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1 August 2022


The Provincial Court of Cantabria sentenced a man to 2 years imprisonment and a fine for procedural fraud in an eviction trial


The Provincial Court of Cantabria sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of 1,620 euros to a man who in the eviction trial that followed against him provided a false document that was a rental contract with advantageous conditions and a proof of having paid the debt with his landlady, knowing its falsity.


Click here to read the complete article.



14 January 2022


Criminal conviction of a bank involved in money laundering in Spain 


Click here to read the commentary on the judgment of the Audiencia Nacional (Criminal Division) No. 14/2020, dated June 30, 2020.




12 November 2021


Liability of partners / directors in a private partnership


You can download our article in the following link, in which we analyse the civil liability of partners / directors in a private partnership (sociedad civil), with particular reference to the debt-recovery procedure against a partnership and the possibility of extending the civil action to include the partners as defendants:


Liability of partners and directors in a[...]
Documento Adobe Acrobat [179.3 KB]

23 June 2020

Characteristics of Spanish companies (S.A. and S.L.)



You can download the following chart prepared by Sánchez-Cervera Abogados drawing attention to the main characteristics of Spanish companies (S.A. and S.L.) in a nutshell:

SPANISH COMPANIES SA and SL in a Nutshel[...]
Documento Adobe Acrobat [184.2 KB]

4 March 2020

Criminal Prosecution for Drink-Driving in Spain

Under Spanish Law, driving whilst under the influence of alcohol can be either a criminal offence or an administrative infraction, depending on the circumstances and in particular, the content of alcohol found in the driver’s breath or blood.



Click here to read the complete article.



23 September 2019

A Dutch lawyer has been murdered outside his Amsterdam home



A Dutch lawyer in a major gangland case has been shot dead outside his Amsterdam home - a crime described by police as exceptionally brutal.

Derk Wiersum, 44, was the lawyer for a state witness in a case against members of a violent drug gang, who are accused of five murders between 2015 and 2017.


Click here to read the complete article.

From Sanchez-Cervera Abogados we express our sincere condolences and sympathy to the family of the victim and friends of this colleague and we hope the Dutch justice will take action against the perpetrators of this criminal act.


21 August 2019

The Brazilian Supreme Court authorized the extradition of Spanish citizen convicted of participating in the massacre of five lawyers in Madrid´s Atocha street in 1977


Source: "El País".


Click here to read the complete article.

14 December 2018

There is no money laundering when the prior offence has not been proved sufficiently

Critical comment of Spanish High Court Judgment no. 36/2018 (Criminal Chamber)

On the 18th of October, the Criminal Chamber of the Spanish High Court (Audiencia Nacional) passed the ruling No. 36/2018 acquitting several individuals and companies accused of money laundering offences under articles 301.1º and 302.1º of the Spanish Criminal Code.

Click here to read the complete article.

6 September 2018

The Spanish government approves extraditing former senior officials of the Venezuelan government and former PDVSA executives to the United States


On June 22nd, the Spanish Council of Ministers approved the extradition to the United States of Rafael Ernesto Reiter, former head of security and loss prevention for the Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA. Reiter was demanded by the United States to be tried for his alleged involvement in money laundering, international corruption and organized crime.

Click here to read the complete article.


20 August 2018

The Supreme Court stresses the importance of trading companies implementing compliance programmes to avoid criminal activity in their business


Chamber Two of the Spanish Supreme Court recently handed down Ruling 316/2018 of 28 June, wherein it highlighted the importance of implementing regulatory compliance programmes in trading companies to prevent criminal activity, particularly misappropriation and management fraud.


Click here to read the complete article.



28 May 2018

Switzerland’s move to start a second extradition process for Hervé Falciani


On 5 April, French-Italian computer analyst and former HSBC employee Hervé Daniel Marcel Falciani was arrested in Madrid. He was accused of leaking the names of over 130,000 possible tax evaders, clients of HSBC’s Swiss subsidiary, in a document known as the “Falciani List”. The people named included 659 alleged tax evaders from Spain.


Click here to read the complete article.

12 March 2018


Possibility of appealing the bail amount stipulated in an order to proceed to trial


Article 783.3 of the Spanish Criminal Procedure Law states that an order to proceed to trial cannot be appealed in any way except with regard to the defendant's personal circumstances.

It is therefore indisputable that the decision to begin oral proceedings may not be questioned in any way pertaining to the core of the matter. In contrast, however, the admission of an appeal to do with accessory issues established in an order to proceed to trial is more debatable - in particular when it concerns the establishment of the bail the defendants and vicariously liable parties will be obliged to pay as a precautionary measure to ensure coverage of any future pecuniary liabilities.  

Click here to read the complete article. 


