HCJP, the legal weapon of a financial center in Paris

The High Legal Committee of the Paris Financial Center (HCJP), created in 2015 by the instigation of the Bank of France and the financial institutions of Autorité des marchés, is Brexit, Banking Law, Securities Law, or Corporate Law. “Competition between locations has long been a reality, even within the European Union,” explains Gerard Gardera, HCJP’s secretary-general and former legal director of the Societe Generale Group.

Legal News: Why was the High Legal Committee of the Paris Financial Center (HCJP) established in 2015?

Gerard Gardella: The idea of ​​creating a High Commission was advocated by the Bank of France and the Financial Markets Authority (AMF) and was included in the 2013-2016 strategic plan. At that time, these players agreed that it would be useful to have an organization in France to predict international development and the legal status of the financial center in Paris. In addition, the installation of HCJP Financial Markets Law Commission (FLMC), its UK counterpart. Therefore, it was also a matter of competitiveness and influence between financial centers.

Basically, the High Legal Committee has a consensus among all stakeholders and decision makers in the financial center of Paris on the steps to be taken to modernize the legal framework of this place and make it more competitive. Established to meet your needs. Even within the European Union, competition between locations has long been a reality, and Brexit has, of course, emphasized this competition.

Among the ex officio members of HCJP are representatives of the Financial Markets Authority, the Bank of France, the Ministry of Finance, the Soundness Management and Resolution Agency (ACPR), and the Ministry of Justice. They include experts such as financial company representatives, professional lawyers, scholars, and justice of the peace. Professional associations (French Banking Federation, French Private Citizens Association, National Association of Stock Companies, French Corporate Movement, etc.) are not members of HCJP itself, but are consulted in the context of the work of the workgroup.

advertisement: Specifically, how do you routinely seek the consensus you speak?

GG: The vitality of the High Legal Committee is especially evident in the diversity of its composition. Eighteen member experts represent the interests and knowledge of the financial center in Paris. Of particular interest are Michelle Prada, Honorary Treasury Inspector, Former President of AMF, Didier Martin, Alban Kairemar du Ferrage, Hubert de Voplane, Frederick Lacroix, Andrew Bernstein, A professional lawyer such as Stephen Purel. I am also thinking about professors of law: France Drammond, Alain Pietran Costa, Francesco Martucci, as well as Henri Tute, Chief of the State Council, Alan Lakabaratz, Honorary Chamber of Commerce and Industry Director of the Court of Cassation, Caroline. Henry, Temporary Advisor Court of Cassation, Creddy Aglycol Group Legal Director Pierre Miner, AXA Legal Secretary Helen Brown, Total Energy Group Legal Director Aurelian Hamel, Tikehow Legal Secretary Jeffroy Leonard. And, of course, HCJP President Gérard Rameix was an Honorary Judge of the Board of Audit and a former President of AMF. Thus, the High Commission is made up of highly competent and legitimate people, who can work to produce very high levels of reporting and recommendations. In addition, all the authorities mentioned above (AMF, Treasury, ACPR, Bank of France, Ministry of Justice) are attending the plenary session. Therefore, we collect the entire panorama of the players in the Paris market within us. Such universities are clearly unique to that extent. This is the first strength.

In addition, our organization is based on the treatment of subjects by working groups that reflect the composition of the High Commission itself, including lawyers, government officials, business specialists, authorities, and even representatives of specialized organizations. Eventually Work always produces opinions and detailed reports. In general, it is the authorities that ask us to ponder what they consider important. Finally, the High Legal Committee’s “University” reviews the draft opinion or report, and in some cases requests rework or additional details, and then validates it.

advertisement: What is the topic you are most working on?

GG: Historically, the Brexit subject has mobilized us a lot. Between 2017 and 2019, we produced eight reports and two opinions on this subject. The first concern was the “Recommendation for the establishment of a professional chamber of commerce in Paris to handle international business disputes”. We will also investigate “The impact of Brexit on banks and financial contracts and the funding stability of players on the continent”, “The impact of Brexit on insurance activities”, or finally “Brexit, banks and investment services”. did. The main legal issue in the context of Brexit was the continuity of the contract. It was necessary at all costs to avoid their rupture, study all possibilities, and issue proposals to assist French and European authorities and all financial personnel as needed. .. Can French operators continue to trade in the UK? Can British people work on the continent? And under what conditions? These are some of the issues we analyzed to try to avoid accidents, reassure actors and attract the Paris market when the day comes. The High Commission’s report led to the creation of an international parliament for the Commercial Court and the Paris Court of Appeals, in particular aimed at addressing some of the financial market proceedings that were previously privileged in British courts. rice field. .. ..

advertisement: Brexit, valid from 1 yearer January 2021, is it still a source of research (and concern) for you?

GG: yes of course. Brexit is a long process and the results will evolve over the years. Currently, I am thinking about the issue of double collateralization of transactions at clearinghouses. In summary, during a transaction between two parties on financial futures products, a market infrastructure called a “clearinghouse” acts as an insurance company if one party violates. Of course, that commitment to secure the deal. As a rule, when a player trades on a clearing house, he must deposit a guarantee called “collateral”. But today, the UK clearing house is very powerful and still concentrates most of the market for European financial instruments, especially the euro trading. Obviously, the UK is no longer a member of the European Union, so this creates a situation that needs attention in certain situations. It no longer has de facto solidarity with other European countries. Therefore, the European market is seeking to repatriate the activities of the member state’s clearing house. And one of the challenges is to avoid double collateral for market players, that is, double deposits for transaction guarantees. HCJP has set up a working group to reflect this issue, but other subjects may be related to Brexit or when new issues arise.

advertisement: The High Legal Committee also considers the subject of crypto assets. What is your main contribution in this regard?

GG: Cryptocurrency is an area we have been working on since our founding. For example, distributed ledgers and tokenization techniques conflict with traditional legal frameworks. We recently published a report on digital financial securities called “security tokens”. And now there is a working group on the legal system of registered securities, led by Kramer Levin’s deputy attorney, Hubert de Vauplane. Blockchain..

Currently, a total of 13 working groups have been established on subjects as diverse as we have just mentioned, multiple voting rights for company shareholders, or cyber risk insurance. Do I need to insure cyber risks, or conversely, can this encourage attacks? All of these topics are exciting and generally talked about.

advertisement: What is the impact of the High Commission? Are your recommendations taken up by relevant authorities or members of parliament, for example?

GG: I’m lying, so I won’t say it’s been taken over and followed in all cases, but it’s clear that 53 reports and many of the recommendations they contain are frequently followed up by law and regulation. is. However, we do not lobby at all. Of course, we work with representatives of the Association of Professionals and they defend their interests, but HCJP is completely independent, especially seeking the collective interests of the financial center in Paris.

advertisement: Why is legal competitiveness important for a financial center like Paris?

GG: Financial operations are, of course, directed at financial centers with a stable legal framework that is critical to operator security and the flexibility and flexibility essential to innovation and speed of operations. It’s a difficult balance to find and often requires rethinking the legal framework of the place. You can see that HCJP is dedicated to this purpose.