France: Cartels & Leniency In France

Last Updated: 18 February 2009
Article by Natasha Assadi-Tardif and Delphine Cohen

This article first appeared in the second edition of The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Cartels & Leniency; published by Global Legal Group Ltd, London

1 The Legislative Framework of the Cartel Prohibition

1.1 What is the legal basis and general nature of the cartel prohibition, e.g. is it civil and/or criminal?

Anticompetitive agreements and practices are prohibited by Article L. 420-1 of the French Commercial Code (the "Code"). It applies to any undertakings, in the form of either companies or individuals, and may lead to civil/administrative and, in certain cases, to criminal sanctions (see the answer to question 3.2).

1.2 What are the specific substantive provisions for the cartel prohibition?

The cartel prohibition applies to any concerted practices, agreements and alliances, express or tacit, which have as their object or may have as their effect to prevent, restrict or distort competition in a market, and in particular with the aim to:

  • limit access to markets by, or competition from, other firms;
  • interfere with price setting by market forces, by artificially increasing or decreasing prices;
  • limit or control production, markets, investment or technical development; or
  • share markets or sources of supply.

However, under the so-called "de minimis" rules, the French competition authority may decide not to instruct cases concerning agreements or practices:

  • between actual or potential competitors ("horizontal agreements") whose combined market share does not exceed 10 per cent; or
  • between companies that are not actual or potential competitors ("vertical agreements") whose respective market shares do not exceed 15 per cent.

1.3 Who enforces the cartel prohibition?

The competition authority in charge of generally enforcing anticartel measures is now the French Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence) (the "Competition Authority").

The law on the modernisation of the economy (the "LME"), enacted on 4 August 2008 and implemented by an ordinance of 13 November 2008, creates the Competition Authority to replace the Competition Council (Conseil de la Concurrence) (the "Council"), an independent authority set up in 1986.

Investigations may be carried out either by the Competition Authority or by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Policy and Repression of Fraud (Direction Générale de la Concurrence, de la Consommation et de la Répression des Fraudes) ("DGCCRF"), an administrative agency under the authority of the Ministry of Economy.

The Competition Authority has wider means and powers than the Council, in particular as regards investigations, while the Minister of Economy is now entitled to settle and order measures as to socalled "micro anticompetitive practices" (see the answer to question 6.1).

The members of the Competition Authority have not been appointed yet and the Competition Authority is thus not yet active at the time of drafting this article. The first meeting is planned to be held at the very beginning of January 2009.

1.4 What are the basic procedural steps between the opening of an investigation and the imposition of sanctions?

The Competition Authority may be in charge of a case following either a referral from the Minister of Economy, or a complaint from a company or even acting ex officio, at the instigation of the head reporting officer (rapporteur général).

Pursuant to Article L. 463-2 of the Code, if it results from the investigation that the practices at stake may be anticompetitive, the head reporting officer issues a statement of objections, by letter with acknowledgment of receipt, to the complainant, the ministers concerned by the affected sector of activity, the concerned parties and the State Commissioner (Commissaire du Gouvernement). The notified parties can then consult the file and present any observations within two months.

An official report is then sent to all notified parties, along with the documents which the head reporting officer relies on and the observations, if any, made by said parties. Each party can in turn submit its observations in reply within two months. Finally, the matter is brought before the Competition Authority which will issue:

  • a decision declaring that there are no grounds for prosecution;
  • a decision adjourning the proceedings in case another national competition authority is dealing with the same facts; or
  • a decision pronouncing on the anticompetitive nature of the facts and possibly imposing a sanction.

1.5 Are there any sector-specific offences or exemptions?

Article L. 420-4 of the Code provides for a specific exemption in the agricultural sector. Practices consisting for undertakings in organising agricultural or agriculturally-based products under a single trademark or trade name, setting common production volumes and quality as well as common business policy, including agreements on a common sale price, may be exempted, provided they (i) ensure economic progress, (ii) provide users a fair share in the resulting profit, (iii) do not allow the undertakings involved to eliminate competition for a substantial part of the products concerned, and (iv) are indispensable to achieve said economic progress.

