Spanish Lawyer still has 5000 euros of mine

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18 Feb 2016 00:35 by Romsdale Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

Two years ago I hired Mr. D. Manuel Mateo Durán to help me sell my property in Spain. To cut a long story short, I sent them 19000 euros to cover fees and mortgage shortfall, this was 2000-5000 more than needed, but they said they needed the extra in case other bills/charges came to light. After 18 months, I asked if the could make their final calculation, and send me back the overpayment - 12 moths later, I've emailed over 40 times, called over 20 times - I'm just being fobbed off or ignored. 


If nothg else - I would recommend everyone avoid these con artists:

Gestoria Duran

Avda. El Albir nº 35 
El Albir
03581 Alfaz del Pi (Alicante) 




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18 Feb 2016 08:44 by acer Star rating. 1415 posts Send private message

You are not alone, this seems almost standard practice in Spain, but you seem to have been stung more than most. 

The system seems to be is that they ask for a Power of Attorney to handle all the peripheral functions in the purchase for you, give you a verbal estimate of the various costs and ask for this to be paid in cash to them.  The estimate is always based on the maximum possible, so there is always cash owed to you.

But they never provide a statement of the actual costs and waffle away and delay in the edxpectation that you'll give up.  This is more that unprofessional it's effectively fraud, but standards are different in Spain.

Banks will also try to unreasonably profit from a conveyance with obscene charges for their services in issuing a cheque which these days has to be drawn on a Spanish bank. 

You can ask for proper estimates from solicitors and banks but even then they are always vague and never in writing so may not make any difference.

Thankfully this is not a regularly occurring situation.


Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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18 Feb 2016 10:38 by ads Star rating. 4023 posts Send private message

This surely needs to be reported back to the Bar Association doesn't it? If there is a pattern of malpractice occurring then every occurence needs to be reported otherwise how can a pattern ever be identified?

I wonder if Maria would be kind enough to identify the Bar Association address for the Alicante region for you, if she considers this an effective way forward?

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18 Feb 2016 11:03 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

Asking for AND COMPLETING the complaint's form would probably work pretty well too.

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18 Feb 2016 11:04 by Romsdale Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

Thank you everyone for your kind posts and messages of support..

I will continue to fight for what i am owed.

Ive just sent the following email to Mr Duran:


Mr Duran,

It is clear you are either incapable or reluctant to calculate the monies you owe me, so i have done it:

Difference between money sent

and needed                                                     1780 euros

Tax reclaimed (or not, but should have been)                                                    3500 euros

Your fee (refunded because your service has been less than acceptable)        500 euros   

Compensation for the distress caused by your incompetence                           500 euros (so far, this figure is likely to           increase)


                                                                                         Total                           6280


You have my account details, so can you ensure payment is made in the next 7 days please.



Ill keep you posted. I would be happy to report it to the Bar Association, if someone can guild me to the correct address. I am shocked to hear that it may be common pratice, and something needs to be done.   




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18 Feb 2016 11:11 by acer Star rating. 1415 posts Send private message

I went to the Bar Association on a similar case, it involved poor service and an absence of a statement to find that the female involved in Mazarron was not even a solicitor.  For this reason the Bar Association were not interested, even though she was masquerading as a solicitor.

Personally I think you just have to accept that standards are different.  I've since identified a reasonable solicitor who is actually qualified to call himself such. 

In fairness, the charges in Spain are generally less than UK, so perhaps it's overly optimistic to expect the same level of service and transparency.

Don't argue with an idiot, he will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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18 Feb 2016 11:15 by Romsdale Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

Thank you. I take your point, but it appears this is common pratice, and frankly fraud - regardsless of the fee paid, they shouldnt commit frad !!!

Regards Martin

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18 Feb 2016 11:57 by ads Star rating. 4023 posts Send private message

All forms of fraud relating to the legal profession need to be reported and it's equally essential that the Bar Associations take action where applicable, otherwise perhaps there will be questions asked of the effectiveness of the Bar Associations themselves. 

Transparency and accountability is all in this scenario if the legal profession are ever to eradicate those within their comminity that do such great harm to not only innocent victims but to their profession and Spain. 

You have to make a start somewhere to address this issue and the starting point is to follow a complaint procedure is it not, otherwise how will this malpractice ever be eradicated? 

But its equally important to stress that the Bar Associations need to step up to the mark in this regard if trust in the complaints procedure and accountability can ever be accomplished. 

Protectionism in this scenario will do untold damage to the legal profession and has the potential to sadly undermine good works that some in their profession are accomplishing.

Surely it's in everyone's interests to put in motion the steps required to gain accountability....and the first step is to make the complaint is it not?

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18 Feb 2016 13:14 by Romsdale Star rating. 4 posts Send private message

Hi Everyone,

It becomes even more fustrating when I look back at the many email threads I have had with them, this one sums up perfectly with what im dealing with:

good morning,


I talk again with Manuel today and answer you. I have see your emails but is frustrating that I cannot find all your files, now after looking in a storage room I find more files. I have work with 2 different girls and they have not file correctly. So pls understand, I now your frustation.





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27 Feb 2016 17:18 by fazarelli Star rating. 282 posts Send private message

Just out of interest, how would one check the validity of a lawyer/solicitor in Spain? Is there a list of law firms or solicitors that is publicly available?



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27 Feb 2016 18:03 by johnzx Star rating in Spain. 5247 posts Send private message

Fazarelli,  I know there is a professional association for lawyers in Spain as I was taken to one of their offices by a Spanish friend several years ago. Try Googling " http://colegio de abogados andalucia (or show whichever province you require) ..

  However, just like the Law Society in UK,  I believe it too is supported, comprises of and is financed by lawyers , so will be just as useless when it comes to assisting clients as the Law Society is in UK, which is a club to protect their own.  I say that as a former Met Police liaison officer with them.



This message was last edited by johnzx on 28/02/2016.

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29 Feb 2016 19:15 by fazarelli Star rating. 282 posts Send private message

Thanks John. I actually found it through this link:-

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03 Mar 2016 20:21 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 9337 posts Send private message

Legal Questions? Speak to Maria Direct

Alicante Bar association


Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA



El blog de Maria

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