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May 2016
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Sterling enjoys a stellar run

by Amir Khan   Corporate Dealer Currencies Direct

26th May 2016

Sterling has enjoyed a stellar run against most of its counterparts, most notably against the Greenback and the euro pushing above the 1.47 and 1.32 levels respectively. Most of the moves for the Pound over the next month are concentrated on the way the UK Referendum vote swings. Most of the strength in the Pound is due to opinion polls indicating that the UK will ‘remain’ in the EU. Markets and investors alike will keep a close eye as attentions turn to UK GDP (provisional) numbers for direction for the Pound.


Euro (EUR) 1.3183
US dollar (USD) 1.4727
Australian dollar (AUD) 2.0472
S. African rand (ZAR) 23.0656
Japanese yen (JPY) 161.7730

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 23.07.27

Live on Tuesday from the Supreme Court 10am-1pm (UK time)

Follow the www link and you’ll see it live . . .

Message from Leigh Day Lawyers….

As you may be aware the Supreme Court in England and Wales is televised and therefore you should be able to watch proceedings tomorrow on your computer via the link below:
The hearing will be from 1000 tomorrow until 1300 (UK times)
The Home Page for the Supreme Court is here:

I am not in charge of their IT so I can only hope it all works on the day for you to be able to watch the proceedings!
All best wishes and fingers crossed.
David Standard, Leigh Day
Visit the Leigh Day website: 
Leigh Day is a partnership authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The firm’s SRA number is 00067679.

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 20.04.33The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases, and for criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population.

It is  open on weekdays from 0930 to 1630

Le Chateau des Montmorency Laval

By Susan Keefe

The river Loir whose name means the dormouse in French, winds its way sleepily through FSCN2240wooded valleys and beautiful villages, including the troglodyte village of Troo, and the beautiful town of Montoire

FSCN2209Also in the area are the wonderful lakes La Beauce aux Portes and above them, majestically standing high on an escarpment is the amazing Chateau des Montmorency, at Montigny le Gannelon. The present day chateau has evolved from what was originally a castle, which was on the site before 1150.

The area is really beautiful and well worth a visit as there any many things to do, some wonderful wildlife (we saw a Hen Harrier hunting across the fields), and stunning scenery.

Game, Set and Match ?

by Brian Cave

Justice delayed is Justice denied - So it is claimed said Prime Minister Gladstone, the great Liberal Party leader in the 19th century.

1. You may recall the previously reported messages from the three major parties  which links below . . .

2. Also here is the full text of the Press Release from Leigh Day 20th May 2016.

Extracts of the Press Release.   Harry Shindler’s & Jacquelyn Maclennan’s lawyers write …

“Lawyers for two British Citizens banned from voting in the EU referendum as they have lived outside the UK, but within the EU, for over 15 years will take their fight to the Supreme Court next Tuesday (24 May 2016) after the Court of Appeal upheld a High Court ruling rejecting their legal challenge to the ’15 year rule’.

Despite the Conservative 2015 manifesto and the 2015 and 2016 Queen’s Speeches including the pledge to introduce votes for life, scrapping the rule that bars British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting, the UK government have not proposed any legislation to reverse this rule ahead of this Summer’s crucial vote on whether the United Kingdom remains in the EU.”

3. Also here – is an extract from the Queen’s Speech of 2015 on the Votes-for Life Bill. Why was this Bill not introduced in the last session of parliament as promised?

I am reliably told that it will not appear until 2017 -it is said ‘for good reasons’.

Are we not astonished that the judges can refuse this appeal when all evidence points to the desirability – indeed the necessity – of citizens having a say in the governances which most affect them?

Their lives are most profoundly affected.

The affront is extreme.

Of whom are the Government afraid?  The elderly Citizen abroad? Or….?  What good reasons? Is not the government for the people of the nation wherever they live?

How can it be, if it is so, that Justice bends to Political Expediency?

Let us hope that the Judges of the Supreme Court have more wisdom.

