M1 Legal winning on all fronts in September 2022
The leading firm of Spanish timeshare lawyers achieved over $517,357 worth of awards for grateful clients, including a couple from Boston in Lincolnshire who not only escaped their membership, but were awarded more than $50,392 in compensation for illegalities in their contract with timeshare giant\ Onagrup.
Another family from Southport received a 'very welcome' phone call informing them the court had awarded them just under $42,553 for a successful claim against Royal Park Albatros.
A third couple from Poulton-le-Fylde were granted compensation to the tune of just under $38,074 against Costa Del Sol leviathans Club La Costa (Paradise trading SLU).
In all three cases M1 will also be applying for legal fees and simple interest to be paid in addition to the award itself.
Of the total $518,331 in awards this month, $361,789 were against just three resorts.
"CLC, Anfi and Silverpoint issued vast amounts of illegal contracts, and a lot of our work is on behalf of clients who suffered because of these companies," explains Fernando Sansegundo, head of M1 Legal. "But we challenge many other companies too. There were very few timeshare companies operating legally in Spain (and elsewhere) during the last couple of decades."
The cases and victories reported in this article are won in the Spanish courts, although not all CLC cases can be dealt with in Spain.
Like many timeshare companies, CLC has often disguised their activities by invoicing and contracting from multiple different entities in different jurisdictions.
Generally speaking CLC cases are either dealt with in the Spanish courts, or by the UK accountancy firm FRP who are handling the administration of Club La Costa (UK) PLC (including subsidiary companies). M1 Legal has handed over 46 cases (following a detailed legal assessment to determine and qualify the validity of these claims) to the FRP administration in September.
"There is a similar workload for M1 Legal when the case has to go to the UK administration," explains Fernando Sansegundo. "The first thing M1 Legal has to do with any CLC case is to determine the correct route to claim, this is not always so simple to pinpoint as there are many factors that need to be taken into account to determine the correct jurisdiction.
"The next part of the process involves assessing the documentation and identifying where contracts fall foul of the applicable laws, finally a "Proof of Debt" has to be established by way of a Viability Report.
"Contracts, agreements, marketing materials and other documentation have to be collated and reviewed. Applications have to be made for missing evidence necessary for the process.
"Even during the action, the client has to be protected against future liabilities such as maintenance fees. Given the timescales and amounts of money involved,errors would be costly, so M1 works right up until enforcement of the award."
Timeshare companies wrote so many illegal contracts, and for so long that they are now drowning in compensation demands. "Justice in Spain moves slowly," says Sansegundo. "But there is no stopping it when it gathers momentum. The resorts know that they have been living on borrowed time these last twenty years. And now they are being made to pay."
The biggest resorts have been making ingenious but ultimately unsuccessful attempts to avoid meeting their legal and financial obligations towards their victims.
"One thing that may resorts do is to try and hide behind different company names, or even strings of companies," says Fernando. "We always track them down, and each time we do it opens the door for a whole new accumulation of claims.
"This month we have 'lifted the veil' on a prominent Canary Islands resort called La Pinta, proving the connection between them and their 'front' companies. We can now use this evidence for other La Pinta compensation claims.
"We also found a new wayto claim against Sunset Beach, which allows us to proceed with another batch of cases direct with their lawyers."
M1 Legal lawyers do not deal with new enquiries as their skills and time are focussed on dealing with the legal work itself.
Instead the initial approaches are filtered by leading claims firm European Consumer Claims (ECC.)
For a free, no obligation, confidential assessment of your available options for escaping your timeshare membership, get in touch with our team at Timeshare Advice Centre.