By Andreas Natterer, Sara Khalil

Earlier this year, the ECJ ruled that commercial agents are generally entitled to compensation, even if the distribution agreement was terminated during a trial period.

The ECJ’s decision (C-645/16) was preceded by the French Cour de Cassation’s request for a preliminary ruling on whether Art. 17 of Directive 86/653/EEC applies if the commercial agent’s contract is terminated during a trial period. The French courts have previously ruled that a commercial agent is not entitled to any kind of compensation or damages under Art. 17 of the Commercial Agents Directive, because the contract was terminated during a contractually provided trial period of 12 months (Directive 86/653/EEC).