Expat court cases and property transactions at risk from Spanish ruling

Published:  9 Dec at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
A possible Brexit backlash by Spanish government legal advisors is set to threaten many hundreds of court cases brought by expats.

Spain’s Directorate General of Registrars and Notaries, the equivalent regulatory body of the UK’s Notaries Society, recently issued a ruling cancelling the validity of powers of attorney issued by UK Notaries Public. The reason given by the Directorate General was that the British qualifications, authority and competence of UK Notaries Public is below that of their Spanish equivalents.

Briefly put, only powers of attorney issued by UK ‘notaries at law’ would be considered valid, ruling out the legality of the same service provide by British ‘notaries public’. Immediately the decision was made public, shock waves were felt by the huge number of Spanish professionals involved in legal work for expats.

Ramifications of the decision could start with existing court cases being dismissed, the voiding of thousands of property transactions where power of attorney was used, and any mortgage loans associated with the properties could also be voided. Legal chaos for British expats in Spain is expected to follow.

Fully aware of the possible effect of the ruling and desperate to avoid the financial chaos the decision could cause, the majority of Spanish registrars and notaries have decided to totally ignore their regularity body’s decision. Back in the UK, the International Law Reigistrars’ Council has issued a report detailing the long-standing regulations upheld by British notaries public.

Although the report is non-binding, it states all documents signed by notaries public are regulated by an Act of Parliament going back as far as 1533 a.d. The UK’s Notaries Society has also issued a statement confirming its members are lawyers whose work in preparing documents and authenticating identities and signatures for use overseas is internationally recognised as legal and valid.

They are not, it states, simply solicitors. as implied by the Spanish regulator’s decision. It remains to be seen how this strange situation will play out, but Spanish as well as British legal feathers have been well and truly ruffled.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive