Canada: Davies Lawyers Called To France For Important Class Action Conference
Last Updated: April 21 2005

Montréal, April 20, 2005 – Just as the United States is trying to tighten its grip on class action suits, French President, Jacques Chirac, made the surprising announcement at the beginning of the year, that he had instructed his government to introduce class action legislation and intended to use Québec’s class action regime as the basis for the French legislation.

In response to the French government's announcement, which sparked widespread unease in the French legal and business communities, France’s prominent employers' federation, the MEDEF (the Confederation of French Industry) and the influential CCIP (the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry), sponsored a class action conference in Paris last week.

Davies partners, Lucien Bouchard, Guy Du Pont and David Stolow from the Montréal office, gave the keynote presentation on the Québec class action experience at this prestigious conference. ''An important debate has begun in France on the question of class actions and we were pleased to share our observations based on the Québec, Canadian and American experience'', said Mr. Bouchard. Davies was the only Canadian firm invited to speak at the conference. "Over the last few years, Davies has been involved in very complex and important class action suits, which have given us a very specific expertise in this field", Mr. Du Pont explained .

Their presentation examined the evolution of the class action scheme in Québec including Davies’ recent constitutional challenge to Québec’s class action legislation. This challenge, which has, in effect, brought the entire class action regime in Québec to a standstill, was argued last month before the Québec Court of Appeal.

The conference attracted over 350 persons, representing many of the leaders of the French legal and business communities and included senators, judges, lawyers, in-house counsel, journalists, professors, advisors, consultants and directors and officers of some of the foremost corporations in France. Among those corporations represented were: Vivendi Universal, L’OREAL, BNP Private Equity BNP Paribas, France Telecom, PSA Peugeot, the Walt Disney Company, Bristol-Myers Squibb, McDonald’s France, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft France, Philip Morris France, Renault and Hewlett Packard France.

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, with over 225 lawyers, practises nationally and internationally from offices in Toronto, Montréal, New York and an affiliate in Paris, and is consistently at the heart of the largest and most complex commercial and financial matters on behalf of its North American clients and overseas.

For information:

Nicolas Rubbo, Marketing Manager Montréal, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Tel: 514-841-6451, Fax: 514-841-6499, E-mail: nrubbo@dwpv.com.

Christine Arnott, Marketing Manager Toronto, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP, Tel: 416-367-6902, Fax: : 416-863-0871, E-mail: carnott@dwpv.com.

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