In addition, certain agreements, especially when their purpose is to improve the management of small or medium-sized enterprises may be exempted by decree, upon obtaining the Competition Authority's approval.

Finally, pursuant to Article 90 of Act No. 82-652 of 29 July 1982, agreements between cinema enterprises to ensure programming of films in cinema houses can be allowed by the director of the National Cinematographic Industry (Centre National de la Cinématographie) under certain conditions.

1.6 Is cartel conduct outside France covered by the prohibition?

The French cartel prohibition covers any anticompetitive agreements and practices which may distort competition in a market located in France, regardless of the place of signature of the agreement, the head office of the parties, or even their nationality. In addition, in decision No. 04-D-45 of 16 September 2004, the Council held jurisdiction to examine anticompetitive agreements entered into by French firms acting in France, but with effects outside of France.

2 Investigative Powers

2.1 Summary of general investigatory powers.

Table of General Investigatory Powers


Please Note: * indicates that the civil/administrative investigatory measure requires the authorisation by a court or another body independent of the competition authority.

2.2 Specific or unusual features of the investigatory powers referred to in the summary table.

French civil/administrative procedure comprises ordinary and judicial investigations.

In ordinary investigations, the officers of the Competition Authority or the DGCCRF may access business premises to request copies of business documents, while judicial investigations enable said officers to conduct searches and seize any documents from either business or domestic premises under the warrant of a judge.

2.3 Are there general surveillance powers (e.g. bugging)?

This is not applicable under French civil/administrative procedure rules.

2.4 Are there any other significant powers of investigation?

The investigators may ask the authority to which they are answerable (i.e. either the Competition Authority or the DGCCRF) to appoint an expert to conduct any necessary expert assessment involving all the parties, such as an analysis of the relevant market or a study of documents.

2.5 Who will carry out searches of business and/or residential premises and will they wait for legal advisors to arrive?

Ordinary searches inside business premises are carried out by (i) investigators of the Competition Authority, or (ii) by authorised public officers under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy, while judicial investigation inside residential premises may be performed by both types of officers under the supervision of the judge who authorises such measures.

The ordinance implementing the LME (see the answer to question 1.3) allows companies subject to unannounced investigations to call an external lawyer, whose presence was previously merely tolerated. However, investigators remain under no obligation to wait for legal advisors to arrive.

2.6 Is in-house legal advice protected by the rules of privilege?

Only communications between a member of the Bar and its client, such as legal opinions sent by an attorney to its client or exchanges of correspondence between them, are covered by attorney-client privilege, and do not thus have to be surrendered to investigators. Therefore, in-house legal advice is not protected by the rules of privilege, even if an internal memorandum merely restates an advice given by the company's attorney.

2.7 Other material limitations of the investigatory powers to safeguard the rights of defence of companies and/or individuals under investigation.

Investigators are subject to a duty of loyalty. First of all, investigators must indicate the subject of the investigation to the company and/or the individual(s) concerned. Investigators cannot force any person to testify against him or herself or even to plead guilty.

In addition, investigators must not use unfair means to obtain evidence of the alleged anticompetitive agreement or practice. For instance, in a decision issued on 3 June 2008, the French Court of Cassation held that sound recordings made by the claimant without the participant's knowledge amount to disloyal evidence which are not admissible before courts, even if they have not been made by an investigator or a

reporting officer and each party is given access to them.

2.8 Are there sanctions for the obstruction of investigations? If so, have these ever been used?

Obstruction of investigations, such as refusal to submit certain documents, destruction of documents, or provision of false and/or misleading information, may be subject to fines of up to €7,500 and up to six months' imprisonment. These sanctions have already been used in connection with cartel investigations.

In addition, the ordinance implementing the LME (see the answer to question 1.3) gives the Competition Authority, at the instigation of the head reporting officer, the power to impose a fine, after hearing the undertaking concerned and the State Commissioner. The maximum fine may amount to 1 per cent of the highest worldwide turnover realised by the undertaking concerned in any financial year during the period in which the practices took place.

