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The Storm Over Our Heads: The Rendering of Legal Services by Audit Firms in Spain

36 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2000  

Francisco Marcos

IE Law School


The papers dwells on the thorny debate which is nowadays being held in the Spanish legal profession regarding the rendering of legal services by audit firms. Compared with other countries, the debate in Spain has been rather belated, and it is currently at its zenith due to the discussion of new regulatory measures of the legal profession (Estatuto General de la Abogacia) - which would expressly prohibit the joint rendering of legal and audit services by the same firm - and the approval of the so called Olivencia Code on Good Corporate Governance, in which the auditor's duty of independence when certifying the financial statements of Spanish public corporations is stressed.

In this article the different arguments on that debate are analysed, evaluating their soundness. The examination of the different positions gives way to an alternative proposal of regulation which underlines the role of an informed market on disciplining excessive auditors' dependence on their clients. Moreover, the potential conflicts of interests should be prevented by the strict observance and enforcement of the respective professional legal and ethical duties.

Keywords: Spain, MDPs, Audit firms, Law frims, Legal profession, Non-audit services, Independence, Professional services

JEL Classification: K22, K39, K40, L84, M49

Suggested Citation

Marcos, Francisco, The Storm Over Our Heads: The Rendering of Legal Services by Audit Firms in Spain. International Journal of the Legal Professions, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2000. Available at SSRN: or

Francisco Marcos (Contact Author)

IE Law School ( email )

Castellón de la Plana 8
Madrid, Madrid 28006

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