Limitation Periods in the Spanish Legal System: Overview

Published in Thomson Reuters

A Practice Note providing an overview of the law of limitation in the Spanish legal system

Limitation periods are the first thing on a legal practitioner’s mind when faced with a claim that may lead to litigation or that is pending before a court or tribunal. From a claimant’s perspective, the lapse of the relevant limitation period may result in a court or tribunal dismissing the claim, which means no action can be brought on it. Counsel should ensure that a claim is brought within the limitation period, or that the limitation period stops running or is suspended (or extended if possible) to accommodate the claim, if necessary. From a defendant’s perspective, a claim barred by limitation may lead to its dismissal and therefore counsel may need to expressly raise it in their statement of defence. Counsel from both sides need to be aware that disputes with regard to limitation periods often give rise to satellite litigation and delay the primary proceedings.

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