvain Justier and Vincent Jaunet, who recently acted for CCFA – the professional association covering all French car manufacturers – in a review of its practices to ensure regulatory compliance. Associates Lolita Berthol-Balladur and Morgane Silhol are part of the team currently representing Candy Hoover with regard to the FCA’s investigation into alleged vertical and horizontal malpractices in the white and brown goods sector. Also notable is Justier’s work for Deutsche Bahn pertaining to two proceedings: a public enforcement claim filed by the FCA relating to alleged abuse of dominant position in the freight railway market, and a private enforcement action brought against SNCF after it was found guilty by the FCA of having impeded the growth of the French market. Other key clients include Outremer Telecom, SFR and Adista.

Legal 500 2019
EU, Competition And Distribution

Forte notoriété en Contentieux et Arbitrage – Droit de la distribution & Pratiques restrictives 2018

Décideurs 2018
Droit de la distribution

Forte notoriété en Contentieux et Arbitrage – Droit de la distribution & Pratiques restrictives 2017

Décideurs 2017
Droit de la distribution