Notaires must embrace change

In the 1960s I was articled to a solicitor. At that time a huge amount of the work of most high street solicitors was the buying and selling of property for their clients. Fees were charged on a scale set by the Law Society.

To the best of my memory the scale fee for selling a £3,500 house was £125.

When we moved to France last year we sold a house for just under £300,000. The conveyancing fees were £600, just four times the 1965 fee.

Notaires, like many other professions in France, need to embrace change to manage it, rather than obstruct it. Not all British reform to professions and trades unions were beneficial, but the great majority were.

There are many lesson for France to learn from the British experience of managing major change.

Bill FEARNLEY-WHITTINGSTALL, by email

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