3 Sanctions on Companies and Individuals

3.1 What are the sanctions for companies?

Penalties: pursuant to Article L. 464-2 I and II of the Code, the main penalties for breach of the cartel prohibition are fines of up to 10 per cent of the highest worldwide turnover realised by the undertakings that took part in the anticompetitive practice in any financial year during the period in which the practices took place, bearing in mind that the notion of undertaking extends to all group undertakings regardless of their actual participation in the anticompetitive practice.

In addition, the Competition Authority may impose periodic penalty payments of up to 5 per cent of the daily average turnover, generated during the latest closed financial year, for every day of delay in the implementation of either a decision of the Competition Authority or an injunction imposed by the Competition Authority. As a result, the total amount of fines imposed by the Council in anticompetitive agreement or practice cases has been as follows for the last three years:

  • 2005: €662.69 million (22 decisions).
  • 2006: €128.24 million (11 decisions).
  • 2007: €221 million (24 decisions).

The Council has not issued any sentencing guidelines, but generally applies the European Commission notice on immunity from fines and reduction of fines in cartel cases of 8 December 2006. In addition, the Council has published a non-binding document reflecting the general principles shared by the European Competition Authorities for the determination of pecuniary sanctions imposed on undertakings for infringements of substantive antitrust provisions.

Other sanctions: the Competition Authority may also order that its decision be posted in whole or in part at locations it specifies, and that the decision or an extract thereof be inserted in the report drawn up by the managers, the board of directors or the managing board of the company concerned. The related publication costs are borne by the company in question.

3.2 What are the sanctions for individuals?

The Competition Authority may impose fines on individuals engaged in economic activities amounting to a maximum of €3 million for breach of Article L. 420-1 of the Code. This provision is designed to cover sole traders who engage in cartel-type behaviour.

In addition, according to Article L. 420-6 of the Code, individuals may be subject to criminal penalties amounting to fines of up to €75,000 and terms of imprisonment of up to four years where they have fraudulently taken a personal and decisive action in the conception, organisation and/or implementation of the anticompetitive practices. These penalties are not imposed by the Competition Authority itself, but by criminal courts following referral by the Competition Authority to the Public Prosecutor (Procureur de la République) for further investigation. While the criminal provisions are rarely applied, guidance was given in decision No. 04-D-07 of 11 March 2004 of the Council requesting the Public Prosecutor to examine the possibility of bringing a criminal prosecution against the chairman of the bakeries trade association in the Marne region of France, as a result of his active and decisive role in the establishment and implementation of a cartel among members of the association. In its decision, the Council explained the content of the three cumulative elements to be proven to impose criminal charges:

Personal participation: it is not sufficient for the purposes of the criminal offence that the accused is a director of the undertaking concerned. There must be an active and personal role on the part of the accused in the conception, planning and implementation of the cartel.

Decisive participation: the behaviour of the accused must be shown to have been decisive, and a causal link established in putting the anticompetitive behaviour into practice.

Fraudulent participation: the accused must have intentionally breached the relevant competition rules, which may be inferred as a result of a breach of other criminal practices, such as breach of trust, corruption, etc.

3.3 What are the applicable limitation periods?

Pursuant to Article L. 462-7 of the Code, facts or circumstances dating back more than five years may not be referred to the Competition Authority, unless steps were taken to investigate, establish or sanction them during that period of time.

However, no anticompetitive agreement or practice can be referred to the Competition Authority, after a ten-year period of time from the end of such anticompetitive agreement or practice has elapsed with no ruling by the Competition Authority on said agreement or practice.

3.4 Can a company pay the legal costs and/or financial penalties imposed on a former or current employee?

French criminal law provides for the principle of personality of penalties, i.e. the sanctions can only be imposed on their author and in particular the payment of fines can only be made by the convicted person. However, this does not prevent employees from negotiating compensation with their company of any fines paid.

