French contract law has reformed its Title III of Book III of its Civil Code on contracts (“Des contrats ou des obligations conventionnelles en general”). These provisions, which are at the very heart of French contract law, have remained nearly untouched since their original enactment in 1804. Over the years, French contract law has mainly relied on judicial creativity to formulate new rules where the code was silent, to modernise existing rules and to give practical application to hitherto academic concepts. This reform is intended to update and consolidate the law of contract and to incorporate certain key case law developments. The reform should also be followed by changes to the rules on contractual and tortious liability.

The reform became law on 1 October 2016. However, all contracts concluded prior to its entry into force will remain subject to the previous regime (with minor exceptions) and vice versa.