Noëlle Lenoir

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel (Paris)
Lawyer (Partner)

Noëlle Lenoir focuses her practice on competition law, public business law and economic regulations – both at the national level and at the European level. She also has solid experience in data protection law, covering a wide scope of areas in this respect such as data breach prevention and incident response, government and internal investigations, cross-border data transfer and e-discovery, controllers’ and processors’ liability, global compliance and risk management, privacy policies and EU data counseling, consumer protection and class action litigation defense as well as advertising and internet marketing. She also advises on confidential business information and misappropriation of trade secrets as well as on matters in relation with the blocking statute. She served as French Minister of European Affairs from 2002 to 2004. She was also the first woman and the youngest person ever to have served on the French Constitutional Court and has been a member of the Conseil d’Etat (France’s highest court in administrative and tax matters) since 1984. Assigned by the Prime Minister on a project on Bioethical law (1990-1991), Noelle Lenoir has then chaired the EU Group of Ethics for Science & New Technology (EGE) between 1994 and 2001, as well as, the International Committee on Bioethics of UNESCO, which drafted the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights Declaration endorsed by the United Nations in 1998. She also taught at University College London (2000) and at the University of Law of Columbia (New York) in 2001. Additionally, she is a member of both the American Law Institute and the French Academy of Technologies. She is on the board of directors of Valeo and of the Compagnie des Alpes. She is also founding chairwoman of the Cercle des Européens, a “Think Tank” which operates as an ideas exchange group on socioeconomic and political stakes with French and European decision makers. She is also on the Board of Directors of the “Société de législation comparée”. Affiliate professor at HEC School, she also presides on the Europe Institute of HEC.

Linked authors

Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
Eversheds Sutherland (Paris)
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Paris)


87198 Bulletin

Marie-Laure Combet, Noëlle Lenoir The French Competition Council finds the incumbent rail operator guilty of implementing discriminatory practices in favor of its online travel subsidiaries and for entering into an anti-competitive partnership (SNCF /Expedia)


I. Facts The French rail operator SNCF enjoys a legal monopoly on passenger rail transport. However, train tickets themselves are sold through three main distribution channels : SNCF’s physical sales points as well as its merchant website operated by its VSC subsidiary (which altogether account (...)

Marie-Laure Combet, Noëlle Lenoir The French State Council delineates an administrative judge’s jurisdiction over governmental decisions when applying Art. 88.3 EC (Comité national des interprofessions des vins à appellations d’origine)


This is the first time that the French Supreme Administrative Court has had to decide on an application for annulment for refusing to report State measures which may qualify as state aid. The case at stake provided the French Supreme Administrative Court with an opportunity to specify the types (...)

Charlotte-Mai Doremus, Dan Roskis, Noëlle Lenoir The French Supreme Court questions allocation of costs in a predatory pricing case (Vedettes inter-îles vendéennes)


1. Facts and ruling The Régie départementale des passages d’eau de la Vendée (RDPEV) is the provider of a public service : it operates year-round in any weather daily ferry services for passengers, cargo and vehicles between the mainland and l’île d’Yeu. For this purpose, RDPEV uses three vessels : (...)

Dan Roskis, Marie-Laure Combet, Noëlle Lenoir The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the possibility for a fragrance manufacturer to exclude pure players and to restrict internet sales within its selective distribution network (PMC Distribution / Pacific Création)


Facts and Ruling In the present case, the dispute arose between Pacific Creation, a fragrance manufacturer and retailer and PMC Distribution (PMC), a pure player which offers branded products exclusively on the Internet. In France, Pacific Creation‘s fragrances are retailed through a selective (...)

Dan Roskis, Marie-Laure Combet, Noëlle Lenoir The French Competition Authority applies for the second time leniency and highlights discrepancy with EC competition law on concerted practices’ burden of proof ("Removals cartel")


Summary of the decision Following an investigation with dawn raids and seizures initiated further to a leniency application, the French Competition Council has sanctioned a horizontal cartel between twelve companies in the sector of national and international removals to and from France, (...)

Charlotte-Mai Doremus, Dan Roskis, Noëlle Lenoir The French Commercial Supreme Court partly annuls the Paris Court of Appeal’s judgment on illicit exchange of sensitive information in the mobile telephony cartel and strengthens the standard of proof (Bouygues Telecom / SFR / Orange)


Proceedings In its decision of November 25, 2005, the French Competition Council imposed record fines - up to a global amount of € 534 million - on the three main mobile phone operators in France (namely Bouygues Telecom, SFR and Orange France) for cartel practices infringing of Articles L. (...)

