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The Return of Taylor Marshall Associates & FCA Involvement

Here at Inside Timeshare, we are always on the lookout for new “claims & exit” companies, but we are also on the lookout for some of the old players which make a comeback. One such company is Taylor Marshall Associates, who have been linked in the past to RSB Legal and Verity Claims. It is not just this company’s past and a past director that gives us cause for concern, it is the fact that the Financial Conduct Authority has given them authorisation for claims management. As you will see from the article it does raise a few questions as to the checks that the FCA makes when granting authorisation, it is obvious that they do not conduct any real checks at all.

Taylor Marshall Associates Ltd, Company Number 09458294, registered at Company House on 25 February 2015. The registered address is:

1st Floor 2 Woodberry Grove Finchley London England N12 0DR

Their website which was registered in 2015 is:

https://taylormarshall.co.uk/

The list of directors past and present are:

Barnaby Walker, appointed 5 January 2018;

Ruth Burbidge, appointed 14 January 2021;

George Micheal Burbidge, Secretary and Director, resigned 5 January 2018;

Mark Putnam, Secretary and Director, resigned 17 & 27 January respectively.

Their FCA Registration Number 838478 and only temporary permission has been granted, this was granted on 1 April 2019, so they must be on what can only be described as “probation”.

It is the past director George Burbidge, which gives great cause for concern especially as Ruth Burbidge is now a director.

George Burbidge was also a director of a claims company which became involved with claims against timeshare and holiday clubs around 8 years ago. Inside Timeshare at the time published many warnings about this company, Verity Claims, as they were targeting members of Designer Way Vacation Club among others.

They soon disappeared in the timeshare world and the next we hear from them is that George Burbidge and David Sperring were convicted of fraud and then jailed. See link below to the Milton Keynes newspaper MK Citizen.

https://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/two-milton-keynes-company-directors-jailed-over-solar-panels-scam-1063946

Although jailed and barred from holding any directorships, it is inconceivable that he does not have any control or influence on the company. After all, is one of the directors Ruth Burbidge, not his wife?

So it seems they are back in the world of timeshare for exits and claims, they appear to be targeting various Facebook Groups by placing adverts and posts, one Fb Group, Diamond Resorts Owners Advocacy, contacted Inside Timeshare as they had a request to join the group. Another Fb Group which we have located another post is the La Cala de Mijas Hangout. Both are closed groups.

Are they fit for purpose?

The post by a Chris Green, who we can only assume is working for them, his Fb page shows no details, photos, friends or posts is as follows:

“Taylor Marshall Associates is an FCA Regulated No-Win No-Fee claims company specialising in timeshare claims for people who own or have owned: Club la Costa, Marriott, Diamond, Anfi, Silverpoint, Palm Oasis, Azure and many more.”

“Please take a look at our page and book an appointment if you would like some help.”

https://www.facebook.com/Taylor-Marshall-Associates-102947828373560/

Now, knowing the past of this company, makes us just wonder how the Financial Conduct Authority has given them authorisation and “Regulated” status as a “Claims Management Company”?

Surely, they must investigate and check the histories of any company before confirming regulated status, if not then why not?

How are the public supposed to trust any company which has FCA Regulated Status?

It seems inconceivable that a company with the history and reputation along with the fact that a director albeit resigned, has been convicted of fraud along with the fact that his wife is also a director has been granted authorisation. A very important question for the FCA to answer.

All this does bring into doubt the integrity of the FCA, it also shows they are not fit for the job as our recent articles about them and Barclays Partner Finance clearly show. (See Link to This is Money article)

Here at Inside Timeshare, we warn all timeshare owners to be cautious if contacted by this company or any company associated with it. We very much doubt if the “leopard has changed its spots”!

Previous articles involving Taylor Marshall Associates

https://insidetimeshare.com/start-the-week-7/

https://insidetimeshare.com/claims-relinquishments-can-trust/

https://insidetimeshare.com/start-the-week-10/

Link to Jeff Prestridge article on the FCA

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/comment/article-9070435/JEFF-PRESTRIDGE-FCA-let-investors.html?fbclid=IwAR3M0bPZrnghdan3Ae5zxaGP17CHfiwYQ5llR0V0ELMTzic-j9XZD_3-72E

Mid Week Court Report

Today we have a look at the latest news to come from the courts and as expected Anfi seems to be the focus of attention. This is not surprising considering their tactics of delaying proceedings with frivolous appeals when they lose in the Court of First Instance, a tactic designed in an attempt to avoid paying what the courts have ordered. Inside Timeshare has published numerous articles on this subject which has also caught the attention of the Provincial Prosecutors Office. The investigation which has been launched may result in criminal charges against Anfi and the Board of Directors, which as we know is in the control of the Cazorla Group. Even though there is an investigation underway, the High Court (appeals) are consistently finding in favour of the clients and confirming the sentences issued by the lower courts.

