Atorneys have had the possibility to assist as real estate agents since the Law Hoguet of January 2, 1970, to which the Bar of Paris, in its April 21, 2009 session, became the first to provide specific guidelines for implementation by attorneys wishing to develop this domain of practice, through the adoption of a new article P.126.96.36.199 as well as annex XV to the Internal Regulations of the Bar of Paris.
First, the Law Hoguet of January 2, 1970 regulates activities related to certain operations connected to real estate and business, essentially targeting real estate agents. The professional real estate agent should carry out his/her activity complying with the necessary conditions under the law. Nevertheless, the Law Hoguet also regulates the terms of the attorney’s involvement in real estate matters outside of his/her domain since this law. Attorneys can have a subsidiary practice as agents in real estate transactions. An attorney does not need to fulfill the conditions required of a real estate agent in order to assist in real estate transactions in consideration of the control to which their professional activity subject, as well as the financial guaranties which it offers for the practice of this activity (art. 2(2) of the Law of January 2, 1970). While French notaries started practicing this activity in 1982, attorneys have to date remained more reserved, given the activity’s commercial nature.
The Bar of Paris finally adopted, in its April 21, 2009 session, the new article P.188.8.131.52 of the Internal Regulations of the Bar of Paris, which specify that the activity of the attorney as an agent in real estate transactions should constitute for the attorney only an ancillary activity. Annex XV of the Internal Regulations of the Bar of Paris, adopted at the same session, specifies the terms of application of the activities of the attorney as an agent in real estate transactions.
The Conseil national des Barreaux considered on February 5th and 6th of last year that this mission as an agent in real estate transactions does enter into the scope of permissible activity open to the attorney.