Charlotte-Mai Doremus, Dan Roskis, Noëlle Lenoir The Paris Court of Appeal receives the first application ever from the EU Commission acting as amicus curiae on the basis of Reg. N°1/2003 in a case concerning the application of the automotive block exemption (Garage Gremeau / Daimler Chrysler)


Facts and proceedings Garage Gremeau had been entrusted by Daimler Chrysler France with the distribution of Mercedes Benz motor vehicles in the Dijon area (Burgundy) since 1982. On the basis of the new Commission Regulation (EC) n° 1400/2002, of 31 July 2002, on the application of Article (...)

Charlotte-Mai Doremus, Dan Roskis, Noëlle Lenoir The French Administrative Supreme Court holds that aid to the daily press financed by a tax levied on advertising expenses affects trade between Member States and consequently amounts to State aid (Auchan)


Background and facts Article 23 of Law n° 97-1269 of 30 December 1997 () introduced a tax levied on certain advertising expenses (the Tax). The revenue of the Tax is used for the financing of a fund dedicated to the modernization of the daily press. Fund subsidies were granted to undertakings (...)

Dan Roskis, Noëlle Lenoir The European Court of Justice rules that pharmaceutical laboratories liable to a tax on direct sales of medicines are entitled to claim the reimbursement of the tax where the exemption of wholesale distributors constitute an illegal State aid (Boiron)


Opinion of Advocate General Antonio Tizzano, 30 March 2006 EU Court of Justice, Laboratoires Boiron, Case C-526/04, 7 September 2006 In a preliminary ruling requested by the French Civil Supreme Court in the Boiron case, the ECJ rules that pharmaceutical laboratories liable to a tax on direct (...)

Charlotte-Mai Doremus, Dan Roskis, Noëlle Lenoir The French Administrative Supreme Court holds that aids financed by interprofessional contributions levied by a professional organization do not amount to State aid (Confédération paysanne)


This case illustrates enforcement by national Courts of EC State aid rules. Pursuant to article 88(3) EC, national courts have jurisdiction to uphold the rights of the persons concerned in the event of a possible breach by the national authorities of the prohibition on implementing State aid (...)

Charlotte-Mai Doremus, Dan Roskis, Noëlle Lenoir The French Commercial Supreme Court holds that the fact that competitors have found alternative solutions to avoid detrimental effects of price squeezing of the telco incumbent is irrelevant to establish an abuse under Art. 82 EC (ETNA / France Telecom-SFR)


Background When an individual makes a call from a landline to a mobile phone, the call is first directed through a landline network until interconnection with the mobile network. Then the landline operator is relayed by the mobile operator which directs the call to the addressee and (...)

Dan Roskis, Noëlle Lenoir The Paris Court of Appeal upholds the NCA decision fining a cartel in the public passenger urban transport market with reference to the EC Commission’s notice on effect on trade (Keolis / Connex / Transdev)


Background In a decision dated July 5, 2005 (See J.-P. de la Laurencie et M. Courtaigne-Op, The French Competition Authority fined three French major companies for implementing a cartel in the public passenger urban transport market, with potential appreciable effect on trade between Member (...)

Charlotte-Mai Doremus, Dan Roskis, Noëlle Lenoir The Paris Court of Appeal holds that Art. 81 EC does not apply to a hairdressing franchise national network and that the provided “clause d’agrément” does not amount to a hardcore restriction (Socovi / Jean-Louis David)


Background SARL SOCOVI, the franchisee, had entered into a franchising agreement with Jean Louis David SA, the franchisor, whereby the latter granted the former the right to run a franchise for the purposes of marketing hairdressing products and services. It included inter alia the right to (...)

Dan Roskis, Noëlle Lenoir The French Civil Supreme Court requested a preliminary ruling from the ECJ with regards to the implementation of the Ferring case law : Advocate General Tizzano supports the reimbursement of the tax on direct sales paid by French pharmaceutical laboratories (Boiron / ACOSS)


Background Law n° 97-1164, of 19 December 1997, on social security funding for 1998 set up a special 2.5 % tax payable only by pharmaceutical laboratories on sales of medicines made directly to pharmacies. Proceeds from the tax were aimed at financing the social security system. However, (...)

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