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The Spanish Lawyer Online
The Spanish Lawyer Online

Antonio Flores’ Blog

Thoughts about laws and regulations which affect foreigners in Spain


Posts Tagged ‘Ramirez and Ramirez Abogados’

Mr Ramirez: A Judge Believes that Calling you a Crook is OK!

March 25th, 2011

It is not for me to say so given that, at the end of the day, I don’t even know the man nor have I ever heard him con anyone over the phone.  It is actually Mr. Manuel Jaen Vallejo, presiding Judge at the Criminal Court in Malaga, who by virtue of a ruling dated the 11th of March 2011 has actually admitted that naming Mr. Mr. Fabian Marcelo Ramirez “swindler” and “crook” is actually not wrong.

The ruling came about in relation to the fight we are waging against legal boiler rooms, also known as recovery rooms, who, far from shying away from the police forces, are seemingly more active than ever (and more desperate as well). Mr. Ramirez, cocky as anyone could get, filed a court case last year against me and two more members of staff accusing us of harming his good name and impeccable reputation through several forums and blog posts.

The Judge has based his ruling on a Malaga Police report (below) that, basically, states that Mr. Ramirez has been arrested 4 times (years 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008), for falsely promising his victims to recover  the moneys lost to many Costa del Sol-based boiler rooms, in exchange of an upfront fee.

Mr. Ramirez, according to the Malaga Police Fraud Group, has operated a succession of companies that were all devoted to scamming mostly British innocent timeshare owners. The Court ruling finds, quite naturally, that it is fully coherent and consistent with the above report to name Mr. Fabian Marcelo Ramirez a conman, and that freedom of expression has to prevail, above any other consideration, given its intense public interest.

I presume further action, by the Malaga Police Forces, is now underway.


Scams , , , , ,

Spanish Boiler Rooms Dealt With By the FSA

February 10th, 2011

It is a measure of how Britain deals with those lawyers that go astray: the BBC reported, back in May 2010, that a lawyer and his firm had been fined £400,000 and banned for life from the financial services industry for helping bogus share-selling boiler rooms based in Spain. The disciplinary action document was published on the FSA website.

This is in stark contrast with the impunity of some Spanish lawyers based in Malaga that still today act for fraud-recovery boiler rooms (I would like to think that unknowingly), lending their names and registration details with the Law Society so that these so-called firms can deluge the United Kingdom, and other EU countries, with thousands of telephone calls, pretending to be genuine lawyers that can recover losses sustained previously by the recipients of the calls, either on failed property investments or to other fraudsters.

Ramirez and Ramirez, run by Fabian Marcelo Ramirez, is probably the leading bogus law firm on the Costa del Sol, and sits comfortably at the top of a myriad of “recovery rooms” that are costing millions to British citizens, mostly. Mr. Ramirez has even the cheek of suing me, criminally, for divulging defamatory comments that “harm his reputation, and that of his professional firm, on the Costa del Sol”, when it is objectively true that he fronted two previous companies, “Fuengirola Servicios 2002” and “Key Property Town Advisory”, accused of massive timeshare fraud and for which he had been arrested, and that he targets hundreds by cold-calling them offering legal services.

The particular modus operandi of Mr. Ramirez consists now on filing police reports, or “denuncias”, against other bogus operators, attempting to create confusion by diverting the attention of the investigators at the Spanish National Police, all the while projecting an appearance of legitimacy to his activities. Needless to say, real lawyers are never appointed (their names are used though, just as Atlantic law did), powers of attorney are yet to be seen and, of course, monies are never recovered.

How desirable would it not be that the Spanish authorities clamped down on these individuals, once and for all? Very much so, but patience: serious judicial and police measures are on their way, in particular after yet another new “company” has set up to do exactly the same: “Bratley and Sharp”.

Litigation, Scams , , , , ,

How to Prey on Despair

November 15th, 2010

It is once again the opportunistic intuition of few: with the increasing number of property scandals in Spain, particularly those relating to failed off-plan investments, we are seeing how the legal profession is being invaded by so-called property action groups, which have started orchestrating aggressive and unethical campaigns of client poaching throughout the web and other platforms.