Wisdom is above the Law.

What can one do?  Write to an MP – a  politician. Say what you feel.

The position of the main political parties with regard to the Referendum

From Leigh Day lawyers   20 May 2016

Lawyers take EU referendum vote challenge to the Supreme Court

Lawyers for two British Citizens banned from voting in the EU referendum as they have lived outside the UK, but within the EU, for over 15 years will take their fight to the Supreme Court next Tuesday (24 May 2016) after the Court of Appeal upheld a High Court ruling rejecting their legal challenge to the ’15 year rule’.

Last Month the High Court rejected the legal challenge by 94-year-old Harry Shindler, a Second World War veteran who lives in Italy, and lawyer and Belgian resident Jacquelyn MacLennan against the UK Government’s decision to exclude British people who have lived elsewhere in the European Union for more than 15 years, from voting in June.

Today the Court of Appeal upheld that ruling following a hearing which took place on 9 May 2016.

However, lawyers from law firm Leigh Day, representing the two claimants, have secured a date for the UK’s highest Court, The Supreme Court, to consider their arguments that under the EU Referendum Act 2015 up to 2 million British citizens are being unlawfully denied the right to vote on the UK’s continued membership of the EU.

The Supreme Court Justices will be asked to consider whether the ’15 year rule’ unlawfully acts as a penalty against British citizens for having exercised their free movement rights.

The rule prevents them from participating in a democratic process, the result of which might bring to an end the very EU law rights on which they rely and base their working and private lives every day.

Despite the Conservative 2015 manifesto and the 2015 and 2016 Queen’s Speeches including the pledge to introduce votes for life, scrapping the rule that bars British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting, the UK government have not proposed any legislation to reverse this rule ahead of this Summer’s crucial vote on whether the United Kingdom remains in the EU.

Responding to the judgment, Harry Shindler said: “I am still waiting for the Government to tell us why British citizens in Europe can’t vote in this Referendum. The Government had agreed to scrap the 15 year rule before the Referendum bill was passed agreeing it was arbitrary and undemocratic.”

Extract from papers accompanying the QUEEN’S Speech 2015

Votes for Life Bill

The purpose of the Bill is to:

• Scrap the current 15 year time limit on the voting rights of British citizens living overseas for UK parliamentary and European parliamentary elections, including provisions relating to the registration of overseas electors.

The main benefits of the Bill would be to: 

  • End the disenfranchisement after an arbitrary 15 years of British citizens livingabroad, enabling them to continue voting in UK Parliamentary and European Parliamentary elections.
  • •Make it easier for overseas electors to cast their votes in time to be counted.
  • •Encourage larger numbers of British citizens living abroad to register to vote in
  • UK elections.

The main elements of the Bill are:


  • •The Bill would enable British citizens who are resident overseas to continue to vote in UK elections after 15 years since they were last resident and registered in the UK.

Electoral Registration

  • •The Bill would provide for the secure and accessible registration of overseaselectors.

Electoral Administration

  • • The Bill would contain provisions to make it easier for overseas electors to vote in time to be counted.

EU Succession Regulation 2015 – Probates of French property

by David Anderson at Sykes Anderson Perry Limited Solicitors London

The EU Succession Regulation (EU 650/2012) applies to deaths in France after 17 August 2015.

The EU Regulation provides that the law of the deceased’s last place of residence applies to his estate by default but the testator has the option to choose in his will the law of his nationality. Many English testators with French property have chosen English law to apply to their French estates.

The EU Regulation provides that the law chosen must apply to the entire estate including the way it is administered and the way property devolves on death. This has caused considerable confusion as in France on death property vests directly in the heirs. In England it vests in the executors if there is a will and in the administrators if there is not a will. These are often not the same people and so there is the potential in France for the wrong person to sell the deceased’s property.

