We are UK Solicitors
We are a firm of solicitors based in the UK and as such are authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). We are also members of the Law Society which means that clients have the protection and comfort of dealing with a UK firm of Solicitors, with all the regulation that comes with it, even though their legal issue may be outside of the UK.
As a UK firm of Solicitors we have to comply strictly with a Code of Conduct.
How we work
- In all cases clients engage with Judicare.
- In some cases our UK based experts will provide the necessary expertise.
- In many cases you will also engage the expertise of one of the trusted foreign associated offices based in the country in question.
- In all cases day to day contact will be with Judicare.
- The associated offices are separate independent law firms regulated in their own jurisdiction that we have been working with for many years and whom we have carefully selected based on their experience.
- Judicare is, of course, responsible for the work carried out in the UK by our office and by extension the work carried out by the associated offices is the responsibility of that firm.
We speak your language
We understand that many foreign lawyers can also speak English but how good is their English? Is it just enough to communicate with you or is it good enough to explain often complicated legal situations to you in terms that you understand? Often there are words that sound the same in two different languages that mean something different. As a UK law firm our native language is English. This means that we can pick up any nuances may exist and can explain things to you without fear of misunderstanding or bad translations. Similarly because we are UK solicitors we can explain things with reference to the UK equivalent, which can help you understand what is happening in the other country.
We understand both sets of Law
Whilst it may seem obvious that whichever lawyer you instruct needs to know the law of the country that you are dealing with it may be less obvious that your legal representative also needs to understand the law of your home country and the interaction between the two sets of laws. There will be interaction between the two countries and this cannot be ignored. Therefore there is a distinct advantage to having a law firm who understands both sets of laws to represent you.
There are several different ways in which having a lawyer who understands both sets of laws is an advantage;
- Buying or selling property – we understand the impact of buying a property abroad on your affairs back in the UK in terms of Taxes (Capital Gains Tax, Income Tax, Inheritance Tax) and also Inheritance.
- Wills – We understand how to make sure that making a Will in one country does not cause a problem or conflict with a Will in another country
- Litigation – we understand which jurisdiction should apply to litigation and also what the issues are with cross-border litigation and enforcement.
- Probate – we understand how to explain to the authorities abroad what the situation is in the UK
Most foreign lawyers lack this depth of understanding which may result in a strategy which encourages you to do something that may be perfectly sensible in their country but may cause you a problem back home. You need a legal team that can look at the transaction as a whole.
We are used to dealing with British clients
Because we specialise in providing legal services to British clients we are used to dealing with them. This allows us the knowledge of the sorts of questions clients expect to be answered, what they are looking for in their Solicitor and what their priorities are.
Foreign lawyers may be used to dealing with British clients but may not understand what they are used to. The reports that they provide on a property purchase, for example, may be extremely limited and may in fact be limited to comments such as “the contract is OK to sign” rather than explaining what the contract says and what the effect of it is.
We are based in the UK
Although the majority of our clients don’t visit us during a transaction we are based in the UK and can therefore easily meet with clients if they wish or if it becomes necessary. We are also open during UK working hours, meaning that it is often easier for clients to contact us. Needless to say telephone calls to us do not require what can sometimes be costly telephone bills to discuss a matter with your overseas lawyer.
We have all the advantages set out above of being UK based solicitors but also have a good network of lawyers that we work with on the ground. Choosing us therefore means that you have the best of both worlds.
We have been doing this for a long time with a proven track record. Some of our staff have been dealing exclusively with International Legal issues for over 20 years. We have therefore probably seen your set of circumstances before and therefore know the issues involved and, most importantly, the solutions.
We are independent. We don’t act for estate agents or developers. In fact to do so would be a Conflict of Interest and would be against the SRA Code of Conduct. In many other countries it is also prohibited to act in a situation where you are not independent or there is a Conflict of Interest but this isn’t taken as seriously as it is in the UK and we often find a lawyer acting for both sides on a foreign transaction.
Members of AIPP
We are members of the Association of International Property Professionals. In fact our Legal Director in the UK Peter Esders is on the Board of AIPP and has been for several years. The overseas property market is largely unregulated and the AIPP aims to improve standards of professionalism in that industry. We believe strongly that the overseas property market needs to improve and being involved with AIPP helps us to achieve that whilst giving something back to the industry.