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Litigation, ADR, Arbitration

Litigation, ADR, Arbitration

A unique experience

Ulys is one of the few law firms which can claim to have real national, international, and specifically European experience in managing litigation involving New Technologies Law.

This requires knowledge which goes beyond New Technologies Law. Pleading is a specialisation acquired after years of practising before Courts of Appeal and first instance courts. Several of Ulys' lawyers have brought the skills acquired through years of practise in general commercial litigation to the more specific world of new technologies.

A Franco-Belgian practice

The perfect symbiosis of French and Belgian procedures gives Ulys the advantage of being a single point of contact between clients with litigation in both countries.

Court of Justice of the EU

Pleading before the Supreme Court of the European Union requires skill and experience. This, however, is increasingly common in an area which is largely harmonised inside the EU. Ulys is one of the rare firms with this specific expertise.

Liability of Intermediaries

Ulys has become a specialist in cases involving Intermediaries liability.

This is reflected by the fact that the European Commission chose the firm to steer the progress report on the application of the electronic commerce directive.

The Commission ordered two reports on its economic impact and on the application of its provisions on Internet intermediaries' liability. The second report, entrusted to a consortium led by Ulys, collected information on the application of section 4 of the directive, both nationally and at community level.

Alternative methods of conflict resolution

New Technologies Law has opened up different methods of conflict resolution on the fringes of judicial and administrative procedures.

Ulys is experienced in these investigatory procedures before Government departments (Commissions for the protection of privacy, competition, banking regulation authorities, etc.).

Several lawyers are also involved in Arbitration (domain names, commercial arbitration etc.), either sitting as arbitrators or representing clients.

Finally, the best disputes are often those which are avoided. Ulys starts from the principle that negotiation and amicable resolution are often more reasonable and less expensive. The firm therefore uses its negotiation experience to help its clients.

A few recent examples

  • An IT project went wrong: a year's delay and twice the budget for a solution which still did not always function optimally. Ulys drew on its contacts with experts to set up a multidisciplinary team. The strategic choices were presented, and explained to the client. The client followed Ulys' recommendation: the judicial path was preferred. After an expert's appraisal, the Court pronounced the rescission, the return of the sums paid and significant damages for the delay.

  • Two telecom operators negotiated a contract to access the network belonging to one of them. The negotiations were broken off and Ulys was instructed to defend the interests of one of them in an action in tort based on a culpa in contrahendo.

  • A bank had a tailor-made reporting solution for the supervisory bodies developed by a publisher. It didn't work. Ulys obtained an interlocutory order for disclosure of the source codes to enable another service provider to continue the mission.

  • A company specialised in electronic payments (a system which can be integrated into e-commerce sites) used an unscrupulous subcontractor who forgot to separate the flows for the company's own funds and those for merchants. Four countries were involved. Ulys used its network to coordinate legal proceedings in 4 countries, and obtained conservation measures which enabled the essential to be recovered.

  • Instructed by a client to challenge the validity of a trademark licence contract between two companies, Ulys succeeded in having the case referred to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling. The Court followed the firm's submissions by confirming that a trademark licence contract at the very least assumes possibility of using the sign in accordance with the Trademark's function (otherwise it is an "ordinary" services contract).