The matter has recently been considered by the High Court in France (TGI) in one of the first deaths since the EU Regulation came into force. In this case an English testator who had lived in France for many years made a French will and chose English law to apply. The French High Court ruled that the English procedures need to be followed by the French Court. The French Court accordingly made an order of a Grant of Probate in a French style vesting the property in the executor named in the will giving him the power to sell the French property.

Care needs to be taken when dealing with such probates. English grant of probate will not be acceptable and a French grant of probate needs to be obtained otherwise you will not be able to sell the deceased’s French property. In all cases an order of the French court should be obtained, which is the same as in England, a grant of probate in England being an order of the High Court usually obtained without a hearing.

May 2016

Sykes Anderson Perry Limited     + 44 203 794 5959

148 Sykes Anderson Property Dec15This article is for general information only. French law is a highly specialised area and you should only act or refrain from acting after receiving full professional advice on the facts of your particular case. This article is for general information and does not constitute investment advice.

Register of Trusts in France to go online on 30th June 2016

by David Anderson, Sykes Anderson Perry Limited Solicitors London

This article is for general information only. French law is a highly specialised area and you should only act or refrain from acting after receiving full professional advice on the facts of your particular case. This article is for general information and does not constitute investment advice. Always consult an IFA.

On 10th May 2016 the French government published a decree (Décret n° 2016-567) relating to the register of trusts. This will have a major impact on trust disclosure and is unprecedented. It will also have a major impact on financial institutions and intermediaries who have trusts as clients.

Under existing rules, Article 1649 AB of the French Tax Code, there is an obligation on trustees to file annually, as at 1st January, the value of French assets in a trust or in the case of a trust with a French resident settlor or beneficiary the trust’s world-wide assets. This provision is very wide ranging and would catch the situation of a beneficiary of a trust who goes to France to study for a year.

The latest decree details how this information is to be made public. This can be summarised as follows:

  • From 30th June 2016 there will be an online register of trusts in France freely accessible to everyone.
  • The register will give the identities of beneficiaries, settlors and trustees. This will include their full names, date and place of birth and date of death. Identification information will also be given for any corporate trustees.
  • The information available will include the type of trust and its address, the date the trust was created and terminated as well as the date and nature of the declaration made under Article 1649 AB (see above).
  • It does not seem that the list of assets in the trust will be published on line. Trustees are required to give details of the assets in the trust under Article 1649 AB above. This needs to be clarified as soon as possible. It seems inappropriate for this information to be made available as it will be a severe security risk for some beneficiaries.
  • The database can be searched using the type of trust, the name of the settlor or the beneficiary or the trustee, the country in which the trust is established, its date of creation as well as the name of the trustee.
  • The French tax authorities have 16,000 trusts currently registered with them.
  • The information about trusts which are terminated will remain on the public register for 10 years.

Key points to consider

  • Are actual declarations detailing bank accounts and investments going to be made available online? This seems unlikely but it is not clear from the Decree.
  • Can you close a trust down before 30th June 2016 and not be on the public register or will you still be on it for the next 10 years?
  • Can banks and other financial institutions continue to have clients whom they know are involved in trusts and have a French connection but do not appear on the French public register? This appears to be impossible as they would have actual knowledge of the breach of Article 1649 AB of the French Tax Code.
  • Will notaires who are instructed to send French property sale proceeds to an account designated as a “trust account” have to refuse to complete the property transaction if the trust is not shown on the public register? Alternatively would the notaire have to hold the sale proceeds and inform the French tax authorities? This would seem likely as the land will be in France and the inference will be that the person who receives the sale proceeds owns the property.

May 2016

David Anderson    Sykes Anderson Perry Limited

+ 44 203 794 5959


Bread Courses and more at The Secret Garden Cookery School and Bed & Breakfast

by Susan Keefe

At the edge of the beautiful Foret de Berce in the sleepy Loir Valley is the home of Lesley Robertson, and the place where Lesley runs her French cookery school.

bread 2Expat Lesley, who was originally from Scotland, found love in the Loir when she met and married her Dutch husband Rinus at Cordemanche in 2010.

