THE DIFFERENCE BETWEE THE BRITISH AND SPANISH LEGAL SYSTEM
By Arcos & Lamers Asociados your leading law firm in Marbella. We think it would be fair to say that in the UK you can get by without using the services of us Lawyers, more than is possible in Spain. The Spanish legal system is a civil law system based on comprehensive legal codes and laws which has its roots in Roman law. Compared with the British legal system it’s more complicated and time consuming and we do often see British clients who have got themselves into a mess; by assuming that the system in Spain works as it does in the UK. In practice very little works the same way in Spain and the longer you live here the more you come to realise how different the laws and accountancy regulations are, as indeed is almost every aspect of Spanish life. What we also feel is often lacking here, is sound advice as to whether it really is worth going to court over a dispute, bearing in mind the cost and the very slow and unwieldy Spanish court system. In the UK you have your very efficient small claims court, where the limit has now been increased to £10,000 in England and Wales. You can be in court and have your claim settled in an acceptable period of time. Unfortunately things are not so streamlined here in Spain and we don’t really have a lot of efficient strong organisations that champion the consumer. In the UK you have your excellent Watchdog programme, watched by millions, and one of the main reasons why most companies take great care of their customers; the CEO really doesn’t want to be sitting in front of Anne Robinson, watched by twenty million viewers. In summary probably if you had to sum up our complicated Spanish laws, rules regulations in one word, it would be hassle. What we always try to do for clients is to take out all the mystery and put it into plain English.
Daily tasks that can often be easily resolved in your home country, by a visit to the local office or a quick telephone call, can appear a lot more complicated in Spain. Sometimes even speaking Spanish fluently does not make it any easier to go through the Spanish bureaucracy. At Arcos & Lamers Asociados, all members of staff speak several languages such as Spanish, English, Dutch, German and French. Your business is in good hands at our firm in Marbella, Spanish property lawyers, accountants and tax consultants in Marbella www.arcos-lamersasociados.com May 2014
The Spanish legal system is a civil law system based on comprehensive legal codes and laws which has its roots in Roman law.