Lawyers Indemnity Insurance

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Anonymous Anonymous 8 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #54088
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    W e have had very serious problems with our Spanish Lawyer who instead of signing the contracts for 2 off plan front line golf apartments in 2005 he made a MISTAKE and signed for 2 different ones of much lower value,poor views no front terraces. He admitted his mistake to our lawyers and said he would pay us compensation through his insurance policy eventually in 2007. We lodged a complaint with the Malaga Law Society and since then he refuse to answer any correnspondance with them or lawyers.
    Can anyone offer any advice or help as we are paying a fortune in legal fees and stand to lose our deposits of e90,000 and investment. Everyone quotes check your lawyer has this insurance incase of anything going wrong but there seems no way to access it.

  • #84790
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Spanish practising solicitors are not under any obligation to take out independent professional indemnity insurance whereas practising solicitors in England & Wales must carry a minimum of GBP2m professional indemnity insurance from a list of Law Society approved insurers. The policy wording is wide and there are no get out clauses. Furthermore you can easily make complaints to the Solicitors Regulation Authority – so in UK complaints get results! If you had instructed a dual practising solicitor then you could always take your complaint back to the UK regardless of any jurisdiction clause.

    Spanish practising solicitors pay subscriptions to their Colegio (Law Society) which includes a certain level of professional indemnity insurance. But like everything in Spain you have to ask yourself if it’s worth the paper it’s written on and of course you will probably have to spend a fortune in legal fees bringing a claim before you ever receive any compensation. But in the long run you should also be able to recover all these costs. Somehow I can’t imagine the Malaga Law Society operating like the previous Solicitors Indemnity Fund in the UK and writing cheques! Also I reckon they must be inundated with claims based on all the complaints I hear concerning Spanish lawyers. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who had any success in a complaint/claim with any Spanish Law Society.

    Has your solicitor admitted his mistake in writing to you?
    Do you have documentation between you and the developer/agent showing the apartments your solicitor signed for were not the ones under discussion etc?
    Do you now have new lawyers because you say he admitted his mistake to your lawyers? When did you first become aware of the mistake and what exactly has happened since then?
    Does your solicitor trade on his own name (i.e. sole trader) or is operating as an SL (limited liability) company? – If it’s the former then much easier to pursue for damages!
    Also what is it you want – a refund or compensation?
    Maybe you should also consider naming and shaming this lawyer?

    My advice is to only use dual qualified practising solicitors and always ask for a copy of their professional indemnity insurance policy – that way you will know for sure if they carry separate and independent PI cover. You also need to be aware that not all English solicitors are entitled to practise Spanish law. They may well have registered their presence and have a membership certificate from a Spanish colegio but a membership certificate is not a practising certificate – they are basically registered foreign lawyers.

    I have also observed there seems to be a little bit of sticking together so you need to be sure if you do instruct another solicitor that he will do battle for you against one of his rogue colleagues. I have had a few run in’s with Spanish lawyers (supposedly reputable Marbella firms!) and they always threaten to denounce me to the Malaga Law Society for not respecting their rules and daring to question their practices – ie if you ask them why they did or didn’t do something!!!

  • #84691
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Spanish practising solicitors are not under any obligation to take out independent professional indemnity insurance whereas practising solicitors in England & Wales must carry a minimum of GBP2m professional indemnity insurance from a list of Law Society approved insurers. The policy wording is wide and there are no get out clauses. Furthermore you can easily make complaints to the Solicitors Regulation Authority – so in UK complaints get results! If you had instructed a dual practising solicitor then you could always take your complaint back to the UK regardless of any jurisdiction clause.

    Spanish practising solicitors pay subscriptions to their Colegio (Law Society) which includes a certain level of professional indemnity insurance. But like everything in Spain you have to ask yourself if it’s worth the paper it’s written on and of course you will probably have to spend a fortune in legal fees bringing a claim before you ever receive any compensation. But in the long run you should also be able to recover all these costs. Somehow I can’t imagine the Malaga Law Society operating like the previous Solicitors Indemnity Fund in the UK and writing cheques! Also I reckon they must be inundated with claims based on all the complaints I hear concerning Spanish lawyers. It would be interesting to hear from anyone who had any success in a complaint/claim with any Spanish Law Society.

    Has your solicitor admitted his mistake in writing to you?
    Do you have documentation between you and the developer/agent showing the apartments your solicitor signed for were not the ones under discussion etc?
    Do you now have new lawyers because you say he admitted his mistake to your lawyers? When did you first become aware of the mistake and what exactly has happened since then?
    Does your solicitor trade on his own name (i.e. sole trader) or is operating as an SL (limited liability) company? – If it’s the former then much easier to pursue for damages!
    Also what is it you want – a refund or compensation?
    Maybe you should also consider naming and shaming this lawyer?

