About us

About Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith heads our specialist French law department. He is a bilingual French national who read French law and English law at Cambridge University. He is one of the leading French property specialists in the UK and has over 25 years experience covering all aspects of buying and selling residential and commercial property in France. Stephen is a published author on French law and tax. He appears on television and radio and also writes for or is quoted regularly in a broad range of specialist publications and in the UK or French press.

About Stephen Smith (France) Ltd

Service from Stephen Smith (France) Ltd means:

  • a comprehensive range of skills
  • strength in depth and breadth
  • personal service
  • active communication
  • informal and approachable staff
  • extremely good value

We are a well-respected bilingual firm. We provide strong specialist cross-cultural expertise in all aspects of residential and commercial real property ('immeubles') across France. French real property law falls under a constantly evolving legal regime of both public and private laws and regulations. Public law governs mainly town and country planning and tax aspects, while private law governs all the other aspects of French real property transactions. This includes construction, sale and purchase agreements, leases and French company law.

We are experienced in handling higher value or complex French property and commercial transactions, often working closely with clients' professional advisers in the UK, France or elsewhere abroad.

As well as mainstream French real property work, we and - where appropriate - our French network advise on French succession law, French inheritance tax, French estate (inheritance) planning, cross-border wills and probate, French wealth tax, French capital gains tax, other French taxes and opportunities for tax efficiency. We frequently advise on French company and commercial law and its implications for commercial ventures like vineyards, golf courses, campsites, farms and 'lifestyle' businesses.

If you would like to talk through our services in more detail, or give an estimate of the fees for a specific transaction or legal matter, please telephone 01473 437186 or email us at

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