Pierre-Alain Conil is a partner in the Parisian law firm Morel d’Arleux, with a thriving practice advising international clients—mainly Americans—in real estate, estate planning, family law, and estate settlements. Known to his English-speaking clients as “Pierre the Notaire,” he has helped many professional retirees, along with the occasional hedge-fund billionaire, YouTube star, and celebrity singer, realize their dreams of a pied-à-terre in Paris or an estate in the South of France.
Speaking by Zoom from his home in the Loire Valley, Conil says that his LLM from BC Law was “a cornerstone for shaping my future practice.” After completing the rigorous seven-year training to qualify as notaire, he wanted to explore beyond the boundaries of the French legal system. He chose the BC Law LLM for its small class size and the freedom to focus on legal issues central to a notaire’s work: settling estates, real estate, trust, and tax law.
With Professor Ray Madoff—“one of the best teachers I’ve ever had”—Conil co-authored a chapter on inheritance and death for the 2014 Routledge Handbook of Family Law and Policy, comparing legal strategies in the US, England, and France. Madoff also introduced him to late night US TV shows, which he still enjoys.
As one of the few notaires in Paris with a US qualification, Conil had a head start in developing relationships with the American community, giving talks to groups like the Association of Americans Resident Overseas (AARO), and building up a completely new practice at Morel d’Arleux, the firm he joined in 2012. The firm’s International Department “started with me and a clerk,” he says, and now employs seven professional staff. Long-established in the heart of the city’s storied Latin Quarter, says Conil, the firm’s image fits perfectly with many foreigners’ ideas of authentic Parisian cachet. “It was really the best place for me,” he says. “I love this practice—I love working with Americans, which is what I do every day.”
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