Uría drafted in to save the day as Spain tackles Prestige disaster

Last week the government instructed leading Spanish firm and Slaughter & May best friend, Uría & Menéndez, to work out who is prima facie responsible for the disaster. Following the instruction the firm decided to do the work pro bono.

Uría's instruction coincided with a mass demonstration last Monday (24 February) when hundreds of thousands of Spanish citizens took to the streets of Madrid to protest at their government's inaction in dealing with the disaster, which happened last November.

According to the chief executive of the Environ-mental Law Foundation, Paul Stookes, Uría will have a job on its hands deciding where to pursue a claim.

Stookes said that the Prestige was registered in the Bahamas, owned by a Liberian company and managed in Athens. The cargo of oil was being shipped for a Russian company with headquarters in Switzerland.

Uría was engaged for its international connections, as the Spanish government's possible targets for legal action are outside the country.

Rodrigo Uría, the firm's managing partner, said he would be happy to instruct Slaughters to handle any UK aspects of the case.