As a specialist firm, when you contact our office you are guaranteed to deal directly with an English-speaking French law specialist at all times. Our team of solicitors and paralegals have extensive knowledge and experience of French law, including French inheritance law, French property law, French wills and much more. We also have excellent links with many professionals throughout France including lawyers (both notaries and avocats), bankers, accountants and surveyors.
- Check out our presentation: The Legal Aspects of Buying Property in France
- Read what other customers have to say about us: Client Testimonials
- Purchase Flyer
Meet the Team
Barbara is an English qualified solicitor who studied French law at the University of Grenoble in France and has extensive experience of both English and French property law and procedure.
Fabienne is a French national and a qualified solicitor. She graduated in European and Business Law in France and gained a MA in Business Law in the UK. Fabienne has practised law for over 10 years and gained experience in property matters working for leading UK insurers.
John Kitching is a Solicitor who has spent the last 17 years specialising in French law. John studied law at Sheffield Hallam University and l’Université de Paris XII. John has particular expertise in UK and French probate, succession and estate planning.
Morgan is a French national and a French Law Graduate. Morgan complemented her French legal studies with English legal studies at Nottingham University and at the Bristol Institute of Legal Practice. She works closely with Barbara Heslop and is a fluent English speaker.
Helen is a law graduate and studied French law at the University of Nantes in France. Helen has been with Heslop & Platt for ten years and is a senior paralegal with a wealth of knowledge and experience.
French Law Services
Purchase of residential property: We deal with the purchase of all types of property all over France. Whether you are buying a villa, an apartment or a barn to renovate, and whether the property is 300 years old or not yet built, we know the questions to ask and the enquiries to make. We can also assist with the purchase of land, construction contracts and leaseback purchases.
Sale of residential property: We can organise the appointment of an agent and a notary for you and, if required, can assist in negotiations with prospective buyers. We can also arrange the compulsory reports which a seller is required to provide and, where applicable, advise you on your French capital gains tax liability.
Transfer of ownership: When a couple divorces, the transfer of their holiday home in France will form part of the divorce settlement. In conjunction with the client’s own matrimonial lawyer, we regularly deal with the French aspects of such transfers. Our expertise is also invaluable when unmarried couples separate or friends who have bought a property together decide that one will buy the other out.
French wills: Whilst French law dictates, to a large extent, what happens to a person’s assets when they die, it is still useful for there to be a French Will which compliments any provisions you may have made in the UK. This simplifies the administration of the deceased’s French estate and therefore reduces costs in the long run.
Estate planning: There are various ways in which the owner of a property in France can seek to minimise inheritance tax and / or ensure the surviving spouse is protected in the event of the death of his / her wife or husband; contact us for a review of your current position.
Succession advice: It is crucial to take specialist, independent legal advice at the time of purchase so as to consider the various ownership options before completing the purchase of a property in France; succession advice forms an integral part of our services.
Disputes & litigation: If you have a dispute with an individual or a company in France or wish to take legal action against someone, we can introduce you to a specialist French lawyer (an Avocat) who will represent you; we work alongside the French Avocat to ensure your interests are protected and your goals achieved.
Financial issues & debt recovery: We regularly assist English speaking clients who are experiencing financial difficulty in relation to their French mortgage. We also act for UK based individuals and companies seeking to place a charge over a French property to secure repayment of debt.
Probate and estate administration: Working in conjunction with the notary in France we can guide English speaking clients through the formalities which are required in France when a partner or family member dies.
Power of Attorney: If it is inconvenient or impossible for you to travel to France to sign legal documentation, we can arrange for you to sign a Power of Attorney in the UK. We can also arrange, if required, the legalisation of the Power by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.