On 16 June 2011, the French Court of Cassation (the
'Court') quashed the order made by the Paris Court of
Appeal requesting an expert report on the methods for seizing
and storing electronic data found during dawn raids.
On 3 June 2009, the French Competition Authority (the
'Authority') conducted dawn raids at the premises of a
company, CSTB. The agents collected entire email boxes
including material allegedly covered by client-counsel
This led CSBT to request the Paris Court of Appeal to annul the
entire dawn raid procedure. The Paris Court of Appeal then
ordered an expert to assess the Authority's seizure techniques,
and to determine whether only part of each relevant email box could
have been seized instead of each whole box.
The Court has now quashed this decision and held that the judges
failed to fulfil their duty by ordering an expert report without
considering the actual conditions under which the data was
seized. The Paris Court of Appeal should have looked at the
list of the documents collected and taken a view on whether some
should have been handed back to CSTB, rather than ordering an
expert report to be produced.
This decision does not contradict previous case law, which held
that the presence of emails covered by client-counsel privilege did
not invalidate the email seizure during dawn raids. In
January 2010, the Paris Court of Appeal held that an email box is a
single electronic file and therefore capable of being seized as a
whole (see Community Week issue
However, it cannot be inferred from the present decision that
the Court favours seizure of email boxes as a whole.
This issue may be settled in another pending case before the
Paris Court of Appeal, where an expert report is awaited which may
influence French judges' opinion on the subject.
To view Community Week, Issue 526 – 24 June 2011 in
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
By 27 December 2016, the Croatian Parliament needs to implement the Directive 2014/104/EU on antitrust damages actions, which is expected to streamline the procedure for private individuals and businesses to sue for damages...
The European Commission recently published its preliminary report on the E-commerce Sector Inquiry, identifying potential competition concerns in cross-border e-commerce of digital content and consumer goods.
The German government has recently published a bill that would significantly amend the criteria for determining whether an M&A transaction is subject to German merger control.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).