I am an English solicitor practising on the Costa Blanca in Spain. I read Gill Mather’s article on the archaic practices of Spanish notaries (see [2009] Gazette, 19 November, 11) immediately after returning from a 200-mile round-trip to a notary’s office to execute a deed on behalf of a client to correct an error made by the same notary.

I cannot speak of the working practices of notaries in other European countries, but the notarial profession here is a continual source of frustration and expense both to other professionals and the public at large of all nationalities – including the Spanish.

And it’s not just conveyancing. Other areas of work such as construction, company formations and business start-ups are hamstrung by the prolixity and high costs forced upon the public by the notaries. These are a drag on the economy in general.

Unfortunately, as the notaries’ position and methods are entrenched in Spanish law, it will require action at the highest level to bring about reforms that would reduce costs and increase public confidence in the very systems that should operate for the public’s protection.

Michael Olmer, Link Point Legal & Business Services, Alicante, Spain