4 Leniency for Companies

4.1 Is there a leniency programme for companies? If so, please provide brief details.

The French leniency programme is governed by Articles L. 464-2 IV and R. 464-5 of the Code. Further guidance on the practical implementation of the programme can be found in the Council Procedural Notice of 17 April 2007.

Undertakings may be exempted from financial penalties either in full or in part where they have contributed to the establishment of the reality of a prohibited practice and helped to determine its authors, by providing elements which the Competition Authority or the DGCCRF were previously unaware of.

(i) Full immunity from fines

In cases where the Competition Authority or the DGCCRF (the "Authorities") have no information about the alleged anticompetitive agreement or practice, the Competition Authority can grant total immunity from fines to any firm that is the first to submit information enabling the Authorities to carry out investigations and establish the existence of the anticompetitive agreement or practice.

In practice, in addition to its name and address, the applicant must, at least, provide the following information:

  • the names and addresses of the other alleged members of the anticompetitive agreement or practice;
  • a detailed description of the markets concerned and the anticompetitive arrangement;
  • information about any leniency application relating to the alleged anticompetitive agreement or practice which it has submitted or intends to submit to other competition authorities; and any evidence in its possession at the time of its application.

If the Authorities already have certain information on the alleged anticompetitive agreement or practice, full immunity can be granted if the three following conditions are met:

  • the applicant is the first to submit evidence which, in the Competition Authority's view, is sufficient to establish the existence of the anticompetitive agreement or practice;
  • at the time of the application, the Authorities did not have sufficient evidence to establish the existence of an infringement; and no other firm has obtained a conditional opinion granting full immunity with respect to its participation in the alleged anticompetitive agreement or practice.

(ii) Partial immunity from fines

Undertakings that do not meet the basic conditions for full immunity can benefit from reduced fines by providing the Authorities with evidence of the alleged breach. Such evidence must represent significant added value taking into account the evidence already in the Authorities' possession.

In order to determine the level of reductions in fines from which a firm may benefit, the Competition Authority will take into consideration the chronological order in which leniency applications were filed, the time when the evidence was submitted, as well as the extent to which the information submitted by the firm brought significant added value to the case against the cartel members.

In addition, if the undertaking applying for leniency provides substantial or material evidence which enables the Competition Authority to establish additional facts having a direct link with the amount of the fine to be imposed on the participants to the anticompetitive agreement or practice, this additional contribution will be taken into account in setting said undertaking's fine and may give rise to partial immunity.

In principle, partial immunity cannot exceed a fine reduction of more than 50%.

(iii) Additional conditions attached to leniency

When an application for leniency is made, a hearing is held during which the State Commissioner and the applicant present their views to the Competition Authority. If the Competition Authority is prepared to consider granting leniency, it sets out conditions for the grant in a leniency notice, which is not published and is notified only to the company concerned and the Minister of Economy. These conditions usually require that the applicant:

  • cooperates fully and throughout the investigation by providing the Authorities with all evidence in its possession;
  • stops participating in the anticompetitive practice at the latest from the notification of the leniency notice, although the Competition Authority can decide to postpone this date;
  • did not coerce other members of the anticompetitive practice to take part in that practice; and
  • does not inform other members of its application for leniency or of investigations conducted by the Authorities.

The Authorities are not obliged to accept an application for leniency and can reject it, in particular if they already possess the information offered. After the publication of its Procedural Notice of 17 April 2007, the Council indicated that only 25% out of approximately 30 leniency applications were refused since the introduction of the French leniency programme. However, there are no provisions for withdrawing leniency once it has been granted.

In principle, a corporate leniency application does not prevent current and former employees and directors from any personal sanctions, especially criminal ones. However, in its Procedural Notice of 17 April 2007, the Council undertakes not to refer to the Public Prosecutor a matter involving an employee or a director of an undertaking that has been granted leniency.

4.2 Is there a 'marker' system and, if so, what is required to obtain a marker?

The French marker system, which did not exist when the leniency programme was initiated, was implemented under the Council Procedural Notice of 17 April 2007.

