Ad hoc :
Appointed by the President of the Court with an ad hoc mandate whose terms depend on the type of mission conferred (i.e., assistance for general prevention measures but can also be more limited such as in the management of an estate, a company, replacement of a manager, convening of shareholders to a General Meeting, management of company restructuring plans, etc.).

AGS/FNGS/GARP :
Public organisations (French Salary Insurance Schemes) advancing salary and other related claims under certain conditions. Covers salary amounts due to employees in the event of default and ends up substituting for employee rights. Intervenes in the cases of Safeguard, Receivership and Judicial Liquidation.

Assignment/ Disposal plan :
Reorganisation plan transferring all or parts of the business to a third party, in return for an amount determined by the Court.


Judicial Administrator :
Judicial auxiliary officer appointed by the Court to administer the estates of third parties or to fulfil missions of assistance or supervision in the management of these estates. He plays a dominant role in the case of Safeguard or Receivership as in addition to his management intervention (in receivership), he prepares the company’s statement of affairs (including financial reports and labour situation) and establishes and recommends either a recovery plan or a judicial liquidation. Once his mission started, he takes all measures to protect the company and its production capacities; he has an inventory made of the assets and handles claims filed and the return of goods.

Jurisdiction competent in hearing disputes concerning employees. :
Jurisdiction competent in hearing disputes concerning employees.

Judicial liquidation :
Procedure concerning companies « in default, whose activity has ceased or where business recovery is obviously impossible ». Under the authority of the Court or the Supervising Judge, the Judicial Liquidator realises the assets, distributes the proceeds to the creditors according to rank, and proceeds with the employee layoffs and the closing of the accounts.

Judicial Auxiliary Officer / Receivership and liquidation :
Mandated by the Courts to verify the debt, represent the creditors (including the employees) and in the event of a judicial liquidation, to realise the assets and recover the claims in order to distribute the funds.


Interim Administrator :
Administrator appointed by the courts to intervene in a temporary manner in the management of a company, the time needed to resolve an important problem hampering the normal functioning of the business. His mission may consist in the complete management or be limited to certain functions/ delegations of authority.

Insolvency, bankruptcy :
In Roman law, the “fallere” was the deceiver, the one who had intentionally misled a penniless debtor, even his creditors. Hence the origin of the French word ‘faillite”.

In bonis :
Latin expression describing a merchant who is « master of his goods »,that is to say he can freely dispose of them as he is not in the grip of insolvency proceedings. In other words, he is solvent.

Insolvency proceeding :
Court intervention as a result of placing the company in Safeguard, Receivership or Judicial Liquidation, staying all court action on the part of individual creditors and ensuring a group approach to the treatment of the debt.


B.O.D.A.C.C. : Official Bulletin of Civil and Trade Announcements :
publishes the opening judgments of insolvency proceedings. This publication starts the clock running on time limits in filing claims and appeals.


Cession/ Transfer/ Disposal :
Partial or total sale of a business which, if in receivership, is decided by the Court upon completion of the observation period.

Continuation plan :
Recovery plan aiming to continue the activities of the distressed business with its directors and associates, and proposing a new payment schedule with discounts to the creditors. It is up to the Courts to accept or reject the plan.

Claim :
The action that the owner of movable property used or in the possession of the company placed in Safeguard, Receivership or Liquidation must undertake to assert his rights.

Commercial Court :
Jurisdiction known as « consular » mandated with hearing disputes between businesses. It is entirely composed of merchants and tradesmen, elected by their peers, who sit in groups of three on the bench: one presiding judge and two assessors or associate judges.


Unsecured :
Ordinary creditor who does not benefit from any special ranking or privilege in the payment of his claims.


Filing of claims :
Attestation prepared by the legal representative of the creditor certifying amounts due by the debtor. He must distinguish between amounts past due and those falling due. This document is sent to the Judicial Liquidator (acting as representative of the creditors) and constitutes a legal action.


Dépôt de bilan (Filing a petition in bankruptcy) :
Everyday expression originating from an 1848 law which required the debtor in payment default « to declare his situation before the Court Clerk, accompanied with his « dépôt de bilan (deposit of documents) which contained a listing and value of all his goods, including an inventory of his debts”: he would thus hope to avoid debtor’s prison!


Safeguard plan (not in payment default) :
Business turnaround plan aiming to reorganise and redress the company and reschedule the debt.

Safeguard :
Insolvency proceeding without payment default close to prevention measures. Inspired by the United States’ Chapter 11.

Superprivileged :
Priority creditors (employees or AGS as substitute) for certain types of salary claims.


Receivership :
Procedure concerning a company in payment default, intended to permit the safeguarding of the business, the preservation of the activity and of employment, and the extinction of the debt.


Tribunal de Grande Instance / Court of first instance/ County Court / District Court :
Jurisdiction of ordinary law, competent in matters of insolvency for farmers, liberal professions and legal entities of a non-commercial nature (non-trading company for example). In the absence of a commercial court or during civil proceedings, it is this court who hears matters.