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UK-based French property owners 'love the lifestyle too much' to surrender their pieds à terre

PUBLISHED: 20:58 02 December 2019

Barbara Heslop (third right in red) with Ashtons Legal's Matthew Cameron (second right) and others from Heslop & Platt  Picture: DAVE RICHARDSON

Barbara Heslop (third right in red) with Ashtons Legal's Matthew Cameron (second right) and others from Heslop & Platt Picture: DAVE RICHARDSON

BIGPHATPHOTOS/ashtons legal

French property owners show little sign of wishing to give up on their Gallic hideaways - despite Brexit turmoil, according to UK-based French legal experts.

Ipswich-based Ashtons Legal, which has just expanded its French operation after acquiring Leeds-based Heslop & Platt to take a leading position in the UK's French local services market, said the signs were UK owners are staying put.

Matthew Cameron, who leads the team at Ashtons Legal, said: "Amid all the debate, confusion and concerns in the UK this year about our future role in Europe, one thing has become very clear.

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"The majority of people who love France and the French lifestyle are not going to change their plans in light of the political situation."

The main area where they were seeing increased activity was among home owners wanting to make French wills to sit alongside their English ones.

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"We also deal with many succession issues on behalf of individuals who are inheriting property from parents who retired to France some years ago," he said.

Ashtons employs 370 staff across its East Anglian offices, while niche firm Heslop & Platt has a team of eight specialising solely in French property and estate administration work.

Both firms are long-established players in this field with strong contacts among notaires, property agents and banks across France, and are seeking to become the 'go to' provider in the UK for those buying or selling residential property in France, or writing a will.

Barbara Heslop of Heslop & Platt said: "Whilst our profile and client base is nationwide, our presence in the north of the UK is stronger than that of Ashtons. The full-service Ashtons' infrastructure will give us a strength and depth that we could not realistically achieve alone. I'm very confident that this will be a great move for both parties".

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