In this paper, we obtain optimal first order error estimates for a fully discrete fractional-step scheme applied to the Navier-Stokes equations. This scheme uses decomposition
of the viscosity in time and finite elements (FE) in space.

In [15], optimal first order error estimates (for velocity and pressure) for the corresponding time-discrete scheme were obtained, using in particular $H^2 \times H^1$ estimates for the approximations of
the velocity and pressure. Now, we use this time-discrete scheme as an auxiliary problem to study
a fully discrete finite element scheme, obtaining optimal first order approximation for velocity and
pressure with respect to the max-norm in time and the $H^1 \times L^2$-norm in space.

The proof of these error estimates are based on three main points: a) provide some new estimates
for the time-discrete scheme (not proved in [15]) which must be now used, b) give a discrete version
of the $H^2 \times H^1$ estimates in FE spaces, using stability in the $W^{1,6} \times L^6$-norm of the FE Stokes
projector, and c) the use of a weight function vanishing at initial time will let to hold the error
estimates without imposing global compatibility for the exact solution.