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Buying Property in Spain – Recommended Lawyers

About Worldwide Lawyers

If you are looking to buy a property in Spain or require any other legal assistance in Spain, Worldwide Lawyers can help. Our English-Speaking independent Spanish Lawyers can assist you with a property purchase anywhere in Spain from various offices including:

Mainland Spain: Alicante, Almeria, Barcelona, Denia, Galicia, La Zenia, Malaga, Madrid, Marbella, Murcia, Torrevieja, Valencia.

Balearic islands: Mallorca, Ibiza.

Canary Islands: Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Gran Canaria.

We also have Spanish lawyers based in the UK if preferred.

 

All of the Spanish lawyers are Independent, English-Speaking, qualified, regulated and insured. They specialise in assisting international clients (particularly clients from the UK) with Spanish legal matters including property purchases all over Spain. All advice is provided in English.

As well as dealing with a Spanish property purchase itself, if required, Worldwide Lawyers can assist you with all the other aspects involved in a property purchase including obtaining a Spanish identity number (NIE), opening a Spanish bank account, setting up your Spanish household utilities and making a Spanish will.

Worldwide Lawyers’ friendly team will provide you with free initial guidance with regard to your property purchase plans or other Spanish legal need. We will be happy to arrange a no-obligation quote from the independent Spanish lawyer most suited to your requirements and location.

Spanish Legal Services Provided

  • Property Purchases in Spain
  • Property Sales in Spain
  • Property Transfers in Spain
  • Spanish Inheritance
  • Spanish Wills
  • NIE Numbers
  • Spanish Taxes
  • Family and Divorce in Spain
  • Business Law in Spain
  • Off Plan Spanish Property Deposit Claims
  • Mortgage Floor Clause Claims

It’s never too early to get in touch. Call us on 01244 470 339, email us at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk or just complete the contact form on the right of this page. We look forward to speaking with you!

closeup of a young caucasian man in swimsuit sitting in a deck chair on the beach with a bandage in his wrist

Local Standards Reports in Overseas Personal Injury Cases

If someone is injured whilst on holiday abroad and wishes to make a claim for personal injury, they have several options when considering who to sue depending on the type of case.

If the injury occurred whilst on a package holiday, the injured person can choose to sue the tour operator within the courts of England and Wales (The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992, SI 1992/3288).

This option is usually preferred as other options, such as suing the person who caused the injury, can involve complex questions of which country’s law applies and which country’s courts can hear the claim. Claims against tour operators under the Package Travel cases however will be the law of the contract, which is usually the law of England.

So, if for example an injury occurs due to the fault of the hotel, the tour operator will be liable. However, the question of whether or not the hotel is a fault will be determined by reference to the laws, regulation or standards that apply in the country where the hotel is located.

Therefore fact that the hotel would be negligent under English law does not determine the liability of the tour operator in these cases – it is the question of whether they failed to comply with the local standards in the country where the hotel is situated that is relevant.

Need a local standards or quantum report from an overseas lawyer? Contact Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470 339 or at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk to see how we can help.

In order to prove that there was a failure to comply with the local standards, claimants usually require a ‘Local Standards Report’ which is an expert report setting our the local statutory, regulatory or customary standards.

It can however be very difficult to obtain these reports as it can be hard to find an appropriate expert with relevant qualifications and experience. The expert must understand that the English court will apply English law, but the local standard and also produce a report which complies with the English Civil Procedure Rules.

This is where Worldwide Lawyers can help. We regularly assist solicitors in the UK who are dealing with holiday/ or overseas personal injury claims. Many of the lawyers within the Worldwide Lawyers’ international network are able to assist with local standards reports required by lawyers and their clients in relation to claims made in England.

In other cases, such as Road Traffic Accidents claims may have to be valued in accordance with the rules of a foreign jurisdiction and a quantum report may be required from a lawyer in that jurisdiction setting out what can be claimed and how much. Worldwide Lawyer can also assist with this.

If you require a Local Standards Report, a Quantum Report or any other legal assistance from a lawyer qualified in another jurisdiction, contact Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470 339 or email info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk to discuss how we can assist.

