Business Lawyers

Contract Law

Real Estate Law

Company Law

International Taxation

Local Taxation

Intellectual Property

New Technology

The Law Firm

Jean Marie Lafran gathered the lawyers he has appreciated the most during his 20 years experience, whether for their skills or for their human qualities.

In addition to the values they share our team members are complementary and have the necessary requirements to fulfil the tasks assigned to the law firm in its fields of competence.

As regards internal law, Benjamin Barthe, through his academic background and work experience, has a great expertise in contractual matters and real-estate.

On the international level, Patrick Houbert, with his rich professional and academic path, has a natural vocation to support our clients internationally in his fields of predilection, i.e. international contracts, Company structuring and new technology.

Rose Begue is qualified in Company law, General Commercial law, Intellectual property and International arbitration. She also has a particular knowledge of OHADA (Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa) Uniform Law. With her 10 year experience as a Lawyer, she has carried out her activities at the Paris and Cameroon Bars for which she is among others our correspondent.

Jean Marie Lafran has advised clients for several years in French-speaking countries of the Indian Ocean, in particular Madagascar and Comoros. Patrick Houbert has advised for more than 8 years people wishing to settle in Mauritius, from which he originates.

The composition of our law firm and the professional career path of its members entail its natural worldwide vocation, which explains why Lafran & Associés is directly represented in Luxembourg by Patrick Houbert and in Cameroon by Rose Begue.

We chose more particularly Mauritius as our base to direct our international activity towards emerging countries.

Being part of the 20 best business destinations in the world, Mauritius has become a renowned trading and financial hub between Europe, Africa, Asia and gulf countries. Member of the SADC (Southern African Development Community), Mauritius has established its worldwide reputation with a double Franco-English culture and a rich double tax treaty network (including France and India).

It became a recommended base for economic operators willing to deploy their activities in these territories. In order to provide to its clients the best service and  maximum legal security, Lafran & Associés  made a partnership agreement in Mauritius with Erriah Chambers,  member of the LEXAFRICA network . The spoken languages of the law firm are: French, English,  Italian and Spanish.


Company Values

Lafran & Associés (L&A) is a business law firm that promotes the following values:

Proximity with our clients, our network and the judicial bodies: located on one of the most famous streets in Marseilles, a few hundred metres from the Courthouse, our office is ideally placed to accommodate our clients within a pleasant, yet effective legal environment.

Reactivity to the urgency and needs of our clients, and in the anticipation of any necessary action required to proficiently and punctually complete work: the respect of deadlines and time management constitutes one of our cornerstone commitments to our clients. We believe in providing answers in addition to delivering fast and effective solutions to our clients.

Rigour in our internal organisation, the process of validating our work and in the precision of the work which we produce. Special attention is placed on the quality of work delivered. We are able to achieve this as a result of the firm consisting of highly skilled individuals who demand the best, and thanks to elaborated internal control process tailored to reduce risk, for our firm and clients.

Competence in the achievements of our missions: we tend to deliver work without reproach, whilst primarily ensuring that we have the capacity to meet a potential client’s needs, secondly having an up-to-date documentation base. Furthermore, this data base is enriched by more than 20 years of experience in our respective areas of expertise. We modernise and improve through continuous training and an elaborated legal watch process.

Adaptability to meet the needs of our client in each of our practice areas: we endeavour to provide pragmatic legal solutions by recognising the realities and challenges faced by each business. We are a full-service law firm, not confined to specific areas. We believe that our range of abilities, in both litigation and advisory matters, provides the greatest level of relevance to the strategic appreciation of each case.





Jean-Marie Lafran is in charge for the litigation department of the firm. After completing a Master’s Degree in Media law and a Masters in International Business Law in Aix-en-Provence, he became a partner in the Marseille-based law firm – André-Plantavin-Lafran, specialising in Business Law, Construction Law, Intellectual Property Law and Property Management. From 2006 to 2014, he practised under his own name before founding the firm Lafran & Associés.



Patrick Houbert is in charge for the advisory department of the firm. Having obtained his PhD in Private Law and two Master’s Degree in Maritime law and International Business Law in Aix-en-Provence, he started his career with André-Plantavin-Lafran from 2001 to 2005, where he developed his skills in both Contract and Intellectual Property Law. From 2006 to 2013, he acted as a managing director of Agir Luxembourg S.A, a trust company that manages wealth and investment in Luxembourg, where he developed his skills in Company Law and in International Taxation.



Business lawyers

Benjamin Barthe is a PhD in Private Law ( Contract Law ) and a Master in Business Law from the Institute of Law of Aix-en-Provence Affairs. Responsible for teaching in the Faculty and member of the Centre for Economic Law, it intervenes Firm since 2005, where he developed his skills in counseling and litigation in the areas of Business Law , Law of Contracts and Real Estate Law . Laureate of the Faculty and qualified for the office of Lecturer, Benjamin Barthe joined the Cabinet Lafran & Associates in 2014.



 Laetitia took her oath before the Aix-en-Provence Court of Appeal and is registered at the Marseilles Bar, as an associate of L&A.  Laetitia Bezert has a Master II in Corporate Engineering from the Aix-en-Provence Business Law Institute and has a Degree as a Corporate Advisor. Her main field of intervention is litigation in Corporate Law, Business Law and commercial Law in general. She also has an experience in insolvency proceedings and can thus assist Companies in difficult financial situations”.



