We specialise in Anglo-Spanish International Private Law.
Please contact us with your requirements. We will confirm whether we can assist and provide you with an estimate. If, however, we do not provide the services you require, we may be able to inform you of other firms of lawyers who could help you.
Amongst other services, we provide:
- Tax Planning Advice for those with assets in England and Spain, often working alongside with your Solicitors, Accountants or offshore advisors.
- Affidavits of Spanish Law for England, the Channel Islands and other English speaking countries, to enable your UK or Channel Islands Solicitors to resolve Family disputes, Probate applications, Litigation or Company matters.
- Affidavits or Certificates of English law for Spain and other Spanish speaking jurisdictions.
- Evidence as expert witnesses in many matters relating to English or Spanish law.
- English Wills and Probate.
- Debt Collection.
- Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection Matters.
- European Enforcement Orders and European Orders for Payment.
We are experienced in handling the purchase, sale or mortgage of property in Spain: plots of land, farms, villas, apartments, town houses, investment properties, etc.
We can assist with the purchase of re-sale, newly built property and property which is in the process of being built.
We can also negotiate, advise and represent you in respect of any building contracts if you choose to build your own house.
We will be happy to assist you with punctual matters, such as Powers of Attorney, or with a complete tax planning and conveyancing legal package, covering all aspects of purchasing, building, mortgaging or selling your property in Spain.
If we provide you or your company with a comprehensive legal package, amongst other things, we will:
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- Check that title is registered in the vendor’s name free of any mortgages or charges.
- Ensure that all necessary bank guarantees (against the risk, for example, of the builder’s insolvency), building licences, certificates of habitability and any other necessary paperwork are in order.
- Draft the contract or negotiate a contract provided by the other party.
- Prepare a full report in plain English before purchasers commit themselves, including advice on Spanish Planning Law matters .
- Advise on the taxes and expenses payable and any obligations which buyers may have to withhold part of the price from the vendor and pay this to the Spanish tax authorities.
- Advise clients on the potential liability to Spanish capital gains and inheritance tax in the event of sale or death.
- Explain the effect of Spanish inheritance law (including forced heirship rules) and advise clients on how they may structure their purchase to meet them or avoid them.
- Appointment of our agents by power of attorney to complete transactions either in Spain or at our offices in London. · Ensure that purchasers have a properly registered title deed to his/her property.
- Making sure that vendors receive the agreed sale price and any tax refunds from the Spanish tax authorities.
The best time to seek Tax Planning advice is before you invest in Spain. Bearing in mind your personal circumstances, we can advise you on the suitability of using a company structure, trust, purchase in joint names with your spouse or partner and/or with your children and life tenancy options. The tax and legal implications of these options vary enormously and cannot be easily and inexpensively modified once you have bought your property.
We can also provide advice to those clients who have already bought property without any prior tax planning advice or to ensure that advice received in the past continues to be adequate.
We can advise you on the Spanish inheritance tax system and help you take advantage of it, so that your beneficiaries do not end up paying unnecessary taxes.
You should seek advice on making a suitable Spanish Will, as this may also be a good way of saving taxes. Remember, there is no automatic exemption for spouses in Spanish inheritance tax law, so careful tax planning is essential. As a result of the European Regulation on Succession which came into force in Spain in August 2015 most people with interests in Spain, whether or not resident in Spain, should make or review their existing Spanish Wills. We can advise on this and also draft, notarise in our office in London, legalise and register in Spain your Spanish Will.
If you are taking up permanent residence in Spain, we can advise on your liability to Spanish income, capital gains, wealth and inheritance tax. We will take account of any applicable double taxation conventions and work closely with your UK tax advisers to seek and find the most tax efficient way of arranging your affairs, before you become liable to Spanish tax on a world wide basis. Although trusts are not part of Spanish law, they may be a useful way to reduce tax liability before you become resident in Spain. And remember, Spain comprises 17 different regions, with different tax regimes and laws. The tax implications of becoming resident in one region can be radically different from becoming resident in another Spanish region.
