Duty of vigilance

Duty of vigilance

After the Parliament, the European Council officially adopted the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CS3D) on May 24, 2024, which requires companies and their partners, to prevent, stop or mitigate their negative impact on human rights and the environment.

In France, since the March 2017 law related to the duty of care of parent companies and ordering companies, some firms must already meet a certain number of obligations.


Our lawyers will support you in meeting or anticipating all your obligations linked to the duty of vigilance.



France was the first country to adopt a “duty of vigilance” law, which imposes the following obligations on companies and groups with their headquarters in France


  • companies or groups headquartered in France and employing over 5,000 people
  • companies or groups headquartered in France or abroad and employing more than 10,000 employees


to draw up and implement a Vigilance Plan, including reasonable measures to identify risks and prevent serious violations of (i) human rights and fundamental freedoms, (ii) the health and safety of individuals, or (iii) the environment, resulting from their activities, or those of companies they control, subcontractors or suppliers with whom they have an established business relationship.

If a firm fails to comply with its due diligence obligations, any person with an interest in the matter can serve formal notice on it to do so.



The CS3D directive will force more companies to adopt a sustainable and responsible behavior throughout their value chains worldwide, as its scope is broader than the French law regarding duty of care.

It concerns European businesses and parent businesses with over 1,000 employees and worldwide sales of over €450 million, as well as European franchises with worldwide sales of over €80 million. It will also apply to non-European companies, parent companies and third-country franchises reaching the same sales thresholds in the European Union.

Each country will have to set up or designate a supervisory authority responsible for investigating and sanctioning companies that fail to meet their obligations, with fines of up to 5% of worldwide sales. Companies will also be liable for damages caused by non-compliance with their duty of care obligations, and will have to compensate their victims in full.

Following publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, Member States will have two years to implement the regulations and administrative procedures required to comply with the CS3D Directive.



As the regulatory framework continues to evolve, it is imperative that companies remain attentive and proactive, not only to comply with their legal obligations, but also to promote a new approach to their responsibility.


Our lawyers can support you in :

  • The drafting of your Vigilance Plan in accordance with the law on the duty of vigilance: risk mapping, procedures for assessing subcontractors and suppliers, actions to mitigate risks or prevent serious harm, alert and reporting mechanisms, monitoring of measures implemented and evaluation of their effectiveness.
  • Audit, evaluation, benchmarking and compliance verification of your Vigilance Plan.
  • Pre-litigation in connection with compliance with your obligations under the Vigilance Program, and in particular responding to formal notices in this respect.
  • Litigation following a formal notice.
  • Dialogue with your shareholders and stakeholders on your duty of care policy and challenges.
  • Raising awareness and preparing your teams, executive committees and boards of directors for future obligations arising from the CS3D directive.



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