Spanish Lawyers - Make sure you do your reasearch

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08 Jul 2009 00:00 by nickname Star rating. 17 posts Send private message

Hi All,

I am a regular user of the forum and thoought it might be a good idea to share experiences (good and bad) about the lawyers we have used. This way people will have a greater chance of selecting one that will have their interests in mind rather than that of the developers.

Here's my story :

‘Without Prejudice’
I just want to share with you all my experiences I had using Bersal Legal Services, based in Garrucha, Almeria as I would not want anybody else to go through what we did with this or any other company. Of course this is just my experience of this company and they had previously done a good job assisting me in completion on another property but please be sure before giving your instructions to this or any other company that you have made the right decision
- We paid our 3000 Euro reservation fee in early 2006
- We then paid in region of £37k via Bersal shortly after as per the contract requirement.
- We did get a BG eventually after constantly chasing both Bersal and the builder…….of a sort, receiving a PDF copy via email from the builder
- I then got an email from Bersal stating that they would collect the original on my behalf as they were in Spain
- All sorted……………….or so we thought. She never collected it and it disappeared into the BIG HOLE
- We therefore only had the PDF copy and the 3000 Euro reservation fee was not added to the amount guaranteed, again the responsibility of a lawyer
- Even more shocking, the above lawyer only informed me of the fact that they never had my original BG just 24 hours before it was due to expire stating in an email to me……….that ‘as we only had a PDF copy and the fact that it expired the next day it was in fact no use. (Yes they couldn’t even be bothered to speak to me)
- There advise was to accept an extension to the BG with a signed waiver confirming I would not pull out of the purchase
- As the build was already 2 years late, I was obviously not prepared to do this.
- At this stage she stopped returning my calls and even accused me of pestering her. Sorry, perhaps I should have just accepted her negligence!!!
- I then decided to instruct a new lawyer at considerable expense to myself to sort out the mess caused by my first lawyer why I’d already paid 1500 Euros to do the conveyancing / represent me through any problems
- No one would then admit to having my original BG although my new, decent lawyer claimed that the PDF copy of the BG was as good as an original despite Bersal claiming it was not worth the paper it was on. Another mistruth from Bersal
- Bank and builder refused to return our calls
- Bank refused to comply with notarial demand initially…….. but following pressure from my new lawyer  – they did eventually comply – despite using every delaying tactic in the book
- My new lawyer secured a refund using the PDF copy of the BG last month and is now looking at the possibility of suing for my 3000 Euro reservation fee, legal interest and persuing Bersal for what they have refused to refund me for doing half a job at best
Everyone out there should think twice before using this law firm or any other law firm  recommended by an agent before doing your own research.
I am one of lucky ones!!!...............Don’t let the crooks win!


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08 Jul 2009 09:08 by Tish Star rating in Surrey. 833 posts Send private message

Congratulations on getting a positive result on what could have been another sorry tale . Also thank you for sharing your (familiar) experience with the forum. 


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08 Jul 2009 10:43 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 8584 posts Send private message

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Congratulations! Please keep posting about good experiences with lawyers in Spain.... there are many... I assure you. You may go to the Consulates as those lawyers enlisted there speak fluent english and are of course indpendent from developers.

Let´s keep doing the good wave!



Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA



El blog de Maria

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08 Jul 2009 22:26 by kelju Star rating in South Yorkshire . 296 posts Send private message

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Hi Nickname,

How long did it take for your 'New' Lawyer to get your money back from the Bank?


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09 Jul 2009 00:44 by nickname Star rating. 17 posts Send private message

Hi Kelju,

About 6 months from 1st speaking with him to it hitting our account. Would have been less but the bank objected to us not having n original BG to which my lawyer pulled out the legislation that stated a PDF is asgood as an original. Worth every penny of the £2500 I paid to ave someone who actually knew what they were on about!!!


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09 Jul 2009 08:26 by Tish Star rating in Surrey. 833 posts Send private message


Maybe you would/could share the name of your successful Lawyer ?

We recently,  successfully sued our original **** Lawyer and won the case. The Judge condemnded the lawyer for effectively "malpractice".  This same **** lawyer has, in effect, stuck two fingers up at the Judge  by appealing his decision and so we have to wait for another hearing to get our money back  ( if the verdict is upheld!) that we paid them upfront (7,500 euros) for a property that was never built because the illegal building licence was revoked. It just goes to show how little respect this Marbella law firm has for justice in the Courtroom.   .



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09 Jul 2009 09:43 by nickname Star rating. 17 posts Send private message

With pleasure - Ricky Lado of CCJ Lawyers in Cardiff was the successful lawyer - again not cheap but worth every penny.


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09 Jul 2009 11:47 by randolph Star rating. 158 posts Send private message

We used Bersal, 5 years ago,  to buy our villa ( a re-sale we thought it would be safer than an off-plan). This is a short version of our dealings with them. Bersal  is a partnership between a Spanish male abogado and a female English legal advisor.

The date we were given for completion  and the appointment at the Notalry Office fell in July Unfortuanately, due to work commitments  I was unable to accompany my husband . We wanted to buy the villa in both our names and on their advice I gave my husband my passport and a letter giving him the power to sign in my name and off he happily toddled off to Spain for a week ,with my son for company.

At the Notary the deal was all apparently sorted out smoothly. We were lucky enough not to need a mortgage , but the vedor did have a mortgage and a rep. from his bank was there to take payment for the debt.

There was one small outstanding issue - ie on the escritura is said we had 500 sq mts of land - but we had no fences. Bersal were to contact the Land Registry to find out where our boundaries lay.

2 months later we received the escritura - and all seemed fine. There was no mention of any debts being on the property.

