Industry focus: Food in France

Coutrelis & Associés

With offices in Brussels and Paris, competition law boutique Coutrelis & Associés is retained by a range of international food corporations to advise on their dealings with both French and European regulatory bodies. Led by founding partner Nicole Coutrelis, who practises European and French food law, the department is also well versed in agricultural and international trade law.

Deprez Guignot Associés

Representing food manufacturers and leading supermarket brands, Deprez Guignot Associés leads a balanced food practice, with capabilities in both regulatory and litigious work. Jean-Christophe André leads the department  and is highly regarded for his work on regulatory and distribution law. The firm also has significant IP capabilities; founding partner Pierre Deprez in particular is a name to note in this area.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Christophe Andre

Other key lawyers:

Pierre Deprez

Work highlights

  • Represented Nutrition Santé in litigation over the use of the term ‘Steak Haché’ (burger) and ‘saucisse’ (sausage) on vegan products.

Keller and Heckman LLP

Keller and Heckman LLP houses a five-lawyer department of food experts, comprised of a dedicated food and feed law team and a food contract group. The practice is fully integrated in the firm's global network of offices, including in the US and China, making it a popular choice for large multinational companies, including leading food manufacturers. Well-versed in French and EU regulatory issues, the department can also lean on the expertise of its in-house scientists who advise on biochemistry, nutritional science, agronomy and molecular biology. Katia Merten-Lentz leads the practice, specialising in novel foods, new food processes, new ingredients, GMOs, and EU regulation.

Practice head(s):

Katie Merten-Lentz

Key clients

Air France

Work highlights

  • Advised Air France on complex formulation and labelling issues for organic foods delivered on board Air France’s aircrafts.

Product Law Firm

Product Law Firm provides EU and French litigation and regulatory advice relating to food products, borderline products, dietary supplements and foods for specific groups. The boutique firm is typically retained by US and European manufacturers and can offer clients a range of ancillary services such as M&A regulatory audits, due diligence, and advice on the organisation of companies based on blockchain to ensure compliance with food legislation. The practice is jointly led by Antoine de Brosses, who is a specialist in food, cosmetics and consumer goods. Gilles Boin left the firm in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Antoine de Brosses

Work highlights

  • Advising a French retailer on the use of blockchain to track the origin of food products and ensure compliance with the food legislation.
  • Assisting a French food manufacturer with a major crisis and representing the client in subsequent litigation to determine the liability of each food business operator involved in the crisis.
  • Providing regulatory advice to a food ingredient manufacturer on the use of food ingredients in different food applications and assisting the same company in regulatory investigations of the French authorities.

Jeantet

Jeantet's food and agribusiness practice continues to expand its breadth, advising leading manufacturers and professional associations on consumer, commercial, corporate, distribution, IP and contentious matters. Julia Bombardier is a key name to note in the team, assisting clients with the full range of regulatory matters, including labelling, unfair commercial practices, fraud, novel food issues, health and food safety. Indemnity litigation cases are another core line of work. The department also houses competition law expertise, with Loraine Donnedieu de Vabres-Tranié as the key contact.

Testimonials

Commitment, keeping abreast of the news.

Expert firm in its field of activity, serious and efficient.

Julia Bombardier made herself very available and efficient for our request/file. She is very invested and passionate and has given us great satisfaction in the context of her work.

Very great expertise in the field – great intellectual curiosity – dynamism – very good writing skills.

Key clients

Lactalis

Work highlights

  • Represented Lactalis  in an action for damages before the Paris commercial court brought by Provera (and other dairy products manufacturers) in order to obtain compensation for the alleged damage suffered as a result of an anticompetitive agreement.