Tell me more about Gunnercooke!


What is Gunnercooke? Very often I get asked this question by clients and contacts. They have heard that we are a diffent law firm to the standard, traditional and rigid law firms. However they do not know what makes the difference between us and other law firms.

See above an interesting video made by The Telegraph on our law firm Gunnercooke LLP which explains the ethos of the firm. It summarises quite well who we are, what we do and what we are aiming to achieve. You will note that our priority is client service. We believe that by focusing on clients, the rest (the financials, the success, the reputation) will follow eventually.

Interestingly, Gunnercooke LLP celebrated its annual symposium last week in Oxford where around 100 plus lawyers gathered to talk about the trajectory of the firm and listened to excellent speakers who talked about various subjects from business development to client quality service and even how to be happy! It was a good opportunity for lawyers from different departments to talk about what they are doing and the future of the legal profession.


It was also positive for us, the Spanish lawyers at Gunnercooke, to discuss burning subjects of today with other lawyers such as Brexit, the economy and how this could affect our clients and their interest in Spain.

A wonderful and enriching experience that we are eager to repeat next year. Specially in such a historic (and magical!) place as the Oxford College!!






Antonio Guillén and Claudia Font, Spanish lawyers at Gunnercooke LLP, at the annual Gala at the Oxford College.

People walk over Westminster Bridge wrapped in Union flags, towards the Queen Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) and The Houses of Parliament in central London on June 26, 2016. Britain's opposition Labour party plunged into turmoil Sunday and the prospect of Scottish independence drew closer, ahead of a showdown with EU leaders over the country's seismic vote to leave the bloc. Two days after Prime Minister David Cameron resigned over his failure to keep Britain in the European Union, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faced a revolt by his lawmakers who called for him, too, to quit. / AFP / Odd ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)



How would it affect British people who own properties in Spain? And those who are in the process of buying them?

It is too early to know what is going to happen but the more immediate effect is the depreciation of the sterling pound. If you already own property in Spain then no need to panic and as the old saying states: Keep calm and carry on!

If you are planning to buy a property in Spain or have fallen in love with a specific villa and do not want to wait until there is more certainty about the future of the UK in the European Union, you can compensate the depreciation of the sterling pound with some measures. Below you will see some examples:

  1. You could offer to pay the purchase price in Sterling pound. This may prove interesting for the seller, especially if it is a British seller (something not that unusual these days). By doing this you will not be exposed to the depreciation of the pound and you will not pay a higher price for the property in Spain.
  2. If the above is not possible, you should then use a foreign currency broker who will be able to buy the Euro for a more favourable rate than the one offered by your High Street bank. Unless you are a High Net Worth Individual who has the privilege of having a bank account with a private bank, in which case you may get a similar rate to the one offered by a Foreign Currency broker.
  3. Finally, the economy in Spain and in the UK are not that stable. Use this point to negotiate a reduction in the price. In spite of an increase in property demand in certain areas of Spain, the property market is still far from recovered and the current economic and political uncertainty could help to get a substantial reduction in the price that could compensate the money that you may lose with the depreciation of the sterling pound.

These are just a few recommendations. Obviously, don´t forget to instruct an independent lawyer for your purchase. Whether is Antonio Guillen and Claudia Font at Gunnercooke LLP (or another lawyer) do not make the mistake of using a lawyer recommended by an estate agent or the seller because that could lead to a conflict of interest and eventually to a problem.



3rd Edition of Spanish Festival


Festejar 2016








From left to right: Virginia Moreno, Claudia Font, Jesus Torre, Mariluz Simal, Antonio Guillén and Angel Miguelez.

The Spanish Desk from Gunnercooke attended last night the opening of the FESTEJAR festival in Manchester. It is the third edition of a Spanish festival in which, for four days (from the 1st the the 4th of September), visitors will be able to enjoy live music, food and drinks with the greatest “Iberian” atmosphere.

The festival brands itself as one with a “Spanish soul with a Manchester heart”, and we could not agree more.

As Antonio Guillen, Honorary Consul for Spain in Manchester, stated, he “really enjoyed the two previous editions of the festival, where Spanish food, music and drinks took over Albert’s square in a very civilised, tolerant and vibrant event”.

The festival gives us all the opportunity to check the good relations that exist between British and Spanish people, in such an international city as Manchester.

Giving the atmosphere that surrounded the opening last night, there is no doubt that the third edition is going to be probably even better than the two previous ones.

If possible, clear your schedule for this weekend and join us at FESTEJAR!

