French Business Law in Translation


French Business Law in Translation


Publication Date



By adding the relevant French text in a column directly across from the translation into English, this 2nd edition has a whole new dimension which makes it an invaluable resource in legal linguistics for international practitioners and academics.

The selection of texts has been made by members of the Paris office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker (Europe) LLP, under the direction of Pierre Kirch. A team of advanced French and American law students at Columbia University Law School, supervised by Professor Bermann, has prepared the basic translations. The definitive translations and chapter introductions were prepared by the authors.

Through a sound translation of the legislation which recurringly applies to ordinary and usual business situations, it is possible to discern the philosophy underlying the French system, reflective of how France conceives and regulates business phenomena that are in themselves essentially universal.

Significant excerpts of fast-evolving areas of the law have been translated because in a French setting, transactional work involves not only fundamental contractual concepts set out in the Civil Code, but also securities law, intellectual property, competition, tax and labor law considerations. Each chapter opens with a brief introduction to the subject and an outline of its contents. The purpose is to allow the reader to place the translated legislation and rules in their overall context. The selection of translated material is done in such a way as to enable the reader to appreciate in their full scope the fundamentals of each area of the law, as conceived by the legislator, the French Government and, in certain cases, independent regulatory authorities. A glossary added to each chapter is intended to give a preliminary idea of the conceptual linguistic tools used in each of the subject-area chapters.

Legal translation is not an exact science, but based on the authors' combined experience of more than 50 years in dealing with the fascinating differences between French law and U.S. law, they are keenly aware of the fact that the translation of legal language is not made by the translation of words, but rather by an attempt to use words to achieve an (often rough) equivalence of concepts. By putting the French original across from the translation, and by investing themselves in the qualitative value of seeking not words but conceptual equivalents or explanations for the rules of French law, they hope to have fostered a deeper understanding of the laws and regulations governing business in France. This should not only better inform those lawyers involved internationally but also be instructive to French lawyers interested in the recurrent linguistic characteristics of French legal texts. This can only be shown when the French original is compared with the appropriate conceptual link to American legal English.


Business Organizations Law | Commercial Law | European Law | Law | Legislation




Juris Publishing


Huntington, NY


"A superb translation into English of the main French laws and regulations on commercial matters, enlightened by carefully written introductions and basic glossaries; this work, in the present second edition, will be of great assistance to practitioners in understanding and addressing issues of French business law."
Professor Pierre Mayer, Partner at the Paris office of Dechert LLP, Associate member of the Institut de Droit International, Member of the Council of the ICC Institute of World Business Law, and Former President of the Committee on Private International Law of the Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA)

"I offer my profound gratitude to both authors for the fantastic job they have done. As a lawyer admitted to both the Paris and the New York Bars, I am very familiar with the difficulties of translation. Translating not only words, but legal concepts is a daunting task which requires linguistic skills, of course, which both authors possess to the highest degree, but also a deep knowledge of the Law, of the History of the Law and of the legal cultures concerned. Bermann and Kirch have truly done an outstanding job at it. I was unable to find just one sentence, or even one word that I thought could have been better translated. The English version of the French legal texts reads as precisely, and as freely as the French. This book is and will be invaluable to practicing attorneys like myself who can now rely on a very accurate and precise translation of all the laws and statutes that are part of our day-to-day practice. I am also very impressed by the sheer size of the book and the considerable amount of work it represents. There is simply no body of business law that I can think of for which a translation of all the main provisions under French law is not provided by this book. My warmest congratulations and my thanks to both authors for this book that will now sit with Black’s Law Dictionary at the forefront of my book shelf, right by my desk."
Pierre Servan-Schreiber, Co-Head of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

"French Business Law in Translation is an invaluable legal tool for international law practitioners. This reference book is a remedy against the "lost in translation syndrome" and a value added resource for handling a sound Franco-US legal business practice. The outlines and the glossaries are contextualizing the selected regulations in an easy to read format."
Philippe Coen, Board Member of the AFJE (French In-House Counsel Association)

"Bermann and Kirch’s work should become an indispensable tool for all students and lawyers with transnational questions involving French business law. The selection of materials is excellent, and the facing translations are not only an invaluable tool for the Anglo-American lawyer, but should be extremely useful to their French counterparts when they seek accurate translations of their law in English."
Professor Vernon Palmer, Thomas Pickles Professor of Law, Co-Director, Eason-Weinmann Center of Comparative Law, and Director, European Legal Studies Program; Tulane University Law School.

French Business Law in Translation

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