The Santa Cruz de Tenerife Bar Association warns of an “alarming” increase in recent months in cases of professional intrusion in the south of the Island that affect real estate operations, immigration procedures, inheritance cases and liability claims. These illegal practices, carried out by people without training or sufficient technical solidity, having not obtained the accrediting academic title, are causing a “notable social impact”, which can be seen in an increase in those affected, many of them foreigners who have transferred their residence. to the southern region and that their assets have been harmed.
Fake lawyers act under an appearance of legality representing an entity or individually and offer their services as legal advisors or managers. In most cases, they benefit from the vulnerability of their clients due to their lack of language proficiency. In fact, a large part of the complaints received by the Bar Association for these irregular practices correspond to citizens of various nationalities residing in the southern part of the Island.
The transactions for the sale of homes and apartments, as well as the processing of documents in Immigration, are the areas from which the most complaints come to the provincial bar association, from which it is recalled that in order to practice the profession it is mandatory to obtain a law degree, pass the state exam and register in a professional association of lawyers in the country. In addition, it recommends, in case of doubt, consult the website of the General Council of Spanish Lawyers, where there is a census of lawyers with practicing professionals throughout the national territory.
As this newspaper was able to learn, some services are advertised on the Internet as “legal and tax advice on the sale of homes and inheritances”, they are advertised as “independent law firms” and ensure that they collaborate with “governmental authorities to guarantee the best service possible”. The logos of different organizations appear in the ad, including the Government of the Canary Islands and the Tax Agency.
The experts consulted point out that the crime of professional intrusion in the legal profession is currently gaining special importance and underline the “dangerousness” of this practice since protected legal assets come into play. The Penal Code, in its article 403.2, establishes prison sentences of six months to two years. The Bar Association has launched various campaigns to raise awareness about the need to contract the services of collegiate lawyers and thus guarantee the rights, interests and assets of clients.