How to apply for British citizenship

British citizenship







This Article is in Spanish because it is mainly for those Spanish nationals who are considering applying for British citizenship. Should you require information in English please contact us on

A la vista de varias consultas hechas recientemente sobre la posibilidad de pedir la ciudadanía británica, y de los nuevos acontecimientos políticos, dejo aquí 4 pinceladas, por si os son de interés.

Los españoles que llevan 5 años residiendo en Reino Unido (o 3 si están casados con un nacional británico) pueden pedir el certificado de residencia británico y al cabo de 12 meses aplicar para la ciudadanía. Si lleváis 6 años, lo podéis hacer al mismo tiempo.

Son una serie de trámites para lo que NO es necesario abogado, si bien muchos de vosotros preferís contratar a alguien pues los trámites, aunque no muy complicados, siempre son un tanto pesados.

Si lo queréis pedir vosotros directamente, encontraréis toda la información en este link

Los costes para pedirlo (aún haciéndolo directamente vosotros) son aproximadamente los siguientes:

Certificación de residencia permanente en el Home Office: actualmente unos £65.

Costes para la solicitud de la ciudadanía, al Gobierno Británico: £1,236.

Registro de datos biométricos: actualmente unos £19.20.

En caso de que queráis hacerlo a través de abogado, desde el Spanish Desk en gunnercooke estaremos encantados de haceros un presupuesto.

Necesitaremos en primer lugar pediros una serie de datos, a parte de los personales de contacto, tales como fecha de entrada, estancias fuera del país, si tenéis algún certificado que acredite vuestro nivel de inglés, entre otros.

Estaremos encantados de asistiros en estos trámites.

Espero que os sea útil este post.

Antonio Guillén & Claudia Font

Gunnercooke LLP

From Mexico to Manchester


I would like to thank Beatriz Huitron for the post placed in the blog of the Spanish University CEU in Valencia detailing her work experiences in the Spanish department of Gunnercooke LLP.

Best wishes to Beatriz and all the best in her future endeavours as a lawyer wherever she ends up landing as the world will be full of opportunities for a Mexican national with experience in Mexico, Spain and the UK.


See original post below.

De México a Manchester con parada en Madrid y Moncada: la experiencia internacional de Beatriz Huitrón


Beatriz Huitrón, alumna de Derecho y del Título Especialista en Derecho Internacional y Europeo de la CEU-UCH, en Manchester

“Mi nombre es Beatriz Huitrón, de nacionalidad mexicana y alumna de tercer año del grado en Derecho y Título de Especialista en Derecho Internacional y Europeo.

Tras un Erasmus que realicé el año pasado en Madrid, por parte de mi anterior Universidad “Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus Santa Fe”, mi vida profesional y personal cambió por completo. En consecuencia, tomé la decisión de concluir mis estudios en la Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera, España.

Elegí el CEU de Valencia porque me parece que es una pequeña ciudad con mucha calidad de vida y tras venir de una ciudad (Ciudad de México) con más de 5 millones de habitantes, hoy me es grato poder estar aquí.

Durante mi estancia de estudios en Madrid realice tres meses de prácticas profesionales en la Embajada de México. Estuve laborando en el área de visados de la Sección Consular. La sección consular es el área administrativa que ofrece un Estado en el exterior, con el objetivo de proteger los intereses del Estado y sus nacionales, así como prestar ayuda a estos. Mi labor, en el área de visados, era entrevistar a extranjeros que querían viajar a México por motivos de negocios, estudios, trabajo, etc. Una vez que eran entrevistadas esas personas tenían que aportar la documentación requerida para que posteriormente se verificara si se cumplía o no con la documentación correspondiente en base a la Ley de Migración Mexicana. Fueron tres meses con mucho enriquecimiento profesional, sin duda aprendí muchísimo. También es importante mencionar, que al inicio de la carrera en Derecho en México, estuve de practicante en la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, gracias a la experiencia en la dependencia fue el motivo por el cual decidí aplicar para unas prácticas en el exterior.

Madrid fue mi primer destino Erasmus, pero no mi primera experiencia internacional. En el 2014 tuve la oportunidad de vivir tres meses en Nueva York, EE.UU., con el objetivo de mejor la lengua inglesa.