16 January 2018


Fórum Filatélico and Afinsa: over 10 years of litigation


Over the last few years, the Press has spotlighted two major cases of pyramid schemes at national and international level: Afinsa and Fórum Filatélico. Although separate entities, these two companies shared the same modus operandi and both were placed in receivership on 9 May 2006 by order of Central Examining Magistrate’s Court number 5 in Madrid, in what was known as "Operation Atrium”, prior to referral for alleged fraud, money laundering and criminal insolvency.


Click here to read the complete article. 


15 December 2017


Recent criminal convictions against legal entities


Following the reform put into place by Organic Act 5/2010, of 22 June 2010, which introduced into Spanish law the criminal liability of legal entities, the Spanish Courts have ordered various convictions against different legal entities for their participation in criminal activities. 


Click here to read the complete article. 



10 October 2017


Turkey calls on Spain to extradite two dissident journalists


In compliance with an arrest warrant handled by Interpol, Hamza Yalçin, a Turkish-Swedish journalist and writer, was arrested on the 3rd August in Barcelona when he was about to board a plane to London. Following his arrest, the National High Court held him in custody without bail.


Click here to read the complete article.


6 April 2017


Supreme Court Ruling 222/2017 of 29 March: Legal Costs of the Private Prosecution


The Supreme Court upholds an appeal for reversal filed by Sánchez-Cervera Abogados involving the legal costs of the private prosecution.


Click here to read the complete article.


1 March 2017


Moral damages resulting from offences of a patrimonial nature


You can download from the link below an article that deals with the requirements under Spanish law for granting moral damages resulting from offences of a patrimonial nature:


Moral damages resulting from offences of[...]
Documento Adobe Acrobat [504.2 KB]

2 January 2017


Access by the defense to case files declared secret


Having access to the materials of a case to which our client is a party is unquestionably important, including where a case has been declared secret and pre-trial detention has been ordered. Otherwise, the possibilities for defense against such a grave precautionary measure could be seriously undermined...


Click here to read the complete article.



17 October 2016


Extradition: Simultaneous criminal proceedings against different persons for the same events 


In the recent decision of 16 September 2016, the Supreme Court upheld the judgement in a jury trial case issued by section three of the Madrid appeals court and upheld by the Madrid High Court of Justice in which the defendant was convicted of crimes of falsifying public documents and murder.


The criminal investigation began when the person under investigation was extradited to Spain and concluded with a conviction by a jury of the crimes of falsification of public documents and murder. A separate case had been brought months earlier against another person who had been under investigation for the same events. In that case, the defendant was exonerated.


In their appeal for reversal, the defendant’s legal counsel argued that their client had not been included as a defendant in the previous proceedings against the other accused who was ultimately exonerated, arguing that the outcome should have been the same for his client, that is, that he should have been acquitted.


One of the most relevant points of this supreme court ruling can be found in the affirmation that “There is no constitutional right that guarantees the same outcome for all defendants charged in a case by the office of the public prosecutor."


The high court emphasises another important point when it affirms that: "a criminal investigation that begins when a suspect is extradited to Spain can be conducted at the same time as a separate criminal case in which the presiding judge has already committed the case for trial but the oral proceedings have not yet begun”. 


What is important about this ruling, therefore, is the fact that it allows for legal proceedings to be initiated simultaneously with other proceedings previously brought against a different accused party for the same events, if the first case has already been committed for trial and the accused is awaiting trial. 


The full text of the ruling is available here.



15 September 2016


Judgement declaring the minimum interest rate clause of a loan agreement null and void


Sánchez-Cervera Abogados has successfully represented a client in a lawsuit against a financial entity (today part of Liberbank) requesting the Courts to declare the so-called “mortgage-floor clause” of the client`s home-loan agreement null and void. This clause established a minimum yearly interest rate of 4 per cent (much higher -at current rates- than the agreed variable rate of Euribor plus 1.5 points). In a ruling on 19 September 2016, the Civil Court no. 7 of Guadalajara fully allowed the claim and ordered the financial entity to reimburse the client all amounts paid in excess of the agreed variable rate with retroactive effects since 9 May 2013 (the date of the famous judgement of the Spanish Supreme Court declaring the nullity of similar clauses). The defendant is also ordered to pay interest and the legal expenses of the claimant. Click here to download the judgement (in Spanish):



Sentencia cláusula suelo.pdf
Documento Adobe Acrobat [615.2 KB]


7 April 2016

The ECHR again finds against Spain for refusing the accused a hearing in an appeal


On the 29th of March of 2016 the European Court issued a judgment against Spain considering that the Spanish Courts did not held a fair trial because they did not hold a public hearing before convicting the defendant at second instance after he had been acquitted at first instance.


The European Court condemned Spain in the past for the same reason, as this judgements violated the European Convention on Human Rights, and the right to a second criminal hearing recognized in international covenants.


