On 19 June 2019, our Paris office organized a client seminar on the topic: “Insight into competition and regulatory authorities’ investigations in France”.

Our Paris competition partners Natasha Tardif and Marc Lévy spoke alongside in-house counsel Amandine Jacquemot, senior legal advisor at EDF, before a fully packed room composed of Paris contacts and clients. Natasha and Marc discussed strategies and measures to adopt when facing requests for information, dawn raids and investigations led by competition authorities.

This first edition of the Competition and Regulatory Practice Seminar was a great opportunity for the audience to be able to openly discuss with the panelists regarding very sensitive and challenging topics for companies. There is indeed a fine line between cooperation and protection of the companies’ rights of defence, while facing the risk of sanctions for illegal practices or obstruction.

Based on their experience in the field, the speakers addressed the following questions:

  • What strategies and precautions should be taken with regard to the investigative powers of the French Competition Authority, the European Commission and the DGCCRF?
  • How to ensure the protection of the company’s fundamental rights (rights of defence, business secrecy, protection of attorney/client privilege), including in an international context?
  • How can these rights be reconciled with the duty of cooperation of companies and avoid a sanction for obstruction?

Our panel of speakers addressed these issues from the perspective of outside and inside counsels as well as the viewpoint of the investigated companies in a very interactive way, which was highly appreciated by the audience.