Reed Smith Client Alerts

The health emergency has had a major impact on France’s judicial activity. Unlike the courts in many other countries, French courts were almost at a standstill during the lockdown period that officially ended on May 11, 2020.

While judicial activity is gradually resuming, the current situation offers opportunities: it is worth questioning the state of ongoing proceedings and the tools available to companies in managing their disputes and accelerating outcomes. Even though French proceedings are much less costly than in the U.S. or in the UK, the emergency will lead to strategic and financial decisions. Knowing the tools and making use of them will be critical.


The document produced by our team provides answers to the following questions:

  • What is the current situation in the French courts?
  • Have specific measures been implemented to overcome jurisdictions' paralysis during lockdown?
  • Will the health emergency have an impact on the handling of court cases?
  • Is it possible to accelerate the processing of legal proceedings?
  • Can urgent measures be obtained?
  • How can a creditor ensure the conservation of its debtor’s assets pending a decision on the merits?
  • Is it complex, especially for a foreign creditor, to carry out a protective seizure in France?
  • Are French court decisions easily enforceable in France?
  • Are foreign court decisions and arbitral awards easily enforceable in France?
  • What are the alternatives to litigation?

Our Reed Smith Coronavirus team includes multidisciplinary lawyers from Asia, EME and the United States who stand ready to advise you on the issues above or others you may face related to COVID-19.

For more information on the legal and business implications of COVID-19, visit the Reed Smith Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center or contact us at

Client Alert 2020-363