Among others, I can cite Spanish Property Action Group, Finca Parcs, Bulgaria-Property-Action-Group, Ramirez and Ramirez, organized and managed by non-legal professionals who cross pretty much every line when it comes to legal solicitation. The following prohibitions are flouted with ease by the below groups:

  1. Payment of referral fees: The first “irregularity” is blatant: these groups are selling legal services when they are not lawyers. This means, in practical terms, that the lawyers working for or with them are incurring in the illegal practice of setting up referral fee  agreements, more ordinarily called “kick-backs”. The Spanish Legal Professional Rules and Regulations specifically ban referral fees, allowing only fee-splitting agreements either between lawyers or between professionals within the same area of work (economists, financial advisors etc.). Article 19 of the Disciplinary Legal Code stipulates that lawyers will not be able to pay, demand or accept commissions or retribution from other lawyers, or any other person, for referring clients. If these groups are run by non-legal professionals, clearly they are taking a neat kickback from whoever they designate to file their cases, or vice versa.
  2. Utilization of third parties by lawyers to circumvent the provisions of the Disciplinary Legal Code. This is clearly the case with Finca Parcs: the latter is displaying a fierce and embarrassing campaign of client solicitation through various websites, where it is claimed that the group is legally represented by MC, director of CLL, and DCG Juridico, which consist of legal professionals including the father and two bothers of the former, who is also assisted by a Catedrático (translated here as a Civil Law Professor) from the University of Seville, as if this was going to make any difference.
  3. Utilization of illegal publicity to gather clients: particularly objectionable is the August 2010 “Press Release” by Finca Parcs, in clear breach of article 7e) of the aforementioned code: “It is deemed as illegal client solicitation to approach, either directly or via third parties, victims of accidents or misfortunes that lack full and calm freedom to choose a lawyer as a result of a personal or collective misfortune. Yes, clients need to be advised of their rights and yes, clients need legal advice when dealing with tragedies affecting their lives. But, clients do not need to be solicited directly by attorneys/lawyers/solicitors when they are grieving or dealing with the results of a tragic event. Clients should reach out to these professionals when they are ready to do so and they should not be besieged and bombarded by those seeking to profit from their misfortune.
  4. To generically or specifically encourage litigation: This is clear of all the above legal action groups, because it is their business! One example can be seen with Finca Parcs, for they have introduced an element of deceit and untruthfulness in their tormenting sales pitch: according to them, and the legal representation they have retained, abundant case law supports the unheard situation of banks being liable for clients’ deposit, regardless and irrespective of whether a bank guarantee line was ever approved by them or special accounts where used. According to the pitch, banks are always liable for refunding down payments made in respect of a failed off-plan project, for the simple (and simplistic) reason that the developer opened a bank account for them to operate: this is the essence of their strategy and their soon-to-achieve huge court windfall success, on the basis of some case law that as of yet, in spite of numerous requests, no lawyer has had sight of, unless they were referring to an isolated ruling of the Court of First Instance in Madrid (not deemed case law) where a bank is forced to indemnify a property buyer, on a failed development, since such funds were borrowed by the buyer from the developer’s bank (and hence, should have ensured that such funds were paid into a special account, protected by a guarantee, and not a normal account, in breach of the 57/1968 Act).  This ruling, which has already been analysed on a previous post, cannot be relied upon as applicable case law or jurisprudence unless it is ratified by a superior Court. Should this happen, not even then it could be of general application due to the very particular set of circumstances that surround the case.
  5. Promising the achievement of results that are not exclusively dependent upon the activity of the lawyer that is publicising himself, and using means and expressions, audio-visual or in writing, that are discrediting, denigrating and scornful of the Legal Profession, the Justice and its symbols. The Spanish Property Action Group knows a bit about this, when advertising (or those of their undisclosed lawyers, for that matter) their “Get Your Money Back” seminars. They then go on to claim that people have lost their life savings or retirement funds and are all victims of the illegal activities or unscrupulous developers and the lawyers representing them, and promise, in return for a fee, a miraculous formula to recover this money (without even establishing, as one has to do, the legal position of these people they are pitching to!). The Action Group then state that those involved know how to recover funds because they have already done successfully and know the pitfalls to avoid: realistically, can anyone possibly envisage a more disgraceful and indecent way to make money?
  6. All of the above in one. Finally, a special bullet point has to be dedicated to fraudulent companies known as ‘recovery rooms’, a particular type of boiler roooms specialised in fraud recovery fraud, which use registered lawyers to add appearance of legitimacy. The most prominent one is currently Ramirez and Ramirez Asesores ( Its owner, Fabian Ramirez Marcelo, an ex-timeshare reseller, in spite of the domain name he uses for his activities and his total detachment from the legal profession (as an astronaut orbiting the earth can possibly be), considers his Fuengirola recovery room, of all places, to be a specialist leading firm. But not any firm: one that cold calls thousands of victims of all sorts of scams, their names and numbers on illegal lists (sucker lists) bought in the black market, purporting to be leading lawyers in the matter and promising a quick result through the courts. Needless to say, never do these clients get anywhere because never the cases are followed up: all they do is fill out a form, take it to the courts or the police, ensure they get a stamp on it and then on to rip off the next one. The lawyer they allegedly use, Damian Vazquez, seems to not remember who Fabian Marcelo is, and when asked about his connections with Ramirez and Ramirez, claims that only occasionally has he collaborated with them. Two other lawyers I contacted also appeared to be losing memory fast when our conversation went into detail. Needless to say, again, Ramirez and Ramirez falls foul of all the above bullet points, their activities being dismissive of the most elementary rules of decency and honesty.

