How do I Find a Genuine Firm?

This is a question I am asked frequently, there is no simple answer. It is a matter of doing your homework, finding out where to look and how to look. The internet has made this easier, the only problem is which sites are genuine and which are not.

 

Firstly, let´s take a look at small claims companies, these are the ones you may be familiar with doing PPI claims. There are many such entities around, they tend to be using the Credit Consumer Act 1974 Section 75 as a way of reclaiming your money. There have been many pop up around the timeshare industry over the years. Many originated around the time that DWVC was in the spotlight and being closed.

 

A general rule is that section 75 can be done by yourself, Google it and the first two items will be Which and Money Saving Expert. The latter is run by Martin Lewis. Another source of help is Citizens Advice, or even your own bank.

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Both these sites explain what the act is and how to go about claiming. Both have an extensive archive of template letters, they are easy to use, replace the markers with your information and the reason for your claim. Generally this will be not receiving the goods or services paid for or promised. Another general claim is the company has disappeared. This particular claim is one I have been involved with in the past, usually from bogus resale companies.

 

If you get a company to do it for you, many will work on a no win no fee basis. But remember when you do have a successful payout it may cost upwards of 40% of your claim.

 

Most legitimate companies will be registered with the Financial Service Authority, some may even be registered with the Ministry of Justice (Claims). These registrations depend on the type of work they do, but obviously they are the ones to investigate further.

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Law firms, this should be the easiest, but how many people have been taken in by slick operations and websites?

 

Genuine Law Firms will be registered with the relevant authorities, in the UK it will be the SRA, these can be checked using Bar Registration Numbers. In Spain I use a website reddeabogados, they have made it a little more difficult to use than I remember. Again use the Bar Association Registration Numbers. All practising lawyers must be registered with their bar association. Using Spain as an example, a lawyer working in Malaga will be registered there, a lawyer in Barcelona will be registered in that city.

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If you are looking to find a lawyer to represent you in another country, a good first stop is the British Consulate for the area the lawyer is in. You can also go to the Embassy or Consulate of the specific country to check. In the world of timeshare doing this just diligence is the most important step you can make. It is the difference between losing thousands or getting the result you wanted.

One reader has sent in a comment which will be of use. There are some European Lawyers that are registered with the UK SRA as “Registered European Lawyers”. You can ask to see their certificate of registration, if they are registered then you can be sure the SRA has checked their qualifications. (See comments for the full version 04/05/16).

 

Inside Timeshare can help begin the process of research, if you have been contacted or are looking to contact any company and wish to know how to check them, we will help. Inside Timeshare can also put you in touch with various companies depending on your problem. We will also offer any advice if you wish to make a section 75 claim, showing where to get any supporting evidence.

 

Remember, do your homework and stay safe from the sharks!


14 Comments

  • Daisy W

    May 3, 2016

    Some European lawyers are also registered with the UK SRA as ‘registered European lawyers’. If they claim to be so registered, ask to see their certificate of registration as evidence. This can assure you that the SRA has checked out the lawyer’s qualifications and is genuine.

    Reply
    • Timeshare Insider

      May 4, 2016

      Thank you very much for this information, it will be useful to the readers. The blog will be updated.

      Reply
      • Julie

        May 31, 2016

        We have just attended an appointment with rsb legal from a cold call. We were trying to cancel our fractional contract , found out about perpetual and reclaim costs due to mis selling sect 75.

        We were not aware of a recent court case. This was on a no win no fee . However everything was going well until we asked about previous cases they had won, lawyers qualifications etc. It was then we started having doubts about this firm. It appeared all they wanted was money upfront to cancel our contract and would not proceed with the breach of contract until we had paid for the cancellation of contract. Luckily while I was in the room I found your website. We felt that it appeared that we were under the same pressure as taking out our timeshare contract!!! We left without paying anything . I am now totally confused what to do and very sceptical about other companies on the Internet. We bought our original holiday points in Spain where the head office is but upgraded to fractional in Cornwall. Having read on Internet do I need an European lawyer, can I do sect 75 myself and how do I go about getting a reputable one. Have looked on sea site but do not list names of lawyers. Please help! Thank you for your warning about rsb

        Reply
        • Timeshare Insider

          June 1, 2016

          Thank you for your comments, an email with some information has been sent to you. It is just fortunate that you found the article in time and have not paid anything. I agree it is an absolute minefield when it comes to timeshare, who to trust is very difficult. It is through articles such as this that you will get the truth.

