Paris Factsheet


Introduction to Paris

As a city for a romantic weekend’s stay, Paris needs no introduction. However, in considering the city as a place in which to live and work, a dose of realism is needed, and red-tape can take the shine off romance in a short space of time. However, for many the lure of Paris remains, and as one of the major legal centres of Continental Europe it has much to offer.

A city of world importance and the business, historic, intellectual, educational, artistic, and tourist centre of France, Paris owes it prosperity in large part to its favourable position on the Seine, which has been a major commercial artery since the Roman period.

Paris is divided into 20 different neighbourhoods called arrondissements. Arrondissements are names according to their number. For example, you might live in the 5th arrondissement, which would be written as 5ème in French. The suburbs are called the banlieue. They are generally more peaceful than the city, and those to the west of Paris (Neuilly, Boulogne, Saint Cloud, Levallois) are the most desirable.

The legal Market

Paris is home both to the country’s leading indigenous law firms and a host of foreign law firms, principally from the US and the UK. In 1992, the legal profession saw the merging of the avocats with the conseils juridiques. This enabled law firms to provide a complete, streamlined service appropriate to the needs of business clients.

Lawyers wishing to relocate to Paris can choose between a wide spectrum of full-service UK and US firms, with strong client bases and varying cultures.

From a practice area standpoint, Paris has a sufficiently developed market to accommodate most commercial disciplines. In addition, Paris is renowned as a centre for international arbitration, and also for capital markets, and it is in these disciplines that UK-qualified lawyers find there are the greatest number of opportunities. Market leaders in these areas operate from some of the more prestigious firms in the city.


Money Matters

UK-qualified lawyers working in Paris tend to be paid higher salaries than French avocats although they tend to receive slightly lower salaries than their counterparts in London. Income tax in France varies according to whether the lawyer is treated as employed or self-employed and the latter is becoming increasingly common.

A summary of income tax charging for 2007 is as follows:

Taxable income Tax on this income

To €5,614 Nil

From €5,615 to €11,198 5.5%

From €11,199 to €24,872 14%

From €24,873 to €66,679 30%

Over €66,680 40%

The cost of living in France is much lower than in London. Professionals tend to live in the heart of Paris, so the commute to work is unlikely to be anything like that of the London lawyer. This is certainly a lifestyle benefit to weigh up.

A ‘shopping basket’ of a representative cross-section of goods is set out below:

· One-litre bottle of mineral water: €0.90

· 33cl bottle of beer: €2

· Financial Times newspaper: €2.50

· 36-exposure colour film: €7.50

· City-centre bus ticket: €1.30

· Adult football ticket: From €15

· Three-course meal with wine/beer: From €15

Red Tape

British citizens moving to France will need a valid passport, but no longer need a work permit or a visa, in line with other EU nationals. (NOTE – British Citizens from the Channel Island and Isle of Man are not seen as EU nationals).

The situation has changed with the very recent expansion of the European Union, so British citizens no longer need to apply for an EU resident permit Carte de sejour within 3 months of their arrival – but many still find them useful as a form of identification.

Non EU Nationals are not allowed to take up employment in France, even temporary, paid or unpaid, unless they have obtained an Authorisation de Travail (work permit) before arriving in France. This should be dealt with by your new employer.

After Work

French cuisine is world famous and Paris is a prime example of a gourmet mecca. From Haute cuisine to bistro and from French to Italian to Indian there are hundreds of restaurants to choose from. Café culture is ingrained in Parisian life, offering many a pleasurable hour to sit on a terrace and watch the city go by. You can find alluring cafés and bars in every Parisian district

Parisian shops are the epitome of luxury, class and style whether it be fashion, jewellery or art, you will not be short on choice.

Of course, there is much more to do in Paris besides eat, drink and shop: from the famous landmarks of the Eiffel Tower and Champs Elysees to the museum of the Louvre and the romance of a moonlit cruise on the River Seine, the city will not disappoint.

For more information, please contact your advising consultant at Garfield Robbins International on +44 (0)845 671 0199.

Refer a Friend

To receive £400 of vouchers.