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Within the following situation:

  • I have the French nationality.

  • I have an Estonian company, created as part of the e-Residency program.

  • This company purpose is doing "web scraping", collecting public data from a French website and selling that data. (Note that this is an example and slightly inaccurate, please don't focus on the legality of scraping in France and Estonia)

  • Web scraping is supposedly legal in Estonia

Am I at risk of being sued by the French company under French law ? Or would Estonian law apply here ?

3

An Estonian company can be sued under French law for violating French law in France, and so can its officers, no matter what their nationality or where they reside. So yes, you could be sued in France as an officer of the company.

If you have assets in France, a French judgment against you will be easier to enforce than one against someone who has no assets in France. This is, similarly, not about nationality but about the location of your assets.

A suit could also be pursued in Estonia. If the activities in Estonia are contrary to Estonian law then you could also be sued in Estonia as an officer of the company.

We frequently have questions about "which law applies" for cases that span multiple jurisdictions. The general answer is that all law applies. An activity in multiple jurisdictions must comply with the law in every one of them.

If you are doing something that is prohibited (or even that possibly might be prohibited) in either Estonian law or French law, you should take professional legal advice. Unless you can find a lawyer who is qualified in both countries, you will need two lawyers.

2

You can be sued under French or Estonian law

Since your activities have clear links to both jurisdictions a wronged party can choose where to sue you and argue (probably successfully) the law that they choose applies.

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  • 1
    I'm not the downvoter - but I would appreciate clarification. I would have thought that as its not me, its the Estonian legal entity breaking French law that action would need to be taken against the Estonian company - and that the French would not have had standing to enforce any judgement???
    – davidgo
    Dec 25 '20 at 3:59
  • 2
    @davidgo the Estonian company is operating in France and is therefore subject to French law. A successful suit in France would then be referred to the Estonian courts for collection.
    – Dale M
    Dec 25 '20 at 4:10
  • Missed that bit. Agree!
    – davidgo
    Dec 25 '20 at 4:13

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