The cookery school offers a wide range of courses and can be tailored to personal requirements or dietary needs. I had seen a Bread Making Course advertised on the internet and decided to book in. When I booked the course Lesley asked if I had any specific types of bread I would like to make to ensure I received the maximum benefit from my visit.

I arrived to a very warm welcome and was shown into the beautiful professional kitchen where Lesley holds her courses, complete with gallery.

I was given my own little book of recipes and we began…

Firstly we made our lunch, Georgian Cheese and Egg Bread. Then we went on to make a granary loaf, and Dutch Crust bread bread 4before enjoying our delicious lunch. After, we made soft dinner rolls and then at my special request, a fruit soda bread.

I had a lovely time and I learnt so much, not only about the breads but also useful tips about all sorts of recipes and ingredients.

bread 1L’Huiliere is a lovely historic farmouse and also has bed & breakfast rooms available for people wishing to stay in this beautiful location. The rooms are available to all, whether or not they wish to take advantage of the courses, and Lesley and Rinus are also happy to organise a wine tour and sampling of the wonderful local wines.

There are many local farmer’s markets around and plenty to see. Visitors in July and August can take a trip into historic Le Mans which not only boasts the famous race track and museum but also holds a really good wonderful Nuit des Chimeres at Le Mans, which I can personally recommend .

Information about the bed & breakfast and courses can be found on The Secret Garden website

Lesley has a food & recipe blog with lots of her recipes,



Rives Blanques’ Vine Lines in May


People ask, “When’s your quiet time?” – and we still haven’t found the answer. But it’s not now, that’s for sure: Spring pushes us to step up the planting, ploughing, trellising, weeding, cosseting and caring for the vines as they break into bud and begin their inevitable march towards the harvest – they’re already threatening to start flowering in a week or two’s time.  It’s a vulnerable time for the vines – and for us.

When we find that quiet time, however, we’ll bring out a brass band to celebrate the fact.

In the mean time, ​we are blowing our own trumpet about the gold medal so wonderfully won by our Chardonnay, Odyssée, from the Competition of the Great Wines of France in Mâcon last month.

The silver medal given to our chenin blanc, Dédicace, by Decanter World Wine Awards is not amiss either.​

And it’s a positive fanfare for the 272 “Parker points” nicely distributed over three of our “beautiful white wines” in this month’s Robert Parker Wine Advocate: 90 for Odyssee​ 2014​, 91 for Dedicace (Chenin blanc) 2014​, and 91 for our top blend, La Trilogie 2013​. We were invited to submit 3 wines only, so we are really rather happy with this result, which is such a respectable sequel to last year’s great tasting notes.

And we’re particularly pleased that the Wine Advocate ​makes no secret of “France’s best kept secret” : what they call “the undiscovered gems” from the quality vineyards of the Languedoc.
Wine Advocate Tasting Notes Here

But it’s strings and things, if not the whole Philharmonic to celebrate Mauzac, Occitania, taking off on the wings of a song last month. Tasting Mauzac at 36,000 ft. was an utterly unique experience for us, and one we simply have to share – akin to walking on air, so to speak. I do assure you, the beautiful smile on the face of this lovely KLM flight attendant wasn’t half as big as ours … (click on the photo for the video)
And that’s our news for now. And the best of it is that we have safely navigated this month’s perilous ‘Ice Saint Days’, which can fell a vine in the prime of its life with a single stroke of frost. In fact, frost hit the Aude valley a couple of weeks ago, but did not cross the road to Rives-Blanques.  Nor did the hail that fell on our village  last Friday.

Spring is a busy time, and we may be back with more news before it is over. In the meantime, our very best wishes from the whole Equipe Rives-Blanques

Ryanair special: EURO 19.99 seats to the UK for travel 22/23 June for BREXIT voting

Ryanair, the UK’s favourite airline, has launched a “Fly Home to Vote Remain” seat sale with flights to the UK on sale from just €19.99 for travel on Wed 22 June and Thursday 23 June, to help the more than 1.2m Brits living abroad fly back to vote ‘Remain’ in the Referendum on 23 June.

