An exclusive distribution agreement was entered into between a German supplier and French distributors. Complaining of a breach of their contracts, the distributors brought an action against the supplier, seeking damages for the termination of their contracts. Responding to the supplier’s lack of jurisdiction defense, the Cour de Cassation (Cour de Cassation, 1st Civil Chamber, January 23, 2007, Case no. 05-12.166) sought to determine the law applicable to the contract in question, based on Article 4 of the Rome Convention, which states that ‘it shall be presumed that the contract is most closely connected with the country where the party who is to effect the performance which is characteristic of the contract has … his habitual residence or … its central administration.’
Didier Ferrier, IDI Country Expert for France.