Hogan Lovells Obtains Landmark French Constitutional Ruling to Stop Double Sanctions for Insider Trading

LONDON, 19 March 2015 – Hogan Lovells has been successful in a landmark decision by the French Constitutional Council, which puts an end to the legal regime allowing a double sentencing of insider trading by the French Financial Market Authority (AMF) and by the criminal courts. The decision is based on the fact that the two parallel systems are, in fact, punishing similar wrongdoings and using analogous sentencing tools.

Antonin Lévy, head of Hogan Lovells' Investigations, White-Collar and Fraud practice in Paris, led submissions to get the law changed in relation to concurrent criminal and administrative sanctions against violators of financial market regulations.

Historically, in France, breaches of stock market regulations could be prosecuted and sanctioned by both the AMF and criminal courts. Up until now, the Constitutional Council and the Supreme Court had held that a double-trial system was compliant with French law.

This decision will not be enforced until September 2016.  Up until then, any ongoing cases that a criminal court or the AMF decide on will not give rise to a second sentencing.

Antonin Lévy, Investigations, White-Collar and Fraud practice of the Hogan Lovells Paris office, said:
"This decision is in line with recent cases ruled by the European Court on Human Rights, notably Grande Stevens v. Italy. It is a major turning point in the prosecution of financial market misconducts under French law."

Antoine Juaristi, Financial Services Litigation Partner of the Hogan Lovells Paris office, said:
"The outstanding issue is the impact of this ruling on the activity of the French Financial Markets Authority, and more specifically, on the role assigned to its investigation services in relation to insider dealing."


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