Distribution law


Mr. Stijn Claeys

Book X of the new Code of Economic law does not rationalize distribution law, but modifies certain aspects of the law on pre-contractual information
04/03/2014

Book X of the new Code of Economic Law ‘agency agreements, commercial partnership agreements and exclusive distribution agreements’ only repeats the existing law on agency agreements, the law on exclusive distribution agreements and the law regarding pre-contractual information for commercial cooperation agreements. Only the latter is slightly amended: the scope of the law is broadened, a simplified information document is imposed upon renewal of the agreement and the sanction of annulment is clarified.

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Mr. Karel Mortier
Mr. Roland Huberty
Ms. Catherine Lothaire

L’indemnité d’éviction de l’agent commercial: seule la fin effective du contrat compte
15/04/2013

En vertu de l'article 20 alinéa 5, 2° de la loi relative au contrat d'agence commerciale, aucune indemnité d'éviction n'est due si l'agent commercial met fin au contrat. Mais quel est le sort du droit à l'indemnité d'éviction si l'agent met fin au contrat moyennant préavis et que le contrat est à nouveau rompu par le commettant durant la période de préavis ?

La Cour d'appel de Liège a répondu à cette question dans un arrêt du 7 mars 2013. In casu, l'agent avait notifié la rupture du contrat moyennant préavis de 9 mois le 1er mars 2011 et le commettant lui avait fait savoir, le 22 mars 2011, qu'il ne voulait plus qu'il preste son préavis. Le commettant a donc mis fin au contrat avec effet immédiat durant la période de préavis. La Cour d'appel a jugé qu'il fallait tenir compte de la cause de rupture effective du contrat pour déterminer si une indemnité d'éviction était due. Etant donné que le contrat existait toujours le 22 mars 2011, le commettant a été condamné au paiement d'une indemnité d'éviction.

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Mr. Hendrik Viaene
Mr. Peter Wytinck

European Court of Justice clarifies scope of post-term non-compete obligation in franchise agreement
22/03/2013

In its judgment of 7 February 2013, the European Court of Justice ("ECJ") ruled (Case C-117/12) that a post-term non-compete obligation in a franchise agreement could only benefit from the old vertical block exemption regulation (old "VBER") if its geographic scope is restricted to the physical space from which the contract goods or services were sold.

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Mr. Stijn Claeys

Geen ontwijken van wet handelsagentuur door keuze voor arbitrage
20/06/2012

Partijen bij een agentuurovereenkomst kunnen beslissen hun geschillen voor te leggen aan een arbitraal comité. Het Hof van Cassatie bevestigt in een onlangs gepubliceerd arrest van 31 november 2011 nochtans dat de rechter kan weigeren een geschil aan de beoordeling van een arbitragecommissie over te laten indien de arbitrage geen gelijkwaardige bescherming biedt als de Belgische wet.

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Mr. Christophe Dubois

Concession services contract : proposition from the Commission about tendering
12/03/2012

Proposition of Directive – granting of the concession contract – reglementation about granting

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Mr. Martin Favart

Supreme Court Rules on Commercial Agency Agreements
14/12/2011

On 3 November 2011, the Supreme Court ruled in case Air Transat A.T. Inc. v. Air Agencies Belgium NV on the interpretation of Article 4, third indent of the Law of 13 April 1995 regarding Commercial Agency Agreements (Wet van 13 april 1995 betreffende de handelsagentuurovereenkomst/Loi du 13 avril 1995 relative au contrat d’agence commerciale – the “Law”).

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Mrs. Catherine Smits

L’interdiction générale et absolue de vendre sur Internet en train de vivre ses dernières heures?
25/05/2011

Cette question se trouve au coeur du litige qui oppose le groupe Pierre Fabre (PFDC) aux autorités françaises et qui est désormais porté devant la Cour de justice de l’Union.

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Mr. Stijn Claeys

The Belgian statute of 19 December 2005 on pre-contractual information does not apply to agency agreements
31/03/2011

The application of the statute on pre-contractual information on the conclusion of agency agreements (with its heavy administrative burden) was subject to debate among Belgian legal scholars. The Court of Appeal of Ghent decided on 3 November 2010 that the statute does not apply to agency agreements.

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Mr. Stijn Claeys

The practical consequences of an annulment under the Belgian Statute of 19 December 2005 are problematic
31/01/2011

If a franchisor is not able to demonstrate that a Pre-contractual Information Document was delivered in writing at least one month prior to the execution of the agreement, the franchise agreement can declared null and void. Verbal information delivered by an accounting adviser does not meet the conditions set out in articles 3 and 4 of the Law. The non-validity  of the agreement cannot be offset by the fact that the franchisee unreservedly executed the agreement more than a year before. Challenging the right to claim the non-validity of an agreement requires full knowledge of the reasons for such annulment. The consequences of the annulment are, however, tempered by Belgian courts.

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Mrs. Christine Flion
Mrs. Stessie Soccio

New Judgement of October 28 2010 on the interpretation of article 18 (a) of Council Directive 86/653/EEC
05/01/2011

In a recent decision Volvo Car Germany GmbH v Autohof Weidensdorf GmbH (C-203/09), the European Court of Justice (hereinafter the “ECJ”) has given a preliminary ruling that Article 18 (a) of the Directive precludes a self-employed commercial agent from being deprived of his goodwill indemnity where the principal establishes a default by that agent which occurred after notice of termination of the contract was such as to justify immediate termination of the contract in question.

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