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Scribea helps expat families with family and succession law

May 11, 2017
After working for more than 25 years in European private law in Belgium, French lawyer Clarisse Martin-Kernéis is now involved in the launch of Scribea, a platform providing legal advice to expat families

I’ve always appreciated EU law, especially where it relates to people. My professional experience consists of leading a multicultural team of legal professionals in a European institution and being secretary general of a European federation for many years. Now I’m setting up a consultancy on international family and succession law, as well as other legal matters with a cross-border element. It’s both a challenge and a passion.

Scribea is a platform of legal professionals of around 30 nationalities from the EU as well as the UK, Switzerland, Canada, the US and elsewhere. It offers privileged access to foreign law, allowing for verification of specific points of law via our correspondents in these countries. We can offer international customers a one-stop shop, and in some cases a legal opinion supplemented by tax advice.  This is an added value compared to consulting a local lawyer or certain big firms.

For example, to draw up a marriage contract between an Estonian and Spaniard living in Belgium, we would check which laws apply or can be chosen to apply to patrimonial aspects of their relationship. We can also inform them about the efficiency of their contracts in each country where they have assets.

I am also involved in training courses for legal professionals, with a law professor who already teaches the practical aspects of private international law. And I work with a Belgian lawyer who will soon be launching an app, VideoTestaments, to help people avoid costly legal battles over wills.

As it’s a new activity, Scribea is currently based in a co-working office with a nice interior and a professional welcome to make clients feel at home. I like being surrounded by other self-employed people who share the same concerns, and benefit from the dynamism
of a network of professionals.

Setting up the company was relatively easy and the administrative procedure was quick. Managing the overall process was more difficult, even though we were familiar with the legal environment. We consulted a Belgian fiscal adviser with an international clientele – a valuable intermediary who helped us avoid mistakes. I welcome the freedom of being an independent worker, as I have two teenage sons and an international lobbyist husband who travels a lot.

This article first appeared in ING Expat Time

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