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Do you need a Spanish Solicitor for an injury in Spain?

Do I need a Spanish lawyer?

One common worry for British tourists who suffer an accident in Spain is the question of whether they will be able to pursue their claim in the UK with the assistance of an English Solicitor, or if they will have to find a Spanish lawyer either in Spain or in the UK to assist. Please note that we are using Spain as an example. The same rules will apply for France or any other country where the accident may have occurred.

Here, we must distinguish between two different concepts which may lead to some confusion:

  1. Jurisdiction:

This is the court’s competence to try a claim issued by a Claimant and will be determined primarily by the type of claim in question. For example, claims brought under the Package Travel Regulations (which are UK regulations) against a tour operator will be considered as domestic claims even if the accident occurred in Spain (or somewhere else). This is because the holiday contract was entered into in the country of residence of the consumer and the UK courts will therefore have jurisdiction to deal with these claims.

You will require the assistance of an UK based solicitor to pursue your claim in the UK courts.

For claims arising from road traffic accidents, ski accidents or accidents in public areas in Spain (against a Spanish Defendant) the rules are different. Before Brexit, the general rule under EU Regulations was that Claimants were able to pursue their claims in the courts of their place of domicile. Therefore, any British tourist who suffered an accident in Spain could easily pursue a claim in England with the assistance of a Solicitor of England & Wales.

However, following Brexit this is no longer possible (at least for the time being) and any claim arising from an accident in Spain will have to be pursued in Spain with the assistance of a Spanish lawyer. The good news is that at Pierre Thomas Law we have our own English-speaking Spanish-qualified lawyer who can help. If you have been the victim of an accident in Spain, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us as soon as possible in order to avoid your claim becoming time-barred (i.e. you only have 1 year from the accident date or date of consolidation or stabilisation of your injury to pursue your claim under Spanish law, although this limitation period can be suspended repeatedly every year).


  1. Applicable law:

Even if the UK courts have jurisdiction to hear your claim, it is possible that the law of a different country will be applicable to the material aspects of your claim,

Indeed, the general rule is that the applicable law is the law of the place where the accident took place. Therefore, in general terms and regardless of the issue of jurisdiction, Spanish law will be applicable to the material aspects of claims arising from road traffic accidents, ski accidents, accidents in public spaces, accidents in the course of employment, etc in Spain.

You will therefore require the assistance of a Spanish lawyer to advise on the issues of limitation (time limit within which court proceedings need to be started), liability and quantum (the value of your claim). At Pierre Thomas Law we have our own Spanish lawyer who will be able to assist with those issues. We also have an extensive list of experts in Spain who may be able to provide further advice if needed, so you will not need to worry about finding a Spanish lawyer at any stage of your claim.

For claims brought under English regulations such as the Package Travel Regulations, English law will be applicable to all the elements of the claim including limitation and the issue of liability and quantum. However, the English judge will have to take into account Spanish (or other country’s) local standards and regulations for which we may require the assistance of a local standards expert that we can choose and instruct from our list of experts.



A Spanish lawyer will be able to provide legal advice on Spanish law and pursue claims before the Spanish courts wherever he/she is based.

However, in order to be able to practice in the UK and pursue claims at the English courts, a foreign-qualified lawyer will first need to qualify as an English Solicitor by passing a qualification exam, which from 1st September 2021 will be known as “SQE” (Solicitors Qualifying examination) – formerly known as QLTS (Qualified Lawyer Transfer Scheme).

Most of the lawyers at Pierre Thomas Law are dually qualified as English Solicitors and either French or Spanish lawyers.



We offer a free initial consultation.

We will tell you if we think you have a good case and if we can help you.

We will not use your information for any other purpose.