I want to sue a Spanish company and I'm a UK citizen hence currently an EU citizen. I've been told EU citizens have a right to sue Spanish companies through Spanish courts, whereas non-EU citizens must use their home country's courts.

England leaves the EU in December 2020 and I've been told that Spanish courts may stop accepting cases from UK citizens due to Brexit if I file my case in August/September. I may not have time to file my case this month (July) and the courts close in August due to holidays.

Can anyone provide any guidance regarding this? I've spoken to someone informally and not had any legal advice from a Spanish lawyer.

  • 5
    Since the United Kingdom left the European Union after the 31st of January 2020, you are no longer a European Union citizen as understood by Article 17(1) of the Treaty establishing the European Community. In certain areas covered by the withdrawal agreement, you are being treated as a European Citizen until the end of the transition period. – Mark Johnson Jul 19 '20 at 17:53

I'd recommend using the European Small Claims Procedure if your claim meets the criteria. Your claim needs to be worth less than €5,000 to be eligible.

It's a quick procedure:

  1. You send the relevant claim form to the court that has jurisdiction (this will depend on what your contract with the company says).
  2. Within 14 days, the court sends the claim to the defendant company.
  3. The defendant company then has 30 days to reply, and the court has 14 days to send that reply to you.
  4. Within 30 days of sending the reply to you, the court has to either give judgment, request further details in writing, or convene an oral hearing.

For jurisdiction, if your contract is silent on the matter, file it locally in the UK. It will be quicker for you. Any judgment given by the court under the procedure is enforceable across the EU without any further formalities right through to the end of the Transition Period.

  • Thanks for this, my claim is however over £10k. – PraiseTheBaud Jul 19 '20 at 22:27

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