Our specialist French inheritance disputes team deals with the avoidance and resolution of succession disputes involving French assets and property, or a French domiciled person. Our clients include family members of deceased persons (who may have forced heirship rights) other beneficiaries under a deceased's will, executors and trustees, solicitors and other professional advisers. We are also regularly appointed to act as an expert in French property and inheritance issues, including acting as an expert in court proceedings.

The disputes we advise on include:

  • rights for children to share in a French property on a parent's death
  • negotiation of a settlement with or on behalf of the deceased's widow(er)
  • representing the interests of a third party non family member in the inheritance
  • French domicile and succession law
  • English and French wills and their interpretation in light of French law
  • will disputes where a French property is involved
  • obtaining an English court order to permit a minor child to take up his or her inheritance in France, and / or sell a property which has been inherited

We also provide:

  • advice and assistance in dealing with the complex private international law issues surrounding the succession to a French property Affidavits of English law for France and affidavits of French law for English probate purposes
  • assistance with mediation and negotiated settlements
  • assistance to French nationals in dealing with their affairs

Many firms often have experience in either English law or French law. We have the ability and expertise to advise on both.

In addition many of our team, including our administration staff, are bilingual which means we can work directly in the relevant language and have a direct understanding of the issues involved. As a result we are well-placed to advise in relation to complex issues where the precise interpretation of a legal concept across borders is paramount and the need for expensive translation and the inherent delay is avoided.

Our advice is tailored to the client and is cost effective and practical.

Our team

The team has experience of a very wide range of issues built up through practice over a number of years.

  • It is headed by Dawn Alderson, a leading French property and succession lawyer with a national reputation. She and Patrick Delas are both qualified as solicitors and avocats in France.
  • Julie Pinto is a qualified French Notaire with particular experience in the purchase and sale of properties, French inheritance law and wills.
  • Richard Frimston is a specialist private client lawyer with extensive experience in cross border estates and the issues arising from them. Richard is the Law Society representative to the European Committee of the Union Internationale du Notariat (UIN).
  • Alison Regan is a partner specialising in all areas of trust and estate disputes, including those with a cross border element.
  • Gareth Ledsham a specialist litigator in English law trust and estate disputes with considerable experience dealing with cross-border matters. He has worked and studied in France and Belgium and as such is well placed to appreciate the differences between different legal systems and approaches.

Avocat au Barreau de Bordeaux

Dawn Alderson dual-qualified solicitor in England & Wales and Avocat au Barreau de Bordeaux (French practising avocat).

www.barreau-bordeaux.avocat.fr

Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) is a unique professional body providing members with a local, national and international learning and business network focusing on the responsible stewardship of assets today and across the generations. STEP provides education, training, representation and networking for its members. Members advise clients on the broad business of the management of personal finance. Full members of STEP are the most experienced and senior practitioners in the field of trusts and estates.

www.step.org

The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists

The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) was established on Monday 8th September, 1997 for lawyers specialising in contentious trust and probate work.

www.actaps.com

Avocat au Barreau de Paris

Patrick Delas dual-qualified solicitor in England & Wales and Avocat au Barreau de Paris (French practising avocat).

www.avocatparis.org

Private Client Practitioner Top 25 Law Firms

eprivateclient is the leading website and news service for private client practitioners, including lawyers, accountants, trustees and fee-based IFAs. It is the only place to see the results of the Private Client Practitioner Top 25 Law Firms, Top 25 Accountancy Firms, Top 25 Trust Companies, Top 25 IFA Companies, Top 35 Under 35 and 50 Most Influential.

www.eprivateclient.com

CRIDON LYON

For more than 50 years the CRIDON LYON has been the expert legal advisor for notaires and their collaborators. Created in 1962, the CRIDON LYON is a 'Groupement d’Interet Economique' (GIE) [group of economic interest] whose members are the 28 departmental (provincial) chambers of notaires located around the Rhin-Rhone-Mediterranean area and representing more than 3,000 notaires. A board of three administrators and a counsel of 12 members, all notaires elected by the general meeting ensure the CRIDON LYON governance. The GIE executive management ensures the operational function of the company.  Its 76 collaborators undertake daily legal consulting services in all main areas of law (domestic and international), training, documentation input in paper or digital format.

www.cridon-lyon.fr

We work on hourly rates which reflect the skill and experience of our French qualified lawyers (who in most cases are also English solicitors), and other bilingual members of the team.

At the outset we will let you have an estimate or budget of the likely costs based on the information available to us at the time and will update these if your requirements or the circumstances of the case change.

We will work with you and your other professional advisers to find a solution which is effective across boundaries and taking into account not only the level of risk which you are prepared to accept but also the relative financial importance of the matter to you.