EUR_Brexit__FacebookCustomers can now book flights to all UK airports from just €19.99 for travel on 22 & 23 June (polling day), but these special seat sale fares must be booked by midnight (24:00hrs) today, Thursday, 19May, only on the website.

Ryanair, which employs over 3,000 people across its 13 UK airport bases, and carries over 41m customers between the UK and Europe each year, is actively campaigning for a ‘Remain’ vote and is a committed supporter of the UK remaining in Europe because:

-          this will lead to more UK jobs & better economic growth

-          EU open skies has transformed UK tourism & job creation prospects

-          the free movement of goods & services has made the UK one of Europe’s most competitive & best performing economies

-          David Cameron’s negotiated reforms protect Sterling, limits immigration and closer Union, while reducing bureaucracy

-          foreign inward investment in the UK will be lost to Ireland & Germany if the UK leaves Europe

Ryanair’s Chief Marketing Officer, Kenny Jacobs said: 

“As an active supporter of the ‘Remain’ campaign, we are launching a €19.99 seat sale on flights to the UK on 22nd and 23rd June to allow UK citizens to fly home to vote ‘Remain’ in the Brexit Referendum. These flights are available for booking for 24 hours, on Thursday, 19th May. As the UK’s largest airline, Ryanair is absolutely clear that the UK economy and its future growth prospects are stronger as a member of the European Union than they are outside of the EU and with just 5 weeks to go, we will continue to work hard to help deliver a resounding ‘Remain’ vote on 23rd June.”


- See more at:

From Docklands to the Dordogne . . . tout suite !

A great French icon made a flying visit to London City Airport to celebrate the launch of new British Airways flights to Bergerac.

britishairways_216861164901713_thumbThe vintage Citroen 2CV represented the best of France’s heritage while the new air link provides the quickest journey yet between the city of London and the heart of the Dordogne region.

Comparing a flying time of just two and a half hours British Airways’ performance managers Rafael Gallardo and Kristina Phillips and cabin crew member Lucy Barnett decided to sample life in the slow lane, behind the wheel of the 30-year old classic car, which would take over 12 hours to complete the same journey.

Bearing the flight number of the new route, BA8745, the Citroen 2CV certainly drew some admiring glances from customers who were the first to travel on the new service on May 1.

The summer only flights direct from the Docklands to the Dordogne, in the heart of one of France’s most popular wine growing regions,  will operate up to four times a week until September.

In addition to wine lovers Bergerac is also a popular destination for British second home owners and this is the first time the city has had a direct air link from London City Airport

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager commercial and customer at London City said: “The Dordogne epitomises the French rural escape – castles, heritage, rolling hills, vineyards, food markets, gastronomy and wine.  We launched the new route with a guest appearance from the Citroen as we wanted to evoke that sense of adventure and bring a bit of Bergerac to London City.”

Matthew Hall, Chief Commercial Officer at London City Airport, said:  “British Airways’ new leisure route to Bergerac from London City is an excellent addition to our network, opening up the Dordogne for passengers who want to escape to the French sun quickly and conveniently from the only airport actually in London. The seasonal service builds on our existing French routes and provides greater choice for those planning a long weekend of exploration or a short break in vineyard country.”

Each way hand baggage only fares are available to book from £57 on

Customers have a quick and easy journey through London City and with hand baggage only can move from kerbside to airside in just 15 minutes.

British Airways’ fares include a generous free hand baggage allowance, complimentary food and drinks on board and no debit card charges.

  • Flights operate from London City to Bergerac on Mondays at 11.15am, with the return flight at 1.50pm, on Fridays at 9.30am with the return flight at 12.15pm and on Sundays at 5.10pm with the return flight ay 7.45pm
  • From June 23-September 1 there will be an additional flight on Thursdays, departing at 11.15am, with the return flight at 1.50pm


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