It consists in assigning a number to a leniency applicant upon receipt of its application to guarantee that its order of application is maintained until the end of the procedure, provided that the applicant produces all the necessary information and evidence supporting its application during the specific timeframe set by the Authorities.

4.3 Can applications be made orally (to minimise any subsequent disclosure risks in the context of civil damages follow-on litigation)?

The undertaking can require that its application be filed entirely orally so as to minimise any possible subsequent disclosure or discovery risks under foreign laws, given that such type of procedure does not exist under French law. The date when a statement is made is electronically recorded by the relevant authority to ensure that applications are considered in the order that they were submitted.

4.4 To what extent will a leniency application be treated confidentially and for how long?

Subject to the Competition Authority's national and European obligations, the identity of an applicant under the leniency procedure and the information provided may remain confidential during the investigation period, until the statement of objections is issued to all the parties concerned.

4.5 At what point does the 'continuous cooperation' requirement cease to apply?

Once the application for leniency has been submitted, the applicant must fully, continually and promptly cooperate with the Authorities throughout the enquiry and the investigative procedure. The Competition Authority will verify that all the specified requirements set out in the leniency notice have been observed and will then issue its final decision to give full or partial immunity. At that point, the continuous cooperation process comes to an end.

4.6 Is there a 'leniency plus' or 'penalty plus' policy?

French law does not provide for a "leniency plus" or a "penalty plus" system. It can nevertheless not be excluded that, in practice, the Competition Authority grants further fine reductions to a leniency applicant that allows the discovery of another cartel.

5 Whistle-blowing Procedures for Individuals

5.1 Are there procedures for individuals to report cartel conduct independently of their employer? If so, please specify.

Under French law, there is no procedure for individuals to report cartel conduct independently of their employer.

Nevertheless, in the recent decision No. 08-D-13 of 11 June 2008, the Council approved, for the second time, the implementation of a whistle-blowing procedure to enable employees to report acts or behaviours in breach of any competition rules. Two undertakings undertook such commitment to put an end to the procedure before the notification of the statement of objections (see the answer to question 6.1 below).

The Council acknowledged that the French Data Protection Agency (Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés) (the "CNIL") does not object, in principle, that anticompetitive practices be covered by whistle-blowing procedures, but companies wishing to implement a whistle-blowing system must nonetheless file a company-specific request seeking the CNIL's authorisation.

6 Plea Bargaining Arrangements

6.1 Are there any early resolution, settlement or plea bargaining procedures (other than leniency)?

(i) In addition to leniency, before the notification to the parties of the statement of objections, undertakings can offer commitments to remedy the situation and avoid a decision ruling on the existence of an infringement. Once said commitments are considered sufficient by the Competition Authority, and after receiving the observations of interested third parties, if any, the commitments will form part of the binding decision of acceptance issued by the Competition Authority. On 3 April 2008, the Council published a procedural notice intended to provide guidelines to undertakings on how to use the commitment procedure. It states that this mechanism should not be applied to the most serious infringements such as cartels. In addition, the commitments submitted have to be relevant, credible and verifiable. They, furthermore, have to be necessary and sufficient to address the competition concerns.

(ii) After the notification of the statement of objections, undertakings may also benefit from fine reductions, as a result of a party's not contesting the existence of the alleged practices. The maximum fine which may be imposed is reduced by half and, under this reduced fine ceiling, the Competition Authority may grant a further reduction of the actual fine. A further reduction could also be granted if commitments are offered.

(iii) The ordinance implementing the LME (see the answer to question 1.3) also provides for the right of the Minister of Economy to settle or order measures as regards so-called "micro anticompetitive practices". The Minister will have jurisdiction over such practices where (i) the combined turnover in France of all the undertakings involved does not exceed €100 million, (ii) the turnover of each of the undertakings in France does not exceed €50 million and (iii) the practices do not fall within the scope of Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty. If the parties agree to a settlement, the amount of fine imposed will not exceed €75 million or 5 per cent of the parties' latest turnover achieved in France, if this amount is of lesser importance. Adecree relating to the Minister's powers in this area is to be published at the time of drafting this article.

