here is a gap that seems inexplicable: if the Bordeaux Bar had many institutes specializing in different rights (bodily injury, defense of seniors, intellectual property, etc.), it did not host a tool dedicated to the law of the vine and the wine which made the reputation of the Gironde capital. This lack is about to be erased with the announced creation of a dedicated institute within the Bordeaux Bar. “It’s an anomaly repaired by the chairman Christine Maze” announces Jean-Baptiste Thial de Bordenave (Mineral Avocats firm). Son of wine growers from Entre-deux-Mers, the expert in trademark and intellectual property law will take over the presidency of this institute of wine law. The creation of which must soon be recorded by the Bordeaux Bar Association (with a call for applications).
While tenors from the Bordeaux bar are making a name for themselves in wine law, this new institute “Won’t necessarily please everyone. It’s a small environment that we’re going to professionalise, where we’re going to promote quality* and give visibility.” explains Christine Maze, president of the Bordeaux Bar (the fourth largest in France, with 1,933 registered lawyers), who wishes “to dust off this field of activity which is almost a preserve for people who are necessarily very competent, but which must be opened up”. A pool of experts in vine and wine law already exists at the University of Bordeaux with the master 2 dedicated to these subjects since 1985.
Guarantor of rights
Regretting that lawyers suffer from an inaccessible image, the President of the Bar wishes to position black robes as a tool to support economic growth, generating added value in advice and not limiting itself to litigation: “it is necessary that there is not a contract signed in the region without the advice of his lawyer” to prevent any legal risk a priori rather than suffer a posteriori. “The lawyer is the guarantor of the rights of his client, it is his role of defense in relation to notaries and accountants” abounds Isabelle Coulary, the director of communication of the Order of Lawyers of the Bar of Bordeaux.
“The objective is for all players, from upstream to downstream, from small winegrowers to large châteaux, merchants and syndicates, to reconnect with the Bordeaux Bar” says Jean-Baptiste Thial de Bordenave: “We have lost the reflex of the lawyer. We must break the image of an expensive and distant lawyer. The Bordeaux Bar is at the service of the economic development of the sector. Too many choices are made in the area without advice. » To promote this expertise, the institute intends to write a first legal guide to help young winegrowers to settle down without forgetting the slightest administrative procedure (rural law, management of employees, filing of trademarks, planting rights, etc.). “It is not the job of the farmer to practice law. We want to give it all the directions to succeed by reducing the administrative burden. And its psychological weight says Jean-Baptiste Thial de Bordenave, who summarizes: “we want the wine sector to realize that the avocado is its privileged interlocutor”. To advise and to plead concludes Christine Maze.
According to the chairman, there is no institute specializing in wine law in the other French bars.
*: The institute has a support objective with specialists identified for their mastery of the subjects and their continuous training (all lawyers must follow 20 hours of training per year, there will be an emphasis given to wine-growing subjects for this institute). “Wine law is transversal and multidisciplinary with environmental law, international relations, intellectual property, tax law, transmission, criminal law…” underlines master Christine Maze. “In all matters of law, wine has a specific right at all levels, as it is a unique product” adds Jean-Baptiste Thial de Bordenave, the lawyer pointing out that customary law evolves according to the wine-growing areas. Specificities supporting the need to create a dedicated institute.