You can read here the judicial decision.




27 March 2016

The Supreme Court pronounces for the first time on the criminal liability of legal persons.


The Criminal Division of the Supreme Court has confirmed the sentence imposed by the National High Court on three companies for their participation in public health offences. These companies face stiff fines and two of them shall be wound-up.


The points of law detail the requirements for the legal person to be criminally liable, pursuant to Article 31 bis of Spanish Criminal Law, with the first requirement being that there must be proof of an offence committed by a physical person who forms part of the legal person (in this case, de facto and de iure directors) and, furthermore, that the company has failed in its obligation to establish crime-prevention vigilance and control measures.


This Sentence establishes that the core of the responsibility of the legal person in this case "is none other than the absence of the appropriate control measures to prevent the commission of offences". 


This Sentence makes clear, for the first time, the importance of implementing a crime-prevention system adapted to the specific activity of the company.


Click here for the full Sentence.



15 February 2016


Circular 1/2016 of the Public Prosecutor’s Office on the criminal liability of legal persons.


The State Public Prosecutor’s Office gives a detailed analysis of some essential aspects of the recently reformed Code of Criminal Law and offers an interpretation which is essential to the correct interpretation of the regime established under Article 31 bis of Criminal Law.


Click here for the Public Prosecutor’s Circular of 22 January 2016.



15 July 2015


Criminal Code reformed under Basic Law 1/2015, of 30 March: Main changes


Basic Law 1/2015, which introduced the modifications to the Criminal Code, which entered into force on 1 July 2015, was published in the Official State Gazette on 31 March 2015.


One of the main changes introduced under this reform is "permanent reviewable prison", which has generated a certain amount of social and political controversy.


It also defines new crimes under Spanish law, such as the new offence of the illegal funding of political parties.


It also eliminates misdemeanours, some of which will henceforth be called “minor offences”, abolishing other criminal offences, which will in the future fall under civil or administrative law.


The reform also stiffens sentences for certain offences and modifies other fundamental aspects of the general area of Criminal Law, such as suspended prison sentences, giving greater discretion to judges in this area.


It brings in an important change affecting business, specifically with respect to the criminal liability of legal persons, bringing crime prevention or “compliance” programmes to the fore.


(See our section on “Compliance”).


Finally, there are new regulations regarding the concealment of assets and criminal bankruptcy, and modifications to other white-collar crimes, such as criminal mismanagement and business corruption.



9 June 2014


Sentence for the use of false commercial documents 


Sánchez-Cervera Abogados brought a private prosecution for an offence of falsehood in a company document committed by the Chairman of a company to the prejudice of one of its employees.


The accused, the Chairman of a limited liability company in the communications sector, held a meeting in which he appointed our client as a member of the Board of Directors of the company and filed the appointment in the Companies Registry, without the knowledge or consent of that person.


As a consequence, the Social Security authorities opened proceedings against our client for joint and several responsibility for the Social Security debts of the company.


The Sentence considered the accused to have committed the offence of falsehood in a company document committed by an individual, under Article 392 of the Code of Criminal Law, sentencing him to 6 months’ imprisonment and the payment of costs.


The appointment of our client as a member of the Board of Directors of the company was declared null and void and the company was ordered to inform the Companies Registry for the corresponding registry entry to be cancelled.


To read the complete Sentence, click on the link below:


Documento Adobe Acrobat [1.4 MB]

13 december 2013


Sánchez-Cervera Abogados collaborates with Nine Lives Media (Manchester UK) in the production of a documentary about crime in Spain


Sánchez-Cervera Abogados collaborates with Nine Lives Media (Manchester UK) in the production of a documentary about crime in Spain

Nine Lives Media publicly thanks Sánchez-Cervera Abogados through Facebook and Twitter for their support in the production of a documentary:


5 november 2013


Acquittal in two cases of sexual assault


During 2013 our law firm has been engaged in two cases of sexual crimes, representing the males accused of sexual assault and grievous bodily harm.


The first case started due to a complaint filed with the police by a 16 year old minor who accused our client to have used violence and intimidation to have sexual encounters with her. The client denied ever having had physical contact with the minor, stating that the only contact had been virtual –through social media- and not intimidating for the minor.


The thorough criminal investigation lasted for approximately one year and included the declaration of several witnesses, the examination of the places where the assaults had theoretically taken place, investigation of telephone lines, computers, identification parade, and others.


The criminal investigation Court finally decided to stay the proceedings, as the evidence confirmed the statement of our client, who was acquitted free of all charges without having need to stand trial.


In a second case, which dates from 2010, our client had been identified by a woman in a supermarket as the person who sexually assaulted her in the year 2005. Our client denied knowing the victim and from the beginning the facts pointed towards a mistake in the identification of the suspect.