    My advice is to only use dual qualified practising solicitors and always ask for a copy of their professional indemnity insurance policy – that way you will know for sure if they carry separate and independent PI cover. You also need to be aware that not all English solicitors are entitled to practise Spanish law. They may well have registered their presence and have a membership certificate from a Spanish colegio but a membership certificate is not a practising certificate – they are basically registered foreign lawyers.

    I have also observed there seems to be a little bit of sticking together so you need to be sure if you do instruct another solicitor that he will do battle for you against one of his rogue colleagues. I have had a few run in’s with Spanish lawyers (supposedly reputable Marbella firms!) and they always threaten to denounce me to the Malaga Law Society for not respecting their rules and daring to question their practices – ie if you ask them why they did or didn’t do something!!!

  • #84791
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Good posting there. One of my clients used a lawyer here in Marbella – no names publically – and she hasnt registered his purchase at the relative registry office. He is over and tomorrow we are going to the notary to try and sort this out, but the sellers lawyer who helped me in all this said his lawyer wasnt registered and caused a lot of problems during the signing.

    The buyers lawyer has been denounced and I have subsequently found out that she is not covered by anything and isnt a member of the college either! Quite unbelievable!! She has been practising for a number of years as well.

    Yes English!

    Anyway, interesting too to see how this pans out. The property bought is in Alicante so Im hoping to avoid a trip up there!!

  • #84693
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    Good posting there. One of my clients used a lawyer here in Marbella – no names publically – and she hasnt registered his purchase at the relative registry office. He is over and tomorrow we are going to the notary to try and sort this out, but the sellers lawyer who helped me in all this said his lawyer wasnt registered and caused a lot of problems during the signing.

    The buyers lawyer has been denounced and I have subsequently found out that she is not covered by anything and isnt a member of the college either! Quite unbelievable!! She has been practising for a number of years as well.

    Yes English!

    Anyway, interesting too to see how this pans out. The property bought is in Alicante so Im hoping to avoid a trip up there!!

  • #85036
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Thanks for the excellent reply and info the Lawyer in question is the owner of one of those reputable Marbella Law companies who deals with two of the biggest Estate Agents in Costa Del Sol. We have been told he has Insurance up to 300,000 to cover any mistakes and he intially agreed to use it to pay us compensation.
    We have kept copies of every correspondance, dates costs since 2002 and can prove our case that we met and agreed with Director of Company in Nov 05 to swap to buy 2 front line golf aparments in La Cala Mijas. We had to chase him up for 3 mths he did not sign contracts until March 06 for 2 wrong apartments. He then lied and lied until we finally received the contracts in July 06 he then was abusive and refused to help. We had no success in 2006 with him or developer until we sent a claim to Law Society but he stop answering them or our Lawyers.
    We visited in March 08 and have new Lawyers as we are being pushed to complete on these rubbish apartments and are trying to get the deposits back. They say that we do have a good case but we are begining to get the impression that Spanish Lawyers however good they are do not go against each other.
    We have been told that we cannot speak out and tell the truth about him as he says he will sue us for Libel which he has threatened to do.. Blackmail….. If we knew how to do it we would do it happily as he deserves to be outed.
    If you can help in any way our famil;y would be in your eternal debt as we have lived with this nightmare for too many years and it caused so much distress.
    I have written to our MEP and anyone else I can think of but everyone says hes in the wrong but we cannot move forward against him.
    Is there anyone who has had success sueing a Spanish Lawyer. Is there a way of blackmailing him to cough up our money. Is there a way to claim against this insurance policy without using Spanish Lawyers?????

  • #85037
    Profile photo of Inez
    Inez
    Participant

    In this case perhaps its wise to get a lawyer from another region. I remember years ago a negligence with a lawyer here in Marbella – no one would do anything!

    Any lawyer privately agreeing with the aspects of the case would not go against another as they would end up being sent to Ceventry!

    Might be worth trying Pablo Iturmendi in Marbella! His father is the notary and he himself is a nightmare to deal with – unless you are his client! Ive seen him screaming and shouting at the buyers lawyer in a completion. Not a pretty sight, but the one I would go to if I needed to.

    Or try a good local lawyer in Alicante for example. Good luck

  • #85038
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Scottie, I have sent you a pm.

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