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Collective guarantee

Under the general principles of our legal system, the French notaire is liable with respect to his clients for damage resulting from any error he commits while performing his role.

  • The French notaire must be liable

    • If the obligations laid on French notaire were limited to the application of this sole principle, they would be barely different from those laid on the ordinary citizen.

    • However, regardless of the fact that the courts take a stricter view of liability where professionals are concerned, the French notaire are bound by other obligations :

      1. They must hold insurance for the financial consequences of their actions with a reputable insurance company ;

      2. They must be liable, with all the other members of the profession, with respect to all the clients.

  • 1. The requirement for liability insurance

    • The obligation of liability insurance does not, in itself, originality, insofar as it hits other professionals, to the most diverse activities.

  • 2. The third-party liability insurance

    • While the need to hold third-party liability insurance is nothing unusual in that other professionals working in a wide range of fields are under the same obligation, the joint and several liability between all French notaires is unique to the profession; no other profession anywhere in the world is subject to the same rules on liability.

    • In order to cover all the risks likely to result from the notarial activity, the profession has introduced :
      Regional Guarantee Funds (Caisses régionales de garantie) financed from subscriptions paid by French notarys in the considered region,
      - a Central Guarantee Fund (Caisse central de garantie) financed from subscriptions paid by French notaires all over France.

    • Therefore if a French notaire causes damage to a client through the performance of his/her professional role, financial cover for such damage will be borne by :
      - the insurance company with which the French notaire holds professional liability insurance,
      - if necessary by the Regional Guarantee Fund,
      - if required, by the Central Guarantee Fund,
      - as a last resort, and if all these recourses prove inadequate, jointly by all the Notaries of France.