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Thread: Legal Advice Counsel

  1. #1
    T.M.
    Guest

    Default Legal Advice Counsel

    Dear Sirs, I have been telephoned by Legal Advice Counsel , Centro comercial Guadalmina 4, Malaga offering to take court action to recover timeshare sale losses. I am very wary of 'cold calls' and would like to find out if this is a legitimate and trustworthy law firm. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Marbella
    Posts
    1,095

    Default

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    Further to your query, we’ve never heard of this law firm you mention, Legal Advice Counsel, located in Marbella.

    Spanish Law firms never cold call people, ever.

    Every time we phone someone it's because that person has previously submitted to our law firm a legal query.

    This begs the question as to how they obtained your personal contact details in the first place. Spain forbids selling this type of sensitive information in compliance with Spain's Data Protection Act.

    It's ironic how they themselves invoke the Data Protection Act when it benefits them, so as to discourage new potential clients from requesting referrals from prior clients they may have had, very bizarre.

    It's also striking how they mention they "offer free, impartial advice to victims of fraud..." and yet on the following page they write "our (legal) team strive to ensure that nothing about the process is daunting or off-putting in any way - including the cost". So, is their legal service free or do they charge for it?

    After checking their website, they label themselves as a “legal firm”, not as a “law firm” as you happen to mention in your query.

    Quoting their website:

    http://legaladvicecounsel.com/


    "Legal Advice Counsel is a legal firm, with an office in Marbella."
    "Dedicated legal services for UK residents"

    Any firm is legal by its very own nature on being incorporated. So writing that they are a “legal firm” means nothing, other than misleading people into thinking they are an established law firm in Marbella run -presumably- by qualified and registered Spanish lawyers. A “legal firm” could be anything ranging from a grocery to a flower shop. A firm is just another synonym to name a “company” or “business".

    Bottom line, a legal firm does not equate to a law firm.

    From the Oxford English Dictionary:

    firm

    noun a company or business partnership.

    Moreover, having checked the date they set-up their website it dates from the 28th April 2009. Hardly a long track record, 30 days.

    Whois Server Version 2.0

    Tu petición es "legaladvicecounsel.com"

    Domain Name: LEGALADVICECOUNSEL.COM
    Registrar: TUCOWS INC.
    Whois Server: whois.tucows.com
    Referral URL: http://domainhelp.opensrs.net
    Name Server: NS.123-REG.CO.UK
    Name Server: NS2.123-REG.CO.UK
    Status: clientTransferProhibited
    Status: clientUpdateProhibited
    Updated Date: 28-apr-2009
    Creation Date: 28-apr-2009
    Expiration Date: 28-apr-2011


    We have checked on the only person that appears mentioned on the website: Mrs Tara Hamilton. She identifies herself as a ”Senior Legal Adviser”.

    “Senior legal advisor” doesn’t mean anything in Spain; she’s probably just a paralegal and not a Spanish qualified registered lawyer. A paralegal usually doesn’t have any legal background. They most certainly cannot advice on legal matters in Spain.

    In fact, in Spain we don’t even employ paralegals in law firms, unlike in the U.K.

    I’ve also confirmed with Spain’s Solicitors’ database that the above mentioned person is not a registered lawyer in Spain either.

    The website just mentions they work alongside lawyers but doesn’t mention any solicitors' names or law firms.

    I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

    You may want to read the following articles:

    1. Careful with Scammers Posing as Spanish Lawyers - 18th March 2009

    2. 9 Tips on How to Determine if an Offer is a Scam- 17th October 2008



    We are receiving a dozen queries every day asking about the legitimacy of certain offer, generally received by email or over the phone after a cold call. Unfortunately, we cannot analyze case by case, and therefore will provide a set of useful hints which will help you evaluate the legitimacy of the company or individual yourself.

    The list below is provided in no particular order:

    1. Is the domain name old enough? By means of a Whois search you can find out when the domain name was registered. If it’s only a few weeks old, be suspicious.

    2. Are they using mobiles? – If the phones used as contact numbers are mobile numbers instead of land lines, it’s definitely not a good sign. In Spain, mobile numbers start by +34 6..

    3. Have you been contacted out of the blue? – If you where cold called, or received an email from someone you don’t know, ask yourself why these people have your contact details.

    4. Are you being requested to pay money upfront? This is the single most worrying point if it comes in conjunction of with one or more of the above.

    5. Are they requesting you a money transfer through Western Union or similar?

    6. Is the offer too good to be true? If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    7. Is the company properly registered? – Although it’s something positive if they can provide you with company registration details, you shouldn’t give this point too much importance. Fraudsters have been registering companies for decades with the sole purpose of deceiving (e.g. dozens of companies where incorporated by fraudsters to conduct the infamous Timeshare Resale Scam)

    8. Is the address for their offices correct? – Not sure why, fraudsters tend to provide you with fake addresses which don’t really exist. Check any of the online street directories and find out if the address provided is correct.

    9. Something strange about their names? Funny names such as “Woley Fernandez” or “Barrister Perez Santos ESQ” are names made up by Nigerians conducting 419 advance fee scