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Legal Working Group meets in Amsterdam

The Members of the IUCAB Legal Working Group (LWG) assembled at the offices of the IUCAB Secretariat in Amsterdam for their December 2011 meeting. The meeting was hosted by Mr. Jaap van Till, Secretary General of IUCAB.

In attendance were:

  • Mr. Edward Miller, legal advisor to the MAA and Partner at Reed Smith
  • Mr Eckhard Döpfer, and Mrs. Sina Heller, CEO and Head of the International Legal Department respectively of the CDH
  • Mr. Michael Svendsen, legal advisor to the Northern Federation and Partner at the MHQS law firm
  • Mr. Carlo Tabellini, legal advisor to USARCI and Partner at the Tabellini law firm
  • Mrs. Patricia Keltner, legal advisor to APAC
  • Mr. Gaël Grignon du Moulin, legal advisor to FNAC and Partner at the Catoni law firm
  • Mr. Larry Coltman, legal advisor to the MAA and Partner at Hill Hofstetter.

The Commission’s communication on a common European sales law to facilitate cross border transactions was extensively discussed and particularly the CDH response that they see no need for an additional optional contract law was unanimously supported.

Lobbying initiatives of the European Council for motor- and car dealers to extend the commercial agents Directive (86/653) to authorised car dealers were discussed. The general opinion was that car dealers do usually not qualify as a commercial agent under the said Directive and as a result are not eligible for protection under the Rules of the Directive.

The Judgment of the European Court of Justice of 13th October 2011 in the Pierre Fabre Case (Case-439/09) was analysed. According to this Judgment, selective distribution agreements with a contractual clause which prohibits the internet as a method of marketing is to be considered as having as their object the restriction of sales to end users and thus not benefit from the European Block Exemption Regulation on vertical agreements. Such contracts may, however, benefit on an individual basis.

The LWG also discussed the consequences of the Lonsdale Judgment of the English House of Lords and especially the valuation problems in the United Kingdom that may occur. It was agreed that the LWG will collect information on how agencies are evaluated in other EU Member States and that a motivated recommendation will then be drafted and presented to the MAA.

The next meeting of the LWG will be held on 30th April 2012 in Riga, Latvia.

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