In most cases we will be able to put you in touch with a lawyer who can provide the report required and also arrange a no-obligation quote for this.

Ein Fächer mit Banknoten verschiedener Länder

Why Lawyers Should Consider Currency Exchange In Cases With Overseas Assets

It is becoming increasingly common for lawyers to come across cases where funds need to be sent to or received from a foreign country. For example repatriation of foreign assets in an estate matter, debt recovery where assets are located overseas or acquisition of a foreign company.

The best way to transfer these assets between countries and currencies is however often not properly considered by lawyers who are therefore inadvertently and unnecessarily costing their client several thousands of pounds.

Dealing with a case involving foreign assets? Contact Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470339 or email info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk. We can advise regarding the best way to transfer the funds and can make sure that you get the best exchange rate for your client, helping you to save your client thousands. 

If money is to be sent to or received from overseas,  the foreign currency will therefore need to be converted before in can be received into your firm’s client account or sent to the recipient’s account.

To ensure that you are acting in your client’s best interests and to ensure as much of these funds as possible are preserved for client, proper consideration should be given to the best way to receive the funds. The rate of the currency exchange can have a massive impact on the overall amount received/paid however it is often overlooked by lawyers when dealing with overseas transactions.

When repatriating foreign assets or sending funds abroad, many lawyers often just blindly entrust the transfer to the bank allowing them to convert the money into the required currency without considering the rate offered by the bank and the impact this could have on the overall amount received / paid.

Exchange rates are however one of the ways in which High Street banks make enormous profits at the expense of their customers, including law firms.

Bank exchange rates tend to be very uncompetitive and may also be accompanied by commission charges just to transfer the money overseas. This rarely achieves the best result for your client and can often end up unnecessarily costing the client a significant amount. 

What is the best way to send/ receive money internationally?

The most cost effective way of receiving or sending money internationally is to use a recommended currency exchange specialist to assist you with transferring the money and exchanging the currency rather than receiving or transferring the funds directly into a high street bank account. The services of a good currency specialist are usually free but can save a significant amount.

The reason for this is because currency exchange specialists typically offer currency exchange rates that are 3-5% better than high street banks meaning 3-5% more of the funds will be preserved. For example, if you were transferring the equivalent of £100,000 you could costs your client up to £5000 by transferring the funds directly into your client account and allowing the bank to convert the currency.

In addition to this, high street banks often charge fees and commissions just to move the money from overseas. The service of a good, recommended foreign exchange specialist however is free.

Worldwide Lawyers can recommend a Currency Exchange Specialist who is used to assisting lawyers and their clients with international money transfers. All Currency Specialists recommended by Worldwide Lawyers are registered and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as well as fully regulated by HMRC.

The reason that currency specialist companies are able do this is due to the volume of foreign currency transfers they make and the fact their sole aim as a business is to offer superior exchange rates compared to the banks.

Currency specialists can also advise you about the timing of the currency transfer to help you ensure that you help your clients receive the most from their funds.

Currency Specialists Vs High Street Banks

Example

You are dealing with an estate where there is a bank account in Germany with a balance of €200,000. You are based in the UK and need to receive the funds into your UK client account. You will therefore need to convert your €200,000 into Pounds Sterling.

  High Street Bank Rate Currency Specialist Rate
€200,000 @ £1.10 €200,000 @ £1.14
Amount received in £ £220,000 £228,000

By using a currency specialist instead of a bank your client would have received £8000.00 more. 

As set out in the example above, a small amount of research and planning can make a vast difference to the amounts actually received and can add a considerable amount of value for your client. By helping them receive / make payments  in the most cost effective way, you can often save your client more than your fees have actually cost them, adding real additional value for your clients!!

It is recommended that anyone repatriating foreign assets or arranging to transfer money abroad, contacts a currency specialist rather than risk leaving the transfer to the banks. A good currency specialist will be happy to give you some no-obligation information about the best way to deal with the currency exchange and how they can help you save your clients money.