Litigation, Property, Scams , , , , , , , , ,

Fraudsters Hire Andalucia Biggest Law Firm To Protect Their Activities

April 12th, 2010

Shocking as it may seem, the fraudulent company Ramirez and Ramirez (backed by a person called Fabian Ramirez Marcelo), in full defiance of the Spanish police forces, prosecutors and judges, has come up with a daring but also brilliant idea: to persuade the local firm of lawyers Martinez-Echevarría (ME) to take up a legal instruction to defend, endorse and protect their illegal activities, inclusive of filing a legal suit against myself, a colleague and the administrator of the site

To cut a long story short, Ramirez and Ramirez Abogados SL (now known as Ramirez and Ramirez Asesores SL) has been, during the last few months, cold-calling thousands of victims of many different scams, purporting to be a law firm, and promising to recover the funds they had lost, against payment of an upfront fee (up to €7,000). This fraudulent scheme is being devised mainly from Fuengirola and Benalmadena boiler rooms (flats turned into call centers staffed by salespeople, mostly expats, and a few Spaniards as the legal expert ‘housewife’ of the second recorded coversation below can attest to). The same modus operandi is being shared amongst at least fifty other similar fraudulent law firms doing exactly the same, mass contacting people to request payment under false promises. And it is resulting in a scam of enormous proportions.

I could have easily understood and accepted that ME took up the instruction once a criminal prosecution was filed against Ramirez and his gang for their illegal activities, as this is our job as lawyers. Period. But to actually bring a suit against two lawyers and a company director for defamation and libel on behalf of the organisers of the above scheme, is far more than one can digest without feeling convulsions and ultimately vomiting in the closest dustbin.

Anyone who has been around in this part of Europe for a while, and has been the slightest worried for the reputation of the Costa del Sol, could have known, whether by reading the ocassional newspaper, browsing through expat webforums or just being curious, that fraudsters are still massively cold-calling victims, on false pretences, to extract money for nothing. However, anyone who is a lawyer working with foreigners, should be by now absolutely certain that this is nothing but a scam, and report it to the police and the Law Society, as we have.

So since ME is taking me to the criminal courts on counts of defamation and libel, I decided to demonstrate them, before the hearing takes place, that they are not only very very mistaken, but also their actions can bring them shame and oprobium for the foreseeable future. Therefore, I called up two numbers provided to me on the Ramirez and Ramirez website to find out how this young and dynamic firm with over a decade of experience (sic, even though the domain name was registered last October 2009), or the leading law firm specializing in litigation (sic, even though the gentleman on the phone denies being a law firm) could help clients in getting funds back.

The Recordings

The first recording is in English and not complete due to a technical glitch, but is enough to infer that something somewhere is not right with the “young and dynamic leading litigation law firm with ten years of experience”.

The second recording (I’m afraid only in Spanish) is full, and is so embarassing that I would have laughed all the way through, were it not for the sinister nature of the activities that the lady on the phone, quite clearly knowingly, was conducting.

This text will be replaced by the flash music player.


  • Ramirez & Ramirez Introduction Letter – Letter sent to clients in which Ramirez & Ramirez confirm they are actually a law firm, and have gained considerable experience acting in many complex cases.

The case continues…

Litigation, Scams , , ,