Centre de Droit de l'Entreprise (Montpellier)

Jean-Michel Vertut

Jean-Michel Vertut - Avocat (Montpellier), Centre de Droit de l’Entreprise (Montpellier)
Lawyer (Partner)

Jean-Michel Vertut intervenes as adviser in the relations between non food/food industry and retailers, traditional or in their new configurations, and in the advertising and sales promotion sector. He also assists its customers in disputes before commercial courts, French competition authority and for administrative inquiries. After his Master degree in company law (DJCE) supplemented as specialization by an Economic Law Degree from University of Montpellier, Jean-Michel Vertut was admitted to the Paris Bar where he started his career. He is actually member of Montpellier Bar. Co-author of the collective book entitled “Thirty years of the Distribution Law through the Lettre de la Distribution” published by LexisNexis, he writes numerous comments in the “Lettre de la Distribution” and for others publishers such as Wolters Kluwer France (Lamy series). He teaches distribution and competition law in Montpellier-Management, Economic Science and Law units of the Montpellier University.

Linked authors

Centre de Droit de l’Entreprise (Montpellier)
University of Montpellier
Centre de Droit de l’Entreprise (Montpellier)
University of Montpellier
University of Strasbourg


6163 Review

Jean-Michel Vertut Advantages without counterpart: The Paris Court of Appeal denies a service provider from its action against a company member of a distribution group company for having obtained an advantage consisting in administrative costs for the organization of a call for tenders (PSI Grand Sud / Monoprix)


Unrequited benefit and costs of participating in a tender* Facts and procedure. A company had been providing surveillance and guarding services for nineteen Monoprix stores since 2002. In 2013, a framework contract of indefinite duration formalised this situation. In 2015, Monoprix launched a (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Advantages without counterpart: The Paris Court of Appeal condemns a French distributor for obtaining unfair advantages from a foreign supplier (Conforama France / Industria Conciaria Volturno, High Point Real Estate)


The Paris Court of Appeal condemns a French distributor for obtaining unfair advantages from a foreign supplier, and considers that the expiry of a foreclosure period for challenge invoices for services shall not a loss of the right to bring a legal action* Facts An American company was a (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Trade annual negotiations: The signature of the annual commercial agreements with the dead line of the 1st of march does not discharge the parties in terms of legal constraints on both form and substance for the rest of the year (art. L. 441-3 II et IV C. com.)


It’s finally signed, and often in the last days of February, or even on the evening of Monday 1 March 2021! It is such a pity that this 1st March 2021 did not fall on a Friday, as it did two years ago, leading to a well-deserved weekend for key account managers and buyers. Because from the (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Specialized courts: The Versailles Court of Appeal, unspecialized jurisdiction for anticompetitive practices, rules in a dispute in which the existence of such practices is only alleged and dismisses the defendant’s pleas of inadmissibility (Openhealth ex Celtipharm / Iqvia ex IMS Health)


Facts Openhealth/Celtipharm (hereinafter "Open") accused its competitor, IMS Health (hereinafter "IMS"), of unfair competition, some of which, in particular legal actions, had anti-competitive purposes. Open had brought the matter before the Commercial Court of Nanterre, a non-specialized (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Sudden break of established business relationships: The Paris Court of Appeal confirms the interim order concerning the pursuit of deliveries under daily penalty to a supplier in dominant position, who had announced to a client the stop the commercial relationship with a very short deadline, after a disagreement on business conditions, in particular prices, for the coming year (ITM Alimentaire International / Coca Cola)


Facts and procedure The case, which received a lot of media attention, was one of the highlights of the trade negotiations for 2020 (Ord. référé Trib. Com. Paris, 16 Jan. 2020, No. 202000169, Lettre distrib 02/2020, our observations). In summary proceedings more than elsewhere, the sequence of (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Abusive practices: The Paris Court of appeal upheld the avoidance of clauses by the victim and enlightens the previous regulation by the new regulation (Institut de recherche biologique / La Poste)


Facts The company Institut de Recherche Biologique (hereafter IRB) was linked with the company La Poste (hereafter La Poste) by a " Colissimo Entreprise " contract, the purpose of which was to take charge of, route and distribute parcels to its customers. This contract included the General (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Payment regulation: The French Supreme Civil Court requires at least a summary analysis by the Courts of the evidences during an unfair competition lawsuit for payment terms regulation infringement (Agora / Speed Rabbit Pizza, Domino’s Pizza France et DPFC)