Mi última estancia en el extranjero como becaria fue en febrero del presente año en un despacho jurídico en Inglaterra. Gunnercooke es un despacho con sede en Londres y Manchester. Yo tuve la oportunidad de laborar por tres meses en el despacho de Manchester. Las prácticas se desarrollaron en el área civil y consular y trabajaba como asistente del Cónsul Honorario de España en Manchester, Antonio Guillén. Durante este periodo, sin duda, pude aplicar todo lo que he hecho durante mi trayectoria profesional, además de varios conocimientos jurídicos civiles que había aprendido en el curso anterior de la carrera. Los casos que se nos presentaban día con día eran más sobre herencias, compraventas y ventas en España. De esta manera, tanto apliqué como aprendí terminología jurídica civil en inglés y español. Tras la experiencia me pude percatar de lo importante que es hablar inglés. Ahora lo valoro más que nunca y espero en algún futuro poder regresar a Inglaterra, sin duda, fue una excelente oportunidad profesional y personal en mi vida.

Beatriz Huitrón junto a Antonio Guillén, abogado inglés y español y Cónsul Honorario de España en Manchester

Beatriz Huitrón junto a Antonio Guillén, abogado inglés y español y Cónsul Honorario de España en Manchester

Ahora que estoy a un año de concluir un ciclo en mi vida profesional, tengo claro que me encantaría dedicarme al ámbito internacional o financiero. Desde un principio y debido a que tengo conocidos que se encuentran laborando en el área del Derecho Internacional Público, tuve claro que quería conocer más sobre ese ámbito y así es como lo he venido haciendo.

Uno de mis planes a medio plazo y que tengo muchas que suceda es realizar un voluntariado en la India o Tailandia, en apoyo a mujeres en riesgo de exclusión. Me considero una persona que le encanta ayudar a los demás y sería una gran satisfacción para mí poder hacer algo por alguien.

Posteriormente, estaré abierta a cualquier oportunidad que se me presente en la vida, sin embargo, el día que regrese a mi país será para dar lo mejor de todo lo que he aprendido en mía experiencias y de esta manera contribuir para la mejora y crecimiento de mi país.”

¡Muchas gracias por compartir con nosotros tu experiencia, Beatriz! Te deseamos lo mejor en el futuro.


Spanish theme restaurant Tapeo opens in Manchester









The Spanish desk from Gunnercooke LLP attended last night the soft opening of Tapeo Restaurant in Manchester.

Tapeo is the latest Spanish Restaurant to be opened in the busiest area of Manchester City Centre. Fully owned by Spanish owners and managed by couple Nacho Garcia and Natalia Esquerdo, the restaurant has a very high chance of becoming the new place to go for Spanish food in Manchester.

From a legal and business point of view, it is very inspiring to see Spanish theme businesses opening in the City Centre. Tapeo follows the opening of recent Spanish theme restaurants such as La Bandera, Iberica, Lunya and El Gato Negro. Having such a wide variety of Spanish food in town (and with the recent sunnier weather) who longer needs to go to Spain for authentic Spanish food?

See below press release from Manchester Evening News.

Gunnercooke’s Spanish desk grows with another Spanish lawyer







I am glad to inform that Claudia Font has joined our law firm Gunnercooke LLP to form part of the Spanish desk. Claudia is qualified in Spanish law and is registered to practice in both Spain and England. She is originally from Barcelona and will be based in the North West of England helping to consolidate what is probably the largest Spanish desk in the North of England. Myself and Claudia will also travel regularly to London to meet clients in the capital and provide services to UK clients both in the North and the South.

For further information on the team see below.

Gunnercooke LLP                                                   



About Gunnercooke LLP

We are a full service legal firm, and our model is very simple:

  • We comprise solely senior lawyers – every lawyer has minimum 10,000 hours practising experience, and our clients not only benefit from the expertise this brings, but also from the authority it commands
  • We provide certainty and transparency over the cost of our services, providing fixed fee quotes that will never change
  • 95% of our lawyers have spent time in-house or in business, developing a commercial edge to their legal advice

Spanish legal services for individuals

 Gunnercooke LLP is probably the only law firm in the North of England with two qualified Spanish lawyers able to advise individuals in respect of their assets and investments in Spain.

The Spanish desk at Gunnercooke LLP is formed by Antonio Guillen and Claudia Font. Both of them are qualified to practice Spanish law and duly registered with the Law Society of Barcelona, Spain as well as the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority in England and Wales.

Antonio and Claudia are primarily based in the North West but have clients from all around the UK and can therefore advise UK clients regardless of their location. They also hold regular meetings with clients in the South through our London office.