Generally, we can also advise on:
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- Spanish income, capital gains, wealth and inheritance tax planning for non residents;
- property taxation for investors in Spain;
- the implications under Spanish law of setting up a trust;
- Spanish taxation on gifts and deceased’s estates;
- Spanish VAT, transfer tax and stamp duty;
- withholding taxes and how to claim any refunds.
Inheritance law can become very complex when several legal systems are involved. As Notaries and Spanish lawyers, we have extensive expertise in international cross-border succession problems involving different jurisdictions and any conflict of laws. We are particularly knowledgeable in Spanish/English conflicts of law.
Even if you have a valid English Will, obtaining legal advice and making a separate Will for your Spanish assets can save your beneficiaries unpleasant surprises, time and money.
Unmarried partners are particularly vulnerable if there is no suitable Will.
We can assist on the following matters:
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- Advice on Spanish inheritance tax rules and how any taxes can be minimised.
- Drafting Wills dealing with your Spanish estate.
- Take into account your English Will and any necessary provisions for any beneficiaries who are minors.
- Drafting your Spanish Wills in Spanish and in English, to be signed in our offices in London or before your local Notary.
- Obtaining legalisation of your Will with the “apostille” and registering it at the Central Registry of Wills in Spain.
When you are an Executor or a beneficiary of a deceased who left property or assets in Spain, you need reliable, sympathetic, comprehensive and accessible advice and guidance from your solicitors.
We have the knowledge and experience to provide you with a worry-free and effective service.
Whether or not the deceased left a Will (English or Spanish), if their estate comprises property or assets in Spain, we can undertake all the necessary Spanish work to administer their Spanish estate and have it transferred to the beneficiaries (or in certain cases, into the name of the trustees).
We can also deal with the subsequent sale of any properties in Spain and repatriation of any funds, if that is your wish.
We will gather all necessary information from you, from your Solicitors or from Spanish institutions and registries. Where appropriate, we can arrange for any properties to be valued. We will obtain the necessary paperwork from Spain and from the UK and draft the Spanish Deed of Acceptance of Inheritance. This document can be executed in England. We will inform you of any taxes, request the necessary monies on account, pay the taxes in Spain on your behalf and have the property registered in your name at the Spanish Land Registry. If you then wish to sell the property, we can also contact local estate agents, draft the necessary contracts and deal with all the necessary formalities to ensure that you receive the sale price in the UK.
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AFFIDAVITS OF SPANISH AND/OR ENGLISH LAW
We are experienced Solicitors, Notaries and Abogados and as such, we can provide Affidavits on a range of matters within our area of expertise which will be recognised by the Courts and Authorities of any country.
Amongst other things, we can prepare:
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- Affidavits on the validity of a Spanish or English Will in order to obtain Probate in England, Jersey, Spain or any other jurisdiction;
- Affidavits stating the persons who under Spanish law would be entitled to apply for a Grant of Representation;
- Affidavits of Spanish and/or English Law concerning Probate, Property Law, Taxation and Divorce and Family matters.
COMPANY & COMMERCIAL MATTERS
We are experienced in the legal requirements of commercial transactions in England and in Spain (including its islands). We can advise and assist you on a range of matters including:
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- Company Powers of Attorney
- Incorporation of Spanish companies, registration of branches of foreign companies and setting up representative offices
- Liquidation and dissolution of Spanish companies or foreign companies with Spanish assets
- Share transfers, capital increases, appointment and removal of directors, change of registered office and any other changes of the Company Articles
- Purchase of businesses
- Debt collection
- Licences, Permits and Taxation
- Development and Building
- Preparation of bid and tender documents
DIVORCE & FAMILY LAW MATTERS
Amongst others, we can assist with the following:
Transfer of property to the sole name of one of the parties in separation or divorce proceedings;
Nullity, separation and divorce before the Spanish Courts;
Recognition of foreign divorce decrees in Spain
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LITIGATION, RECOGNITION & ENFORCEMENT OF FOREIGN JUDGMENTS IN SPAIN
We can advise you on and where appropriate, commence or defend proceedings before the Spanish Courts. In some cases, however, we may do so using our local associate offices or we may ask you to instruct a local lawyer whom we can brief and guide through the proceedings.
