The role of a Notaire in France
Notaries exist in most countries who have legal systems based on the Romano-Germanic model (Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Portugal, France). The United States, Canada and Great Britain are also familiar with this institution.
However, the role of a notary varies in each of these countries, ranging from a simple witness, as is the case in the United States, to the role of authenticator as is the case in most European countries. Therefore in France we use the term notaire which indicated that we have the additional role of expert legal advisor.
Furthermore, the notaire in France is authorized to negotiate in cases dealing with real estate or goods, provided that the notaire drafts, or participates in drafting, the applicable contractual agreements (sale, lease, transfer of company shares...). The notaire is also able to administer assets without belonging to any particular financial institution to guarantee the client’s holdings. This is because in France, the notaire has the ability to hold his or her client’s funds in deposit, subject to strict professional guidelines.