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Protection of Subcontractors under French law: an overview

Paper number

Carole Malinvaud

December 2006

A paper given to a meeting of the Society of Construction Law in London on 5th September 2006.

Since 1975, French law has given all subcontractors in construction and transport contracts significant statutory protections for their right to be paid, including rights of action against the Employer and financial guarantees. Carole Malinvaud summarises these protections, differentiating between private and public sector contracts. The text of key provisions of the 1975 Law (translated into English) and summaries of the main cases interpreting these statutory rights are included in appendices. She then considers the relevance of the 1975 Law to international contracts and the impact of the ome Convention. Finally she suggests ways in which subcontractors may protect their position, including via multi-party arbitration proceedings involving Employer and Main Contractor, with suggested clauses to achieve this in an ICC ules context.

Introduction - The scope of the 1975 Law - Applicability of the 1975 Law to international subcontracts - Specific procedural devices available to subcontractors - Annex 1 Key provisions of the current text of the 1975 Law - Annex 2 Summaries of some of the cases quoted - Annex 3 Example of ad hoc arbitration provisions allowing inclusion of subcontractors.

The author: Carole Malinvaud is a partner of Gide Loyrette Nouel in Paris.

Text: 23 pages

PDF file size: 174k