Currency Exchange and the Regulatory Obligations of Lawyers

In relation to currency exchange services the Solicitor’s Regulatory Authority in England and Wales have provided the following guidance:

If the solicitor is aware that funds will need to be received or sent abroad he may wish to discuss with his client at the outset how this will be achieved.

If he is aware of such a service which would result in a considerable financial benefit to the client then, as he has an obligation to act in the client’s best interests (SRA Principle 4) and an obligation to disclose all relevant material information to his client (Outcome O(4.2) of the SRA Code of Conduct 2011) he should discuss the possibilities and any risks with his client and take the client’s instructions.

However if he has discussed the issues and risks with his client, the client is then in a position to consider the risks and benefits and to give instructions as to how they wish the funds to be transferred.”

For details of a recommended currency exchange specialist and to discuss how they can assist you and your clients, please get in touch with Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470339 or email us at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk. 

All Currency Exchange Specialists recommended by Worldwide Lawyers are registered and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority as well as fully regulated by HMRC.

Worldwide Lawyers can also assist should you require details of a recommended foreign lawyer to assist you in dealing with legal aspects of your international matter. 

Inheritance (WWL)(landscape)

 

Tied scroll with old notarial wax seal and stamp on table

What is a notary and do I need one?

If you are dealing with an overseas legal matter or with any formal documentation that will be used abroad, you are likely to have been asked to have documents “notarised” i.e signed in the presence of a notary.

But what is a notary? why do you need a notary? and how do you find a notary? Read on to find out…

 

If you have a document that requires notarisation, contact Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470 339 or at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk. Our friendly representatives will be happy to assist you and  put you in touch with a notary who can help you.

 

What is a notary?

In England and Wales, a notary (also known as a notary public or a public notary) is a particular type of legal professional who prepares, witnesses or certifies documents specifically for use abroad.

Many notaries are also solicitors but not many solicitors are also qualified as notaries. There are often only a handful of notaries within each town/ city.

 

What does a notary do?

Often a document, such as a power of attorney, sworn statement, affidavit or certificate of law will be required for use in a foreign country.

Usually a foreign lawyer (or an organisation such as a bank or pension provider) will have prepared the document and the person who is required to sign this document will be asked to sign it in front of a notary.

The reason the document must be signed in front of a notary is because notaries must verify

  • the identity of the persons signing;
  • their authority to sign;
  • their legal capacity; and
  • their understanding of the document.

This adds a layer of security for the person receiving the document and for any other person or organisation that will rely upon it in the foreign country.

If the document must be sworn in front of a notary, the person signing will also be required to swear an oath to the notary confirming the truthfulness of the contents of the document. A notary is a Commissioner For Oaths which means they have the power to administer oaths and affirmations. Anyone who wilfully makes untruthful statements under oath commits the criminal offence of perjury and can be prosecuted.

The notary’s purpose therefore is to help guard against fraud, as the notary confirms that the person is who they say they are and ensures that the person signing the document does so by their own free will and understands the effect of the document.

 

What type of documents require a notary?

Notaries are commonly asked to assist businesses and individuals who have interests abroad. Notaries commonly deal with:

  • Preparing and authenticating powers of attorney for use abroad
  • Dealing with documents relating to the purchase or sale of land and property abroad
  • Providing documents to deal with the administration of estates where the deceased lived abroad, or owned assets abroad
  • Authenticating information for immigration or emigration purposes
  • Authenticating educational or professional qualifications for people wishing to work or study abroad.
  • Authenticating declarations of freedom to marry for people getting married abroad
  • Authenticating company and business documents and transactions
  • Providing certificates as to the status of a company or the identity of its directors

 

Why do I need to sign in front of a notary?

If a document is going to be used abroad you will usually require the signature and seal of a notary so that anyone who will use/receive the document in the foreign country will recognise the document as validly signed by the appropriate person/people and in the required way.

Every notary has a unique official seal which is engraved with a personal symbol. Documents which have this seal and are signed by a notary are internationally recognised are treated as good evidence of the truthfulness of the information contained within the document. The notary’s signature and seal authenticates the document.