7 Appeal Process

7.1 What is the appeal process?

Article L. 464-8 of the Code provides that appeals of the Competition Authority's decisions should be brought before the Paris Court of Appeal, within one month after the decision has been served on the concerned parties.

7.2 Does the appeal process allow for the cross-examination of


Cross-examination, consisting of the parties directly asking questions to the witness, is prohibited by French civil proceeding rules. The judge can, however, ask questions, submitted to him by the parties, after examination of the witness.

8 Damages Actions

8.1 What are the procedures for civil damages actions for loss suffered as a result of cartel conduct?

Any undertaking party to an anticompetitive agreement, any competitor of those engaged in anticompetitive practices, or any other party who suffered a loss such as customers, can claim damages on grounds of civil liability rules before civil or commercial courts. Since decree No. 2005-1756 of 30 December 2005, only the courts of Marseille, Bordeaux, Lille, Fort-de-France, Lyon, Nancy, Paris or Rennes have jurisdiction.

8.2 Do your procedural rules allow for class-action or representative claims?

French law does not recognise class-action claims for the time being, despite the Council's opinion of 21 September 2006 relating to the introduction of group actions as regards anticompetitive practices and the recent French parliamentary debates on that subject.

Consumer associations are, nevertheless, entitled to claim damages, under certain conditions, for any damage caused to the collective interest of consumers they defend and not on behalf of all consumers.

8.3 What are the applicable limitation periods?

Since Act No. 2008-561 of 17 June 2008, the limitation period has been generally reduced to a five-year period that runs from the day the holder of a right knows or should have known the facts enabling him or her to exercise such right.

8.4 What are the cost rules for civil damages follow-on claims in cartel cases?

The French Civil Proceeding Code lists a number of legal costs that will be borne by the unsuccessful party. However, the judge can, by a reasoned decision, impose all or part of such costs to another party. As regards the sums disbursed for lawyers' fees, the judge can take into account fairness and the financial situation of the parties to order the unsuccessful party to pay an amount that the judge will determine.

8.5 Have there been any successful follow-on or stand alone civil damages claims for cartel conduct?

There have been successful civil damages claims. For instance, in a decision of 28 June 2002, the Paris Court of Appeal granted damages amounting to about €300,000 to a company sponsoring sports events, which had been victim of an anticompetitive agreement between the sports events manager and its main commercial partner, on grounds of the company's eviction from the event, and all the related pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage.

Another interesting decision in this regard, which however resulted in an unsuccessful claim, should be noted. In a decision of 26 January 2007, the Paris Commercial Court dismissed the claim of the pharmaceutical companies Juva Santé and Juva Production for damages resulting from the anticompetitive behaviours of their suppliers, the company Hoffmann La Roche and its subsidiaries. The plaintiffs argued that they could not have passed the vitamins' price increase on to their customers since such an increase would have resulted in a loss of their market shares. The court rejected their argument, on the basis of a broad interpretation of the passingon defence, and ruled that they could have passed the raw material increase on their own price on the grounds that, as the raw material constituted a small part of the final products sold, a slight increase in their selling price would have been sufficient to balance the significant increase in the vitamins' price.

9 Miscellaneous

9.1 Provide brief details of significant recent or imminent statutory or other developments in the field of cartels and leniency.

The LME, enacted on 4 August 2008, has significantly modified French rules on anticompetitive practices and agreements (see the answer to question 1.3).

9.2 Please mention any other issues of particular interest in France not covered by the above.

There is a set of competition rules specific to French law called unfair trade rules. Such rules apply to all commercial relations between professionals and do not require competition to be adversely affected.

Infringement of these rules is sanctioned by civil or commercial courts and the Competition Authority has no jurisdiction over these questions. However, if the Competition Authority observes the existence of such practices within the framework of a case brought before it, its president is entitled to bring an action before the relevant court. This power has been used in the past.

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

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

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”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
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).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.