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Is it illegal in Spain for a lawyer to represent the seller as well as the buyer?

Property Law

Antonio Flores Vila

29th of February 2004

Q. Can you tell me if it is illegal in Spain for a solicitor to represent the seller as well as the buyer? We have discovered that our property agent who recommended our solicitor did not inform us that the solicitor was part of its group. Is this not a conflict of interest?

    A. Acting of the buyer and the seller is a rather uncommon scenario but does happen, where buyer and seller are, for example, friends, or wish to save on legal fees, or one of the parties has not been able to find representation.

    In this situation the basic principle to follow is to be fully impartial and to provide the same information to both parties, explaining the consequences of any acts made by virtue of the transaction and the implications of the documents signed. Where a dispute arises between the parties (buyer and seller), the mediating lawyer would be obliged to refrain from representing any of the parties and refer the dispute to different legal representations.

    On the basis of the above, and provided both parties agree to the shared representation in writing, this is possible.

    In your case, I have to conclude that the lawyer has not been honest and therefore this ´irregular´ representation would have to be cancelled and seek impartial representation.

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