          Reply
          • Paul Heard

            June 8, 2016

            Hi, do you have any further info on this firm. We have just been to see them with regards to relinquishing our time share. Unfortunately we didnt see this post until having left and parted with more money on the the promise they will relinquish our CLC membership and reclaim all original costs plus the cost of relinquishment.
            Can you confirm if we have been scammed here? If so how does a legally UK registered company get away with this?
            [email protected]

          • Timeshare Insider

            June 8, 2016

            Hi Paul, thanks for your comments. I have sent you a personal email in reply to your question.

  • Jacqui sheriff

    June 3, 2016

    Is cla a genieune firm

    Reply
    • Timeshare Insider

      June 6, 2016

      Yes CLA is a genuine law firm, they have been fighting the timeshare industry for around 7 years. It was their lawyers who secured the first Supreme Court ruling, this is no mean feat, as it is very difficult to get a hearing in Spains highest court. I have sent you a personal reply with more information.

      Reply
  • Suhel Kidwai

    October 25, 2017

    I have been in the similar situation having bought the fractional points from CLC and silly me ended up upgrading the membership this summer!! Now i realise what have i walked intk as whenever i try to book any holiday, there is NEVER any availability and am rudely told that i need to book 24 months in advance!! The sales pitch was a metal torture for more than 5 hours with our 3 young kids away from us, in the end had to give in and signed. Now desperately trying to get out of this contract, relinquish and reclaim my money. Recently tried ECC and went to Malaga to discuss and only to found out that they want more thank £8k to fight the case. Although they said we have case to a compensation of almost £41k but case could go either way but they seemed to be very confident, dont they all anyway?? The strangest thing was that they said that even if we lose the case, we will still be out of the contract which did not make any sense. They said that the fee of >£8k will guarantee that regardless of the outcome of the court case. This only points into one direction that they all are connected! Its all a set up to rip us off. I have paid £21k for my membership and dont want to end my contract WITHOUT reclaiming my cost. I said no to ECC and flew back to UK and back to square 1. If the supreme court ruling in spain is genuine, then are there any GENUINE company/ lawyers out there who could take our case fwd? But has to be on No Win No Fee basis as i cant afford to pay any more money now. Also that way the company will have their interest vested into ours. Any genuine advise or suggestions please?? Thanks

    Reply
    • Timeshare Insider

      October 26, 2017

      I have sent you a full email with all the information on what the law is regarding illegal contract, and what is involved in making a claim through the courts.

      Reply
  • Paul and Susan Dixon

    October 26, 2017

    Hi are ABC lawyers a genuine firm to help us exit our timeshare they have quoted us a fee and have said that this will be covered by compensation they will obtain for us . We are a little wary thankyou

    Reply
  • James

    November 6, 2017

    Be VERY wary, ABC Lawyers are NOT lawyers, so why do they label themselves as Lawyers.
    The company is headed by Mark Richard Thomas Rowe, one of the most notorious characters in the Timeshare/Timeshare Exit industry.

    Reply
  • Alec & Carol

    November 9, 2017

    Hi, my wife and I have recently had a meeting with Fox & James Associates Ltd, arranged through a “Cold Call”. They seemed to explain things pretty well and suggested that a No Win, No Fee claim case was an option as I bought CLC Fractional Ownership through Finance. However, to do this they said that we would need to terminate the contract, which is fine, but at a cost of £5k upfront. To be honest the maintenance fees are increasing, there’s limited availability of accommodation where and when we want it, and there seems to be minimal chance of the sale of the property at the end of term…we’re not so bothered about reclaiming all our money…rather not want to pay out anymore. I’ve spoken with ex-owners who have just relinquished their CLC Points and stated they would not pay anymore maintenance to get out of the contract…is this a viable and legal option?

    Reply
  • Mrs Ailsa Peddie

    October 8, 2019

    My ex husband and I had a meeting with Timeshare exit last night. It took us back to when we had to sign up to Fractional contract to get out of the meeting. He was in my home for 1.5 hrs and had people calling him confirming what he was saying. Seemed a scam and said he would bundle our claim with others so that the Spanish court fee could be shared but he still said we had to pay nearly £7000 up front but we would get our money back! I know we have to go through Spanish courts but according to him they are rubber stamping claims as there are so many.
    How do I get a reputable firm to get our money back. On a no win no fee basis?

    Reply

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