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.
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.
- Judith Backo who is trained as a notaire (diplômée notaire France) and worked for more than five years in several notarial firms, most of them being based in the French Alps, before moving to London.