Even though Anfi is attempting to delay or even avoid paying out when ordered to do so, clients are actually receiving what they are due. This is a result of all the “provisional execution of sentence” actions as soon as the lower courts issue their sentence. This then saves a lot of time once the High Court confirms the original order.

In a case brought by Canarian Legal Alliance on behalf of a German Client, who has now received 34,381€ into their own bank account.

In the original trial at the Court of First Instance Number 1 of San Bartelomé de Tirajana, the judge declared the contract null and void and the return of the full purchase price plus double any amount paid within the statutory cooling-off period.

As usual, Anfi launched an appeal, which delayed proceeding for some considerable time, unfortunately for Anfi, this was just another pointless exercise as the High Court dismissed and rejected the appeal. They confirmed the original order and sent it back for the execution of sentence.

The client’s lawyers have for some time been identifying “potential” sources of income in order to refute the Anfi claim that they have no money to pay out to the clients. The court has now acknowledged that income from all of Anfi’s activities should be made available to reimburse the clients.

This income derives from rental income from all the bars and restaurants, rental income from unsold inventory and fees from their golf course along with other income. In this case, the payment was from the rental income which the court ordered that Anfi declare.

This is obviously a huge blow to Anfi and especially the Cazorla’s, it surely now leaves clients in a much stronger position.

In another case held at the Court of First Instance, Number 4 of SBT, a Norwegian client represented by CLA has had their contract declared null and void with the return of 39,651€ plus legal interest. This award also includes double the amount taken illegally as a deposit within the statutory cooling-off period.

Although the case has been won, it is expected that Anfi will as they always do launch an appeal, well, we can guess with near certainty what the outcome of that appeal will be!

Anfi Take Note!

It is not only CLA which is having this trouble with Anfi, the Independent Timeshare Lawyer Javier Correa is also battling the same problem with these appeals.

Javier Correa

His case was won at the Court of First Instance number 3 of SBT, with this court declaring the contract null and void with the repayment of 35,552€ plus legal interest and legal costs.

The original judgement was made in September 2019 and Anfi immediately launched their appeal with the High Court of Las Palmas. They are still awaiting a date for the appeal hearing, but Javier has already placed a “provisional execution of sentence” order to ensure that time is saved and his client receives what they are entitled to.

We now move to M1 Legal, although they have yet to publish the most recent cases they have published a resume of cases since the end of 2020 to the beginning of this year.

So far they have had seven judgements against Club la Costa via Paradise Trading and Continental Resorts, which are the sales companies involved in the sale of the CLC product.

In total these seven cases have accumulated a massive £164,230 for their clients.

Other cases which were against Silverpoint, Diamond Resorts and Tasolan, a total of £74,260 has been awarded to their clients with all contracts being declared null and void.

M1 Legal has also been very busy with “jurisdictional” cases, as we have reported in the past, many timeshare operators have used UK Limited companies for their sales, which in the past have been rejected by the courts on jurisdictional grounds. The timeshare companies have claimed that their contracts are subject to UK law and the Jurisdiction of UK courts. This has now been soundly rejected by many cases heard in the High Courts.

Out of the eleven cases brought by M1 Legal, one was against Silverpoint, two against Diamond and eight against Club la Costa. In all these “jurisdictional” cases the courts have found in favour of the clients and that Spanish law and courts take precedence and jurisdiction in these cases.

This is yet another blow to the timeshare industry which has sought for years to avoid the laws of the countries they operate in with the use of the jurisdictional clause. Bad news for them but great news for the consumer.

That is all for today, if you have any questions on this or any other article or if you would like to know if you have a valid and viable case against your timeshare company, then please use our contact page and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.