These proceedings may involve property-related disputes, debt collection, contractual litigation, family law, succession and tax matters.
Whenever appropriate, we can act as agents for other lawyers, serving proceedings and documents on the defendants in the UK and in Spain and provide the appropriate Affidavits of service.
We can work alongside your UK solicitors and advise them on any Spanish law matters which may be relevant for your UK proceedings and prepare the necessary affidavits of Spanish law and attend court as expert witnesses in Spanish law.
We can also commence the necessary proceedings in Spain in order to register and enforce in Spain any UK judgments.
We can assist your Spanish lawyers on any English legal matters relevant to your Spanish proceedings and issue the appropriate affidavits or certificates of English law to be used by the Spanish courts. We can attend any proceedings in Spain as expert witnesses in English law.
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N.I.E.s (Spanish Tax Numbers)
We can obtain N.I.E.s for clients at the Spanish Consulate in London. Once we have the relevant notarised authority and copy passport from the client, we can fill in the relevant forms and apply for his or her N.I.E. and we usually receive the client’s N.I.E. from the Spanish Authorities by official email within a approximately one week.
We can also prepare the necessary paperwork (notarised authority and notarise copy passport) to enable us to obtain the client’s N.I.E.
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EUROPEAN ENFORCEMENT ORDERS & DEBT RECOVERY
Do you need to register or enforce in the UK a Spanish European Enforcement Order (or “Titulo Ejecutivo Europeo”)?
Does anyone owe you money and you need us to make a claim against the debtor?
Please emails us details and we shall be pleased to provide you with an indication of our fees.
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As lawyers qualified and practicing in Spanish and English Law, we have ample in-house experience and expertise of the Spanish and English languages and legal systems.
We provide a prompt and accurate translation service.
As Notaries, we can certify our translations as true and accurate and once legalised, they are accepted as official translations by Courts, Registries and any other official bodies in the UK and abroad.
Amongst others, we can provide notarially certified translations, with Foreign Office or Consular legalisation, of the following legal documents:
- Wills and Codicils, Probate and Letters of Administration to be used overseas
- Foreign Wills to be used in the UK
- Bid and tender documents
- Court proceedings and Court Orders
- Legal reports and affidavits
- Memoranda and Articles of Association
We shall be pleased to provide an estimate upon request.
INTERNATIONAL NOTARY SERVICES & APOSTILLES:
can issue notarial certifications for every country in the world. When documents issued or signed in the UK are
to be used in a different country, it is often necessary to have those documents
Notarised and/or Legalised. Notarial Certificates and/or Apostilles/Legalisations may be required, amongst other, for the following documents:
A ‘Certificate of Good Standing’ is supplied by Companies House to confirm that the company mentioned on the Certificate has filed all the necessary documents and forms to meet legal disclosure requirements. These Certificates are signed by an Officer of Companies House. The certificate shows, at minimum, the company’s name and incorporation number. If requested, it can also show the names of the registered directors and shareholders. The most common reason for obtaining a certificate of Good Standing is to meet the requirements of a bank or finance company, or for the company to carry out certain type of transactions overseas. If the Certificate of Good Standing is going to be used overseas, an Apostille verifying its authenticity may be required.
As Notaries we can prepare a ‘Certificate of Incumbency’ in respect of any companies registered in the UK, Spain and many other jurisdictions. This Certificate can confirm matters such as the date of incorporation, registration number and registered office of the Company, full details of the Company Officers (including their passport number), specific reference to the Company’s ability to legally enter into certain contracts or transactions. If the Certificate of Incumbency is going to be used overseas, an Apostille verifying its authenticity may be
What does the Notarisation of a document involve?