Once the document has the signature and seal of a notary, it can be recognised in the relevant foreign country. Without this authentication documents that require notarisation will not be accepted abroad.

Many countries however also require a further level of security so, as well as being notarised, the document must also be ‘legalised’.

What is legalisation?

Just as a notary authenticates the signature of their client, legalisation is the process by which the signature and seal of the Notary are then authenticated by the UK Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) and/or the Embassy or Consulate of the country in which the document is to be used.

The FCO authenticates documents by way of an “Apostille” which is certificate affixed to the document.

The legalisation requirements are determined by the country or state where the document is going to be used and so it is their rules that must be complied with. The legalisation requirements will therefore be different depending on which country your document is for.

Legalisation is usually required by countries who are signatories to the Hague Convention and the Apostille is sufficient for these countries. Some other countries also require the document to be further authentication by their own Embassy/ Consulate.

There are many places where legalisation is not required, for example current or former British Commonwealth countries and many parts of the United States.

Your Notary will usually be able to advise you as to whether your particular document requires legalisation by the FCO or if any further legalisation is required by the relevant embassy or consulate.

If you have a document that requires notarisation please do not hesitate to contact Worldwide Lawyers on 01244 470 339 or at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk. We will be happy to put you in touch with a notary who can assist you. 

PIENZA ITALY - JUNE 21 2015: beautiful renovated tuscan manor at sundown near historic Pienza town in Italy

Buying a Property in Italy: The Purchase Costs

If you are planning to buy a property in Italy, you should make sure your budget takes into account not only the purchase price but also the additional fees and taxes required to complete your purchase.

A rough outline of these extra costs of buying property in Italy is set out below.

If you have any questions with regard to your plans to buy property in Italy or if you would like a recommendation for a reputable English-speaking lawyer to assist you, please contact us on 01244 470 339 or at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk.

 

Registration tax

Registration Tax is Italy’s version of Stamp Duty Land Tax/ Purchase Tax.

The amount charged depends on whether or not the property will be your main residence and whether the property you are buying is a new build property or not.

If it will be your main residence and the property is not a new build, the tax is charged at 2%. If you do not plan to be resident in Italy or if you have another property, this is charged at 9%

If you are buying a new build property you do not pay this registration tax but instead pay VAT. This is charged at 4% for main residences or 10% for non residents (this increases to 22% for a “Luxury Home”).

 

Lawyer’s Fees

It is strongly advised that you instruct a recommended English–speaking Italian property lawyer to assist you with your property purchase in Italy.

Lawyer’s fees for property purchases in Italy are usually calculated as a percentage of the purchase price and are typically between 1%-2% of the property purchase price. The lower the value of the property the higher the percentage.

This lawyer should be independent from the estate agent so beware of any lawyers recommended to you by the estate agent or an agency that “packages” the lawyer into the purchase costs.

The role of the lawyer is different to the role of the notary (notaio). You should make sure you find your own, independent lawyer.

If you would like a recommendation for a reputable English-speaking Italian lawyer to assist you, please contact us on 01244 470 339 or at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk.

 

Notary fees

Property purchases in Italy must be completed through a Notary (Notaio). The notary charges a fee for this service which is set out in Italian law.

The amount of the notary’s fee depends on the property purchase price as it will be calculated as a percentage of the price of the property. The lower the price of the Italian property, the higher the percentage. The fees won’t however exceed 2.5-3% of the total cost of the property.

 

Land Registry Fee

The Land Registry Fees are usually charged as a fixed sum and are around €200.

 

Further Costs

If you wish to instruct a surveyor or if you will be purchasing the property with a mortgage, you will need to budget or the costs associated with these. Also you should check with the estate agent whether the property is connected to main water, electricity and gas supplies and what the ongoing costs of owning the particular Italian property will be.

If you would like further information about buying property in Italy or would like details of a recommended English-speaking Italian lawyer, call us on 01244 470 339 or email us at info@worldwidelawyers.co.uk.

You can also download our FREE Guide to buying property in Italy.