The Tuesday Slot: FCA, BPF and Azure Recap

Following on from yesterday’s article, Inside Timeshare has already received many comments from other members who identify with our story on how they were sold the Azure “timeshare investment weeks”. Their stories are identical to those we have heard from Silverpoint clients, after all, Azure is part of the same group of companies and was the sister company to Silverpoint. What Silverpoint sold in Tenerife was soon put into practice in Malta. This also included the brokering of huge loan agreements through Barclays Partner Finance, again without the “due diligence” of the finance company over the affordability of the loans and repayments.

This is a point which the Financial Conduct Authority who is supposedly charged with “policing” the finance industry and ensuring that consumers are protected are failing miserably. All they see are the loan agreements, they have no clue as to how these agreements are sold and brokered by the very people lying about the product they are selling. The FCA fails to recognise that the sales staff will do and say anything in order to finalise the sale and that includes lying about the loans.

The regulation of credit agreements and consumer protection was originally carried out by the Office of Fair Trading, they relinquished control to the FCA as of 1 April 2014.

The OFT was not a ministerial department and was responsible for the regulation of consumer credit since 1973. When it was closed down it passed the responsibility of its various functions to other organisations and departments with consumer credit going to the FCA.

Unfortunately, the FCA does not appear to be geared up to deal with the complexities of this area of consumer protection. In a recent article published by The Mail on Sunday, This is Money page by Jeff Prestridge, he highlights the many failings of the FCA.

In two telling paragraphs, Jeff states:

“a lack of training for staff whose job is to supervise the firms under the regulator’s watch. Lax processes in place for acting upon complaints brought to its attention by the public or those working in financial services. And staff employed to monitor companies’ marketing material without formal training in how to spot anything suspicious.”

And

“Most damning, it quotes an official working for the regulator’s supervision division who admits:” ‘I don’t believe to the best of my knowledge that there is much training around how to identify financial crime.’

Link to the This is Money article.

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/comment/article-9070435/JEFF-PRESTRIDGE-FCA-let-investors.html?fbclid=IwAR3M0bPZrnghdan3Ae5zxaGP17CHfiwYQ5llR0V0ELMTzic-j9XZD_3-72E

So how are they supposed to protect consumers when their own staff have no idea what they are doing?

Is it just a rubber stamp job?

Now according to the FCA, Azure Services Ltd had been “overlooked” as an “authorised” company for the brokering of loans when they took over on 1 April 2014. If so then the Office of Fair Trading must have had them as “Authorised”, or were they?

How did they find out Azure was not authorised, did they find out themselves or was it that BPF informed them in order to have the loan agreements validated and thereby enforceable in law?

This is obviously something that needs to be investigated, along with how the FCA operates and also a full investigation into Barclays Partner Finance for allowing timeshare sales staff to broker loan agreements for timeshare sales which without the agreements would never be sold.

For all those who have purchased a timeshare with loan agreements know all too well, if it wasn’t for the swift granting of these loans by the sales staff selling the timeshare, they would never have been able to afford it. In most cases, the consumers even explained they couldn’t afford the loan, yet the sales staff lied to them about the repayments and how long the loan was for, many being told it would be for 2 years as the resale would clear the loan!

The one thing which differs from loan agreements for purchases of cars or other items is very simple, you are not required to make a decision at that moment, we all know that timeshare sales are “today and today” only. You are kept “hostage” for many hours until you succumb and sign the agreements.

Even without the usual checks!

Once the FCA recognises the fact that timeshare sales are conducted in a totally different manner to other types of sales, the sooner the practice of timeshare sales staff brokering the loans comes to an end.

It is now down to those who have been “sold” these loan agreements to start a campaign to have these agreements, the FCA and BPF investigated, putting an end to the misery that timeshare sales, BPF and now the FCA have perpetuated.

Having spoken with the moderator of the Azure Malta Action And Support Group, which was originally set up to bring Azure clients with BPF loans together, they have decided to allow any timeshare owner with a BPF loan to join the group. Hopefully bringing more people together and getting something done.

There are certain conditions to joining the group which is a closed group, if you are genuinely interested in joining then contact them via Facebook on this link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1152657598482168

Inside Timeshare is also calling for any members who purchased from Azure with a BPF loan agreement between January 2018 and the end of 2019. This follows some information published in the Financial Times which may put the validity of those loan agreements in doubt.

Please use our contact page for any comments or questions on this or any other article published and Inside Timeshare will get back to you.