French Office

Harris + Harris set up the French Office in 1990 to make the bridge between the English-speaking client and the French legal system. We try to steer you away from traps before you fall in to them.

There are two distinct points in a French purchase:

  • Contract This is signed soon after agreeing terms. This is the document that commits you to buy, subject to a Cooling Off Period.
  • Completion Is roughly two to three months later. In the intervening period the Notaire who oversees the transaction will have carried out various searches against the property. The Notaire is there to make sure the file proceeds according to law. There is no real concept of independent advice in the system.

In a typical transaction:

  • We receive a copy of the Contract in advance of you signing and let you have a Report which explains the document as well as giving more general information;
  • A few days before Completion we contact the Notaire to get a Completion Statement, copies of the searches and the draft Transfer, to check them through on your behalf.

It is important that you know what you are buying before you sign the Contract. It is just as important to take an informed choice when it comes to the method of purchase as French Inheritance Laws can be difficult to comprehend.

You can buy as much of our time as you want. Some clients want us merely to advise on the crucial documents, others ask for wider support. Charges can therefore vary wildly but we estimate a straightforward purchase at between £400 and £900. Jonathan Cavender is our resident solicitor – call him.


Jonathan Cavender
Harris & Harris

Tel: 00 335 5625 6237
Fax: 00 335 5625 6811
SRA Number: 630502