Do you have to have a lawyer in Spain?

LEGAL HELP: Make sure that your lawyer is legally able to practise.

AFTER 30 years in the legal profession and as Consul for Denmark I often get asked do I have to have a lawyer here in Spain?

Well you will not be surprised when I say it isn’t a yes or no answer. The short answer is it depends on the case.

For all the matters that you do not need a Court or a Tribunal, no you don’t. I’ve never stated or implied that being legally represented is a requirement under Spanish law for extra judicial matters.

You are free to conduct all your extra judicial legal matters in Spain on your own. Just like some people cut their own hair and do their own gardening, some people choose to represent themselves.

So for example if you’re applying for a visa, residencia or residency, making a will, completing a tax return or buying a property here in Spain, you don’t need a Spanish solicitor. In fact there is nothing in Spain which states you actually have to have a lawyer for these matters.

On the other hand, to have a lawyer (I am not talking about consultants, experts, advisors or persons with experience) advising you regarding your legal matters is a guarantee that your interests will be protected by a professional, duly registered, regulated, insured and qualified.

For judicial matters, for example, according to the Spanish law you can represent yourself in court claims up to €2,000 but, again, to count on someone who knows the rules of the game that you are playing makes in most cases, the difference between winning and losing.

In the biggest part of the rest of the court cases, a registered lawyer has to represent you, as a guarantee that your interests are protected by a professional who has studied law at university for five years and has passed a formation period before being able to advise clients.

If you do decide that you would like a lawyer to help you, you have a huge choice. Ensure that you have their number so you can check that they can legally practise. If you want us at Just Law Solicitors here in Spain to help you, we would be happy to do so.

Marisa Moreno lawyer at Just Law Solicitors and Consul for Denmark. • [email protected]

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