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Can a Spanish Solicitor act for both the buyer and the seller?

Property Law

Antonio Flores Vila

10th of September 2004

Q. I am thinking of buying a apartment in Mallorca. I have the name of a Spanish solicitor who is based in England. The seller has also been in contact with the same Spanish solicitor. The solicitor says that it is O.K to act for us both. Is this correct, and would you advise it? Would it be better to have a english speaking solicitor based in Mallorca?

She says we would have go to Spain to sign documents, or she could arrange for someone in Spain to have power of attorney, which would be an extra expense to ourself. Is this correct, and could you give me some information regarding this problem.

I also have to obtain a NIE number, can I apply for this at the Spanish embassy in London?

Ilford Essex

    A. Acting for both a buyer and a seller is possible, under Spanish law, if the Spanish solicitor acts as a mediator. This would require that the lawyer provides both parties identical information, not giving any party any particular piece of advice which does not have corresponding advice for the other party.

    Having said this, what I perhaps find slightly more inconvenient is that the Spanish solicitor is based in the UK, as this would no doubt increase the overall cost as it would require another lawyer to intervene.

    Any Spanish solicitor (preferably fluent in English) in Spain will be able to attend you requirements and assist you in the process of conveyance.

    With regards to the NIE number (Numero de Identificacion de Extranjeros), I am not aware of the Spanish Consulate being able to provide you one, but what you will be able to obtain is a legalised copy of your passport, which in addition to a power of attorney will be used to apply and receive a POA in the closest Police Station. In our experience the Spanish Consulate is rather slow and inefficient, and consequently we regularly use UK Notary Publics, which are quick and inexpensive (except for a few in London!), in order to process the paperwork.

    Our firm deals with property all around Spain, at no added cost (as we regularly travel). If you wish we can assist you in the process and provide you our property conveyance legal service, a description of which I have taken the liberty to attach.

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