Governance evolution

Author: | Published: 1 Nov 2007

The evolutions in French corporate governance over the past 12 months are worthy of discussion. Most relate to shareholders. Their access to and use of voting rights during shareholders' meetings, and the powers of the general assembly and of the bodies presiding over these meetings, have undergone changes. The number of court cases and new regulations concerning shareholders and shareholders' meetings shows the importance of the shareholders' meeting as a decision-making body within the French corporate governance framework. This is again confirmed by the increased involvement of the shareholders' general assembly in control of the remuneration of directors and their severance payments.

Golden parachutes French case law has often frowned on large severance payments or golden parachutes, although they were never illegal as such. When they could dissuade shareholders from using their right to freely terminate directors at any given time. The legislative scrutiny of directors' remuneration started with the corporate...