The procurador is a legal professional frequently hired in Spain to reinforce the link between clients and courts. Specialized in procedural law, the procurador is well acquainted with all the judicial proceedings and is able to provide for a better representation of the client before the court.
A particularity of Spanish courts
There are approximately 11,000 procuradores in Spain who are divided into several bars. Their main mission is to represent individuals or companies before the different judicial bodies. Indeed, the objective of the procurador is to accelerate the judicial procedure by taking all the necessary steps to ensure that it runs efficiently. Procuradores are responsible for presenting pleadings on behalf of their clients, managing court costs, processing orders and publishing announcements in official bulletins. They can also enter into agreements on behalf of the client while attending court hearings.
Unlike lawyers, procuradores do not plead but present the client before the legal body. The appointment of a procurador is compulsory in criminal and civil proceedings, excluding cases of minor offences and civil proceedings whose claim does not exceed 2,000 euros. The procuradores can also intervene in labour law and administrative litigation law proceedings.
A profession under threat
The role of the procurador has been threatened in recent years for being useless. In 2016, the European Commission opened an investigation called Europilot to determine whether procuradores cause excessive and unjustified obstacles to the provision of services. In 2018, however, the European Commission finally approved of the profession in return for an amendment to the Professional Societies Law.
The figure of the Spanish procurador is often misleadingly compared to either English Common- Law solicitors and barristers or US lawyers and attorneys. However, it seems like there is no exact equivalent in Anglo-American courts. What distinguishes procuradores is that although they hold law degrees, they do not defend clients before courts as do barristers and solicitors in the UK and lawyers and attorneys in the USA. Generally, the procuradores do not give legal advice nor draft pleadings unlike the rest of the abovementioned figures. They even rarely have direct contact with clients as they are usually hired by the lawyers themselves. All these differences lead to the conclusion that the procurador is a unique character of the Spanish judicial system whose role is to be an agent that facilitates the communication between the clients and the court.
This article is not considered as legal advice