At this point we were very pleased and asked them to sort out  a licence for a swimming pool as well.

Approx 6 months later we had an email from Bersal saying they had the pool licence and the details of our boundaries. It would cost us 1000 euros. We said we would collect it and pay him when we went over the next month. No problem. The next month we went off to Spain, got in the pool company to start work, (which they did the next day) and arranged to meet Bersal.

The abogado arrived at our villa, without the licence  saying it had been 'suspended'  but still demanded payment. We refused insisting on getting the licence first. Gosh was he angry and threatening.

Then we had the first of 3 visits from the police because they claimed we did not have a licence for the pool!  THe estate agent we used , Ronald from GOGO estates was an angel. He spoke to the police and the town hall on our behalf and the situation was eased as it seemed the licence was 'on its way'.

We now had given up with Bersal and employed another abogado to find our boundaries. They promptly contacted the Land Registry and discovered the following .

My husband owned half the property

The vendor still owned half the property.

The mortgage of 130000 euros was still outanding.

It seems the loose ends were not tied up...and their negligence had left us in this mess.

The new Abogado was brilliant, but expensive. She explained that it would be  less expensive and less confusing if Bersal put things right. However they refused to deal with us.  We employed the new Abogado  to to deal with Bersal to sort things out.. They did not like the fact that another abogado knew their shortcoming s and behaved very aggresively.

At this point the pool licence was issued and Bersal would not give it to us unless we paid 2000 euros!

We needed the licence as the pool was now built!

The new abogado persuaded us to be realistic and negotiated with Bersal for us to pay £1500 which was paid to the Spanish abogado  in cash. In return we got the licence. It was like paying a ransome! 

THey are hell to deal with.

But they do not treat each other any better. 2 months later we ran into the female partner at the notary office and she berated us for not paying for the licence as we had promised. We told her we had paid, in cash. Her face was a picture. The partner had pocketed it for himself and told her we refused to pay him!!!

SInce then we have severed all ties with Bersal.








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09 Jul 2009 13:36 by 1962 Star rating in Iznalloz. 182 posts Send private message

Question for Maria,

My neighbour and her husband have just been hit with a 4000 euro tax bill on their apartment which they bought as a resale 2 years ago.  This seems to be a regular occurence from other articles I have read on the subject,  how does this happen and why?Surely the professionals involved with the purchase have the knowledge to make sure this does not happen.  From what she has told me they have made out the catastral value (is this the correct term), to be more than any of the properties within this community are actually selling for, and why are the authorities involved not taking into account the falling house prices when calculating these tax payments is this just another way of extorting money from house buyers?

Also Maria, my neighbour's tax bill was first sent to her last year, and because at the moment we have no postal system where we are (we have a box within La Cala post office) she only received the bill 2 weeks ago - they eventuallly sent it to where she works so in that time it had increased from the original 3000 euros to 4000. When I said she could share my post box she told me that official documents were only sent direct to personal addresses (within our community if you don't have a post box you have to go down and sift through an open box at the post office which you have to trust that nobody has taken anything that is not theirs)  and she is upset that within this community we do not have a postal delivery service directly because on the same road other communities are receiving post via the courier on the bike. She has in the past requested that the president get the post delivered to us but to no avail. She is thinking of making a protest to the president and administrator because of the extra 1000 euros added to the bill as she and her husband leave for work daily at 8.30am and most evenings return approx 7.30pm hence not being able to go and check for mail. Any help re both queries would be much appreciated.

Many regards , and thankyou I always read your advice



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09 Jul 2009 14:46 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 8584 posts Send private message

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Well.. I am afraid I would just advise her to pay the bill and secrure things for this not happen again in the future. Do you have now postal services?

We offer that postal service ( act as receiver to some of our clients). If you need it, just let us know.

Best regards,



This message was last edited by mariadecastro on 09/07/2009.


Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA



El blog de Maria

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27 Jul 2009 01:10 by nickname Star rating. 17 posts Send private message

Just wanted tp keep this thread at the top of the 'lawyers section' so people can make sure they are making the right choice when choosing someone to represent them!!!! vigilant, they're are some real crooks out there!!!

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02 Sep 2009 11:13 by Niguel Star rating in Surrey & Pueblo Blan.... 3 posts Send private message

We have recently bought inland from Malaga and used Marbella Solicitors in Malaga after seeing the link on these pages. 

We were looked after by Jose Lopez Avalos and also his colleague Eduardo Perez..From the outset the service was first class. E-mails were responded to very quickly and we were kept updated with developments. They have also helped with our NIE, taxes and utilities and have made everything go so smoothly. Their pricing structure is quite reasonable for the amount of work they did for us and we were completely satisfied with the service.

Thanks to Jose, Eduardo and to eye On Spain for advertising them.




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02 Sep 2009 11:25 by Tish Star rating in Surrey. 833 posts Send private message

Great to hear positive feedback about a Law firm. Thanks Niguel!

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02 Sep 2009 15:41 by belucky358 Star rating in North Yorkshire. 182 posts Send private message

Hi everybody,

I'm a regular reader of EOS but this is my first contribution so please bear with me.

Basically I am one of the unfortunate buyers of AIFOS property since 2004 and I would like to name and shame the Spanish Lawyer who should have dealt with our business but obviously failed miserably.

However after reading the forum rules I believe that this is not possible ?

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02 Sep 2009 15:58 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 8584 posts Send private message

mariadecastro´s avatar


A toast for you and your lawyers from here.




Maria L. de Castro, JD, MA



El blog de Maria

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05 Sep 2009 15:49 by belucky358 Star rating in North Yorkshire. 182 posts Send private message

Has anyone had any dealings with the law firm called  MATA & HERMOSO ABOGADOS in Malaga ?

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