Rose is a French qualified lawyer in Business law and Private law. She practices especially in Corporate and Commercial law. She has particular experience in the areas of Intellectual property, Commercial and Real Estate Contracts, International trade and arbitration. She has two masters in business law and private law from the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne. After registering at the Marseille Bar Association, Rose joined the Paris Bar Association since 2008 where she practices since then. She is also registered at the Cameroon Bar Association and has a particular experience of the OHADA law Organization for the Harmonization African Business Law)


Our fees are freely settled in agreement with our customers. This agreement can be verbal. It is however usual to write down a fees contract which will specify in detail the methods of calculation of our expenses and fees as well as the conditions of their invoicing.

The fee setting criteria are in particular: the difficulty of the matter, the time spent to deal with the case, our level of expertise and experience in the subject matter field, as well as the exposed expenses.

The fees can be calculated on a time spent basis: the hourly rate can vary according to the criteria above.

The fees can also be fixed at a flat-rate amount (one-off fee).

Our ethical practice consists in dealing with fees as of the first go with our customers.

In practice, apart from the typical case of publicly funded legal assistance, four invoicing  methods  can be considered:

1. The Time Spent fee

2. The One-Off fee

3. The Result fee

4. A Subscription contract

1. The Time Spent fee: 

We can agree on a remuneration per hour. These fees will result at the end of the case from a simple multiplication of the time spent by the hourly rate commonly agreed at the beginning.

We commit ourselves informing you constantly of the time already spent on your case. We also try, as far as possible, to inform you of the foreseeable number of hours necessary for dealing with your case.


2. The One-off fee: 

We can agree at the beginning of our relation upon an overall and intangible remuneration. In practice, this formula is hardly used but for “standard” procedures, not very likely hazardous (for example: company incorporation, transfer of business).

3. The Result fee: 

In France, contrary to some other countries (e.g. in particular the United States), the “quota litis pact”, i.e. the contract agreed between a lawyer and his customer where fees would be due only if the lawsuit would be won and according to the obtained result, is purely and simply prohibited. It is however possible to agree on a “result fee” which must compulsorily be provided for in a preliminary legal fee agreement. In this case, we will charge a “minimum” fee (generally a one-off fee) to which will be added a “complementary” fee if we reach a certain result.

The complementary fee can be “one-off” or proportional to the obtained result.

4. Subscription contract: 

If you use periodically and regularly our services, it is possible to conclude a subscription contract (usually annual). With this contract, you can benefit, by paying a one-off fee, from our services during an agreed period. Our services for this type of contract cover in particular the follow-up of the commercial contracts concluded by your company as well as company law.


We are entitled, save if contrarily provided for by contract, to ask you for the payment of a retaining fee when dealing with your case. Once the matter is closed, we issue a final statement of expenses and fees taking into account the already paid retainers.



Patrick Houbert

The œnormative Instruments of Off-shore Investment in Mauritius.

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Through the controverted theme of « tax havens », this work tries to explain the legal grounds of the use of off-shore financial centres. There are indeed several reasons justifying the existence of such jurisdictions, such as the right to development (especially for Small Island Developing States), liberty of contracts, and the right to chose lawfully the most efficient tax conduit.

The study of the Mauritian tax and legal framework (Part I) is an opportunity to analyse various tax schemes practiced – often through fiduciary mechanisms – all over the world and to discover Mauritian business Law, rare mix of French and Common Law. Part II is dedicated to the insertion of such framework in the international tax and legal environment, i.e. how Mauritian off-shore vehicles are treated by foreign countries (either on an internal point of view or through the 35 double tax treaties signed with Mauritius), as well as the international community mainly represented by the OECD and FATF: cooperation with these regulation entities is an essential condition of the growth of the Mauritian off-shore jurisdiction.

Benjamin Barthe

The Exit Clause of Contractual Relations : Proposal of Unitary Definition 

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The general theory of the contractual obligations treats breach of contract only through the “résolution”. It does not mention either the concept of duration of the contract. The attention of the French jurists is mainly focused on the cancellation for non-fulfilment and the offending termination of the agreement without any term. Another presentation, more neutral, is however possible, studying the exit of the contract and, more particularly, the opportunity given to the contracting parties to envisage the exit of their contractual relations.Then it is possible to realize that the practice, against the gaps of the general theory, knew to adapt existing concepts in order to take into consideration the evolution of the contract since the beginning of the 19th century.

Thus many clauses, which make it possible to one of the contracting parties to leave the contract, developed under various names and are today present in all the contracts. The analysis of jurisprudence reveals that the litigations which result from it, not only relate to common problems, but also tend to bring common solutions ; at the very least, one perceives the need for a unit treatment. The study, pushing back the classical distinction between the “résolution” and the “résiliation”, seeks the existence of a unit, seeks to check the existence of the exit clause which would institute a faculty to leave in a way anticipated of a relation concluded for one limited duration. For that purpose, the exit clause is approached like any other “autonomous” clause.Initially, it is necessary to show the existence of a common objective of validity. It is question first of all of emphasizing the common function of the clauses, which is to secure the holder of the faculty of exit against a loss of interest.

The unit continues in the nature of the clause: resulting from an agreement of the parties, it sets up a “potestative” right. It then takes the features of a “modern” “resolutive condition”, contemporary adaptation of the condition of the obligation envisaged by the Civil code.In the second time, once they are validly provided, the clauses of exit must meet a common aim of effectiveness : the exit is exerted by unilateral act and then obeys the rules applicable in this case. Beyond this mode, one can realize that there exist common conditions to all the clauses of exit. The effects of these clauses, finally, present or must present a certain unit, whether the exit put in work is successful or that it failed.