A document is Notarised when a Notary signs and seals that document in order to certify certain aspects of the document.
For example, a Notary (also known as a Notary Public) may certify: that the signature on the document belongs to the person whose name appears in that document because that person has signed the document in the presence of the Notary and the Notary has duly identified the signatory; or that a copy document is a true copy of its original (either because the Notary has seen the original document or because the Notary has carried out the appropriate search with a Public Registry.
The above are only examples of Notarial Certificates. There are many more Certificates that a Notary can issue.
What is a Notary?
A Notary is a Lawyer with the status of a Public Officer, who has the authority to witness and attest documents (such as deeds, agreements, powers of attorney), thereby making them official and legal in most countries in the world. The signature and official seal of a Notary make documents recognised internationally.
When do I need a Notary?
The following are examples of situation where you will need a Notary:
- If you need authorisation of documents and/or information that will be used in foreign countries (e.g. Company matters, open a bank account, or adopt a child)
- If you need legalisation of certain documents (for example, if you need a copy of your passport or a Power of Attorney)
- If you need translation of documents for use abroad
- If you want to buy a property or need a mortgage abroad
- If you have business overseas or your business is exporting its products
- If you are involved in litigation in foreign Courts
Legalisation. Most Official and Notarial documents going to other countries will also need to be legalised (i.e. their authenticity needs to be certified).
Official documents (e.g. documents issued by Companies House, Birth, Marriage and Deaths Certificates, Court Orders, etc.) and Notarial documents (e.g. Certified copies, Powers of Attorney, etc.) can be legalised in one of the following two manners:
|An “Apostille” is a form of authentication accepted in countries which have signed the 1961 Hague Convention. This Convention abolished the requirement of diplomatic and consular legalization for public documents originating in one Convention country and intended for use in another.|
The image on the left is an example of an Apostille.
Click over the image to enlarge.
Apostilles are often needed in adoptions, extraditions, and certain business transactions. Customers forming companies in the United Kingdom and wishing to have them recognised in other countries by Registries,
Banks or any other public or private bodies will need to have their company documents endorsed with an “Apostille”.
When a document is to be used in a foreign country, it is often necessary to have the notarization or official certification authenticated with an “Apostille”.
With the Apostille, the document is recognised in the country of intended use (no further authentication or legalization by the embassy or consulate of the foreign country where the document is to be used is required).
As Notaries, we specialise in the legalisation of UK documents. We can also Notarise and Apostillise any other type of documents.
Procedure for Notarising and Apostillising Company documents
- We carry out a Search at Companies House (this is the official Registry of Companies in the UK)
- We download a copy of the relevant documents and as Notaries, we certify them as true copies
- We then take them to the Legalisation Office. The document and Apostille are normally collected from the Legalisation Office on
the same day.
- We can then send you the document and its Apostille
certificate by courier service.
Your final document will contain our Notarial Signature and Seal and any documents attached will be bound with a ribbon. The final document is likely to look similar to this (the Apostille will be at the back of the Certificate):
Procedure for Notarising and/or Apostillising other documents. The procedure will vary depending on the type of document
Fees. Our fees start at £30 and will vary depending on the nature of the documents and work required. Please email us to request a quote.
Timescale. If your order is urgent, we can normally Notarise and/or Apostillise your documents within 24 hours (we may even be able to have the document ready on the same business day).
Embassy or Consular Legalisation of documents
If the country where the UK documents are to be used is not a signatory to The Hague Convention 1961, the UK documents will need to be legalised in the following manner:
- The Foreign & Commonwealth Office will need to certify the authenticity of the UK Officer’s signature and/or seal (e.g. the Notary’s signature and seal); and
- The Embassy, Consulate or Chamber of Commerce (as the case may be) of the country where the documents are to be used will need to certify the authenticity of the above Foreign & Commonwealth Office certificate.
The procedure, cost and time scale may vary depending on the country where the documents are to be used. Please contact us with your specific requirements and we shall be pleased to provide you with a quote.
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