Since the firm was founded in 1966, the litigation practice, in all its dimensions, has been the cornerstone of Bredin Prat’s activity.
This extremely diverse practice naturally covers civil and commercial litigation (including relating to insolvency situations), as well as employment and criminal litigation, in which the firm regularly represents clients.
The litigation practice also includes the contentious aspects of a large number of administrative and judicial proceedings, in particular proceedings relating to challenging unannounced measures conducted by the authorities and which are becoming more frequent (investigations and dawn raids by the competition authorities or by the tax authorities, investigations and scrutiny by independent administrative authorities or by specific government departments) and proceedings before special committees relating to disciplinary or criminal sanctions.
In all of these matters, Bredin Prat combines three major advantages:
- unparalleled expertise, deriving from the firm’s partners’ combined experience often spanning several decades;
- the ability to strengthen a defence strategy in a given field by comparison, analogy, complementarity or synergy with other litigation areas covered by the firm. Bredin Prat is probably the only independent French law firm to be able to claim that it has a truly multi-disciplinary litigation practice comprising many renown practitioners (including some of the most highly-reputed in the field), who are used to working together in a highly efficient manner;
- the capacity to reinvent itself and innovate, by employing sophisticated and complex strategies as well as newly-introduced legal mechanisms for the purposes of defending its clients. This can include examining French law in relation to France’s commitments under international conventions, treaties or European legislation. To do this, the firm draws on its extensive experience in defending clients’ interests in proceedings concerning compliance of French domestic law with international treaties, as well as its experience in referring matters to the European courts or in relation to obtaining preliminary rulings from the French Constitutional Council on compliance of provisions with the French Constitution. This ability to innovate is also illustrated by the fact that the firm has always been involved in the very first cases of such newly-introduced mechanisms, whether at the time of the spate of securities litigation in the 80s and 90s or more recently, in unprecedented proceedings (the very first class actions in France, proceedings before the Disciplinary Committee of the French Anti-Corruption Agency (Agence Française Anticorruption – AFA)).