The criminal investigation court, nevertheless, following the public prosecutor’s advice, decided to put the suspect in custody. Our law firm was engaged when the client was already in prison.


After one month of preventive custody the High Court of Madrid ordered the release of the suspect, who then had to suffer an investigation that lasted more than two years, until the trial was held before the summer of 2013. Abundant evidence was provided that supported our client’s lack of relationship whatsoever with the facts under investigation.


In September 2013 the High Court rendered its judgement, acquitting the client due to the lack of evidence of his participation in the criminal act. The decision of the High Court is final.




11 april 2013


Sánchez-Cervera Abogados successfully represents the shareholders and management of a company which filed for insolvency, accused of fraud by two of the company’s suppliers


In a decision of 19 March 2013, the High Court of Madrid granted the appeals filed by our law firm on behalf of the company’s main shareholder and management and ordered the stay of the criminal proceedings.


The criminal complaint had been filed by two wholesale suppliers of electronic goods who alleged that our client had been purchasing goods during several months without informing the sellers of its critical financial situation, which eventually lead to insolvency, leaving unpaid bills to the amount of several hundred thousand Euros.


The reason behind the decision is that, as was highlighted in the appeals, the complainants did have knowledge of the purchaser’s difficult financial situation, as the purchaser had already breached the payment terms agreed with said suppliers on several occasions, with outstanding debts dating back to more than a year. In fact, the suppliers were also aware of the fact that the purchaser had been included in a debtors blacklist. With this information in their possession, they voluntarily chose to continue supplying goods to the struggling company. The Court considered that there had been no false representation in order to obtain credit or property.


Moreover, the proceedings also found that the suppliers had enjoyed a lasting commercial relationship with the company later declared insolvent. In the past, the company had always fulfilled its payment obligations, but in the most severe years of economic crisis it started showing signs of inability to meet its credit obligations (following the bankruptcy of several of its clients), a fact that, in the opinion of the High Court, also pointed towards the absence ofmens rea in the performance of the company’s management.


The decision of the High Court is final.



18 October 2012


Master in Legal-Financial translation at Comillas Pontifical University starts this week


This week marks the beginning of the new Master in Legal-Financial translation at Comillas Pontifical University. It is a postgraduate program that offers advanced training in the methodology and practice of translating highly specialized texts.


Eduardo Sánchez-Cervera is a faculty member for the Master, and will be responsible of teaching two courses: “Fundamentals of business organization and operation” and “Theory and practice of translation in the criminal law field”.


Sánchez-Cervera Abogados carries on its enduring relationship with Spanish universities.


For more information about the Master, click here



25 September 2012


Recovery of a private jet seized by authorities

Sánchez-Cervera Abogados represent a USA corporation, owner of a private jet which had been seized by Spanish authorities in relation to drug trafficking charges.


The jet had been leased to third parties who allegedly made illicit use of it. After being held for several months at a Spanish airport, judicial authorities authorized the restitution of the jet to its owner until a final judgment is pronounced in the ongoing criminal proceedings.


Over the last few months, Sánchez-Cervera Abogados has advised the owners and their insurance company on various practical matters, such as the securing of authorizations to carry out maintenance operations on the aircraft while it was being held, the removal and delivery of the flight recorders and their subsequent analysis by judicially appointed experts, the payment of airport fees, flight permits and other aspects.


In the photo, Eduardo and Belén Sánchez-Cervera with the flight recorders, recovered after being analyzed by experts.


25 August 2012


English Legal Methods, University of Cambridge


Eduardo Sánchez-Cervera attends the prestigious English Legal Methods (ELM) Summer Course at the University of Cambridge  held between July 9th and August 3rd 2012. Mr. Sánchez-Cervera was awarded a grant by the Madrid Bar Association (ICAM).


The course, which has been taking place since 1948, extends over four weeks, and contains morning lectures from Monday to Saturday, given by distinguished law academics and professionals of the United Kingdom.


In the afternoons, Mr. Sánchez-Cervera attended a specific seminar on Criminal Law directed by Professor Graham Virgo one of the most prominent experts on this field.


Group photo taken in Selwyin College , where the assistants to the course were accommodated.


Click here for more information about the English Legal Methods course.


Here, Eduardo Sánchez-Cervera receives his certificate from the course director Doctor Roderick Munday , Fellow and Director of Studies in Law at Peterhouse College.



Copyright © 2024 SÁNCHEZ-CERVERA ABOGADOS, S.L. CIF: B87461513 Telf.: (+34) 91 411 48 78 / Fax: (+34) 91 411 50 23. E-mail:

Office: C/ General Oráa, 26 (Madrid - 28006).

Recorded in the Madrid Companies Register in volume 34.303, of the 8th Section, sheet 131, page number M-617104.