Herbalife: Belgian Appeal Court: Herbalife is No Pyramid: Validates Legitimacy The Next Chapter in Recognition of Personal Use


So says a Belgian Appeal Court about American direct selling/network marketing company, Herbalife, a company with thousands of distributors in more than 80 countries.

In a ruling, December 2, 2013, the Court of Appeal in Brussels, came down like a sledge hammer on a lower court ruling of November, 2011 by the Brussels Commercial Court.** (Test-Aankoop v. Herbalife International Belgium NV, A.R. 2004/7787). The Appeal Court categorically reversed a lower court finding that Herbalife was a pyramid. To the contrary, it found the company to be in compliance with Belgian law and non-binding guidance that it referenced from the European Directive on direct selling.

**See a translated copy of the actual Belgian Court of Appeal Herbalife ruling.

Although a European court ruling, the core issue of "recognition of validity of personal use by direct selling distributors" has dominated discussion about the legitimacy of direct selling companies in the U.S. and internationally for two decades, and the import of this case and its discussion cannot be underestimated in its potential impact on future U.S. and international cases which distinguish legitimate direct selling from pyramid schemes.

The Belgian Lawsuit and the Lower Court Ruling

Based on a lawsuit brought by a nonprofit group, Test-Aankoop, in 2004, the lower court held Herbalife to be violative of Belgian law prohibiting pyramid schemes, the WMPC, the Belgian Law on Unfair Commercial Practices. The applicable pyramid law, as described by the Belgian Court of Appeal is as follows...

Read this article and related ones T: http://mlmlegal.com/MLMBlog/?p=762

Visit www.mlmlegal.com and www.mlmattorney.com for more information on the network marketing industry.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Babener & Associates | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »


Welcome to MLM Legal - a valuable resource to the Multi-Level Marketing and Direct Sales Industry. ... View Profile »

Follow Babener & Associates:

Reporters on Deadline

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.