The Spanish legal services provided by the Spanish desk are the following:

  • Sale and purchase of residential properties
  • Will drafting and estate planning
  • Administration of estates
  • Powers of attorney
  • Property disputes and litigation
  • Mortgages
  • Debt negotiation and Insolvency
  • N.I.E. numbers

About the team      

Antonio Guillen
Antonio Guillen


 Antonio Guillen is a dual qualified Spanish lawyer and English solicitor specialized in Spanish civil law, in particular property and probate matters in connection to assets in Spain. He gives regular lectures on Spanish law to UK solicitors, STEP practitioners and Notary Publics and is known as a point of reference for cross border probate matters between UK and Spain. Antonio is also the Honorary Consul for Spain in Manchester and helps the Spanish Consulate and Embassy with certain delegated tasks in respect of Spanish nationals living in the UK.

Claudia Font
Claudia Font

Claudia Font is qualified in Spain, member of the Barcelona Law Society and also authorized by the SRA to practice in England and Wales (Registered European Lawyer) with over 13 years of professional experience. She specializes in civil law (property, family, litigation and corporate law, in connection to matters of Spanish law). She is well experienced with the process of transferring Spanish assets after divorce proceedings with the British and international clients, as well as property and litigation.

Gunnercooke LLP


1 Cornhill London EC3V 3ND 53 King Street Manchester M2 4LQ

T: 03330 143 401

Santa Ana del Monte. A story of successful recovery of deposits paid to an insolvent developer in Spain

Construction site photo




Litigation is never an easy thing.

When I was a trainee lawyer in Spain, my boss, who was a walking enciclopedia and knew every single law in Spain, used to tell me:

“Antonio, it is always better to reach a bad settlement than entering into a long but good case in Court because litigation is, regardless of the outcome, always exhausting and some times frustrating”.

I always followed that advice and tried to settle where possible (provided that the client was happy with the settlement reached, of course) but sometimes a settlement is not possible because there is no intention to settle from the other party or simply because there is no money to settle. This is what happened with a development that I know quite well in Spain. The development was called Santa Ana del Monte in Jumilla and it was supposed to be a very interesting development with nice properties and golf courses until the recession put a halt on the construction and the developer had to file for administration, then eventually after 5 years of failed negotiations, liquidation.

When I say that I know the development quite well is because I had more than 100 clients who instructed me and a barrister litigator that we use in Spain called Emilio Lucas Marin (another very well versed lawyer who receives my admiration) to represent them in the insolvency procedure and try to get their money back. After 5 years of talks, legal writs, claims, appeals and some eventual sleepless nights the developer filed for liquidation and the clients were left with barely no chances to get their deposits back, deposits that ranged from 30,000 Euro to 100,000 Euro. We then explored a possibility that had been explored in only a few cases which consisted of issuing legal proceedings against the bank that had received the deposits. This kind of action could be taken on the basis that Spanish law 57/1968 seemed to state that when a bank receives the payment made by an individual towards the construction of an off-plan property, that bank could be held jointly liable if the developer does not supply a bank guarantee to guarantee the safety of that deposit. This is exactly what happened in Santa Ana del Monte. Purchasers paid their deposits into a bank account of a Spanish bank, the developer used the money and in most of the cases failed to secure the deposits with a bank guarantee. On this basis, we studied the possibility of taking action against the said bank. Other law firms did the same and others opted for issuing legal proceedings against all the banks that had provided bank guarantees for that developer in the past.  We decided to take action solely against whichever bank received the deposit in that particular case and it worked.

3 years down the line we have received more than 20 positive judgments where the Judge has ordered the bank to repay the deposit in full. Very often those judgments also order the bank to pay legal interest and legal costs. In other cases the Judge has been more prudent and not awarded legal fees but generally there is an order for payment of interests attached to the order for full refund.

We still have several clients who are litigating against the bank but looking at the current trend of Judges ruling in favour of the purchaser/client the odds are clearly in favour of the client.

What is the moral of this story? Well, first of all I still believe in the advice given by my first mentor in the legal profession. When dealing with a dispute always try to settle if possible. When this is not possible then litigate but make sure that you have sufficient legal grounds to win. And if by any chance you have paid a deposit for an off plan property and this was never built you may have a case against the bank that received your deposit. If that is your case, speak with a lawyer to see if you have a strong case against that bank as this may be your only chance of getting your money back.

In memory of Miguel Viladés (R.I.P), a superb lawyer and a gentleman who, together with his son Alberto, mentored me and initiated me into the legal profession.



Spanish Festival “Festejar” is back in Manchester







They say second parts are never as good as the first one but there are several examples that prove that saying wrong. The Godfather II was a much better than the first film. The same happened with Empire Strikes Back, Superman II and X-Men II. Hopefully we will be able to say the same about Festejar, the Spanish festival coming this weekend to Manchester for the second time. I am pretty sure that it will be better than last year, which incidentally was quite good.

See below a TV interview with some information on the Festival.