Facts. The companies Speed Rabbit pizza (hereinafter "Rabbit") and Domino’s pizza France (hereinafter "Domino") specialise in the sale of delivered and take-away pizzas. They operate through a franchise network. A subsidiary of Domino, the company DPFC (hereinafter "DPFC"), which is also a (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Specialized courts: The Paris Tribunal of Commerce as specialized jurisdiction, declines its jurisdiction due to a jurisdiction clause in favour of the Nanterre’s Tribunal of Commerce, despite arguments of restrictive practices (Canal Plus / Technicolor Delivery Technologies)


Facts. Following a call for tenders, Canal+ Group (hereinafter "Canal") selected Technicolor Delivery Technologies (hereinafter "Technicolor") in December 2016 as the supplier of its new "G9" set-top boxes. These two companies signed a letter of intent setting out the terms and conditions for (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Supply Chain: The French General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) provides guidance on the use of indicators in the contractual chain


Facts. Ensure a better distribution of the value created by the agricultural and agri-food sectors between all the actors in the production chain. This is notably the objective of the Equality Law passed almost two years ago. To achieve this objective, this law reversed the process of (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Commercial agency: The Versailles Court of Appeal points out that an arbitration clause may extend to parties involved in the execution of a contract and to the disputes arising (Euro Herramientas / The Stanley Works)


Facts and procedure. In April 2007, the American company Stanley Assembly Technologies (SAT), a company of the Stanley Black and Decker group, and the Spanish company Euro Herramientas (EH) signed a distribution contract for Stanley products in Spain and Portugal for a period of one year, (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Dawn raids: The French Civil Supreme Court specifies the regime of the conduct of the investigation in case of difficulty due to the seizure of data under legal privilege (provisional and closed seals ; form of the claims by numerical chart – global seizure – Judge’s refusal to move on the premises to control the investigations) (Renault)


In the judgment discussed here, the Court of Cassation clarified and recalled a series of points concerning the regime of home visits. Although they were made in the context of visits and seizures for the purpose of seeking evidence of deception, the solutions are, in our view, transposable to (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Food supply chain: The French CEPC addresses certain provisions and practices between producers and first buyers, in the dairy sector, with the view to facilitate the optimization of the commercial opportunities for producers


Following an initial CEPC opinion on a milk supply contract, previously commented on (see Circular Letter 12/2017, nos. obs.), the Commission once again examined this very specific type of contract, which is fairly symptomatic of the tensions that can exist between the players in the (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Advantages without counterpart: The Paris Court of Appeal condemns a Referencing Centre to return to a supplier the commissions received from it, failing to demonstrate the reality of the services allegedly rendered (Label G2 / Centragroup Fareva )


Facts. In 1998, the supplier Label G2 had entered into a commercial relationship with a customer, the company Excelvision, from which it sold its products. Following the acquisition of Excelvision by the Fareva Group, commercial negotiations were no longer to be conducted between Label G2 and (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Business confidentiality: The French Supreme Civil Court provides clarifications on the regime of business confidentiality and on the decommissioning of documents under this protection (Randstad)


Facts. In July 2013, the CCRA’s training services conducted search and seizure operations on the premises of several companies in a temporary employment operating group. In view of the information gathered during these inspections, in May 2015 the Authority was required to examine ex officio the (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Distribution agreement: The Paris commercial court orders as an interim measure the pursuit of deliveries under daily penalty to a supplier in dominant position, who had announced to a client the stop the commercial relationship with a very short deadline, after a disagreement on business conditions, in particular prices, for the upcoming year (ITM Alimentaire International / Coca Cola)


The case, emblematic of the tensions between suppliers and distributors during the annual negotiations, had been revealed last January in particular by the specialised press (LSA n° 2586, 16 January 2020, n° 2586, p. 14). Following a disagreement during year-end negotiations on the pricing and (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Selective distribution: The French Supreme Civil Court considers that a candidature for accreditation of a secondary point of sales must respect terms and conditions agreed for the control by the supplier of required standards in the point of sales of its network, and that one-off delivery delays could be no considered as contractual fault (Établissements Christian F. / Hyundai Motor France)


In our letter of April 2018, we commented on a ruling handed down in a case opposing the supplier Huyndai to one of its former distributors (Paris, February 7, 2018, No. 15/08853). In this case, a Hyundai distributor operated two sales outlets in Pau and Tarbes respectively. Each outlet gave (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Commercial agency: The Montpellier Court of Appeal holds that the negotiation requires discussions with clients on the essential conditions of the contract to be concluded (Soluscion / Gard Metal Color)


Disputes over the application of the commercial agent’s public policy status are still ongoing, in particular over what is meant by the term "negotiate". The judgment under comment gives a new illustration of this. The case in point concerned a canvassing activity carried out by an intermediary (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Contractualisation of the commercial relations: The French CEPC provides further informations on the cases where a written agreement is not mandatory for purchases of goods for resales in the same condition


Seized on the question of the scope of application of the obligation to establish a written agreement on the basis of the former Article L. 441-7 of the Commercial Code, the CEPC has just issued an opinion on the basis of the new Articles L. 441-3 and L. 441-4 resulting from the Order of 24 (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Sudden break: The Paris Court of appeal rules in a sudden break of established business relationships, on a settlement of accounts between a supplier and one of its ex distributor, and studies the combination of new rules from the French Commercial code (JD Services / Brico Dépot)


The Order of 24 April 2019 reforming Title IV reflects a desire on the part of the public authorities to approach the various restrictive practices according to an approach which, although minimalist in terms of the wording of what is prohibited, is nonetheless firm. Not without a somewhat (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Abusive practices: The Saint-Denis de la Réunion court of appeal, out of the list of the specialized juridictions for the purpose of article L. 442-6 of the Fr. Com. Code, rules on the merits of payments for services rendered by a central referencing pool, based on the relevant rules on the written agreement and the binding force of the contract (Sofexi / Profima)


The reported dispute was between Profima, an SEO centre based in La Réunion, whose mission is to list suppliers on behalf of large retailers. On March 22nd , 2007 and then on February 29th , 2008, Profima signed framework commercial cooperation agreements with a supplier, Sofexi, for the supply (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Dawn raids: The French Civil Supreme Court specifies the regime for the notification of documents during a dawn raid performed to a third person implicated and involved in an incidental dawn raid (Whirlpool)


The rights of defence from the point of view of equality of arms and the right to an effective remedy have recently been abused in the context of an appeal procedure against the conduct of an incidental home visit, but the Court of Cassation has just restored them in a ruling of 13 June last. (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Signficant imbalance: The French Commission on the examination of unfair practices publishes two opinions regarding practices that unreasonably delay the terms of payment and which can be regarded as a significant imbalance (Terms of payment)


According to a recent report in the daily newspaper Les Echos ("Les délais de paiement plus longs en France que dans le reste du monde", 10-11 May 2019, p. 3), based on figures from the credit insurer Euler Hermes, payment times for businesses have been extended by two days in France. These (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Agency agreement: The Angers Court of Appeal requalifies a partnership agreement in commercial agency agreement with a non-restrictive approach of the commercial agent’s status (PHD Consulting & Partners / Lumiscaphe)


The qualification of a contract as a commercial agency, the key to access to the protective status resulting from the 1991 law, is the subject of our attention this month. In this case, a supplier and a sales intermediary had concluded two contracts on the same day. The first, a commercial (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Misleading prices: The French Supreme Court address the issue of the misleading character of certain promotional offers and those of the frequency and the reference price for such offers (Royaume Équilibre ; Optical Center)


Price promotion has become so frequent in the eyes of the consumer homo œconomicus that one might wonder whether, in his mind, promotional buying, once motivated by the feeling of making a good deal, has not become the principle and non-promotional buying the exception. Some professionals (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Resale price maintenance: The Paris Court of Appeal awards during a stand-alone private action, compensation for suffered loss of sales volumes as a result of a local vertical agreement on minimum resale price within a distribution network (Bubble-Diving / Aqualung Trading)


When it claims to be the victim of an anti-competitive practice, a company may seek compensation for its damage (rappr. Com. 6 October 2015, No. 13-24854: Distr. letter November 2015, nos. obs.). This opens the way for a so-called "follow-on" procedure, to be conducted before the specialized (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Proportionality: The French Commission on commercial practices assess the request of the advanced cost grid made to a private label products supplier by his distributor (MDD)


The problem of the opinion How much leeway do distributors have to obtain from their private label supplier an analysis of costing by items and sub-items (breakdown of costs, in percentage and in value, for each item, but also by sub-items, including for the various raw materials, the (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Binding force: The French Commission on commercial practices (CEPC) considers that it is necessary to assess the binding force of a contract before assessing any significant imbalance (ITM Alimentaire International)


A decision of the Paris Court of Appeal had caught our attention, in that it had recalled the need to establish the submission or attempted submission, when it comes to applying Article L. 442-6 I 2° C. com. (Paris, 20 Dec. 2017, No. 13/04879, Letter distr. January 2018, nos. obs.). The case, (...)

Jean-Michel Vertut Price advantages: The French Supreme Court delivers a ruling regarding the provision of disproportionate benefits and the remuneration of fictitious services (Système U centrale régionale Est / Les Magasins longoviciens)


Genesis At the procedural level, it all began in 2004 with an assignment by the Minister of the Economy, on the basis of Article L. 442-6 III and L. 442-6, I, 2 a) in their then applicable version, of the Centrale Système U. The Minister maintained that the service of ’Action de construction et (...)

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