8 tips to choosing a good lawyer in Spain
The other night I was at a dinner party with a mixed group of friends (both British and Spanish) when one of them asked me how I would choose a lawyer in Spain – if I needed legal help. It was a good question and one that, directed at me, was like asking a gamekeeper how he would choose a good poacher!
Well, after some thought, I came up with the following points – all of which should help you choose a Spanish lawyer who will act effectively and well for you:
1. Make sure your lawyer in Spain has experience in the sector of law relevant to your matter.
Individual Spanish lawyers, like any were in the world, solicitors will usually specialise in different areas of law. So, it is important that you choose a lawyer who has relevant experience and expertise in the area of law pertinent to you. Furthermore, make sure that the firm you choose have a reasonable amount of experience with cases similar to yours. Always buy into expert experience and steer clear of lawyers in Spain who claim they can do ‘everything’.
2. Always choose a Spanish lawyer who is completely fluent in your own language.
Nothing is more important than precise and clear communication when it comes to legal matters. Indeed, the slightest miscommunication can cause huge problems so complete fluency in your language by your Spanish lawyer is essential.
Always make sure that your lawyer in Spain is completely independent of any other party related to your matter and never use a lawyer (even if you are offered free legal services) if the lawyers concerned are, in any way, related to your opponent or other contracting party.
4. Always ask your Spanish lawyer for an estimated cost of the matter with which you want him to deal
Of course, few lawyers will be able to give you a precise cost – as legal matters are notoriously hard to price. However, you should always get some idea of the costs involved and certainly you should get a written record of how much your lawyer will charge as a standard hourly rate.
5. Have an initial (normally free) meeting to discuss your case and meet your lawyer
Most Spanish lawyers will usually provide a free initial appointment to take a look at your case. This is a great opportunity to meet your potential lawyer in person – during which you will be able to assess whether you are going to be happy working with him. After all, you must be able to ‘get on’ with your lawyer and feel comfortable with him.
6. Make a list of questions for your lawyer
Before you visit your lawyer for the first time, write down all the questions you want to ask and bring the most important paperwork with you. At the meeting ask all your questions and if you don’t like the answers or don’t feel happy with your lawyer, then consider finding another firm.
7. Never rely solely on recommendations when seeking a lawyer
Getting recommendations from your friends and family may initially sound like a good idea, but always do your own research too and do not rely upon the recommendation of only one person.
8. Do not choose a Spanish lawyer on price alone
When it comes to choosing a lawyer in Spain, do not always go for the cheapest. Often it is better to get an experienced lawyer to handle your case. This may prove to be more expensive but, given the stakes involved in most cases, it is better to get a first class lawyer who is likely to win your case than a inexperienced lawyer who may not have the skills to succeed.
So, there we are: a few guidelines to choosing a good lawyer in Spain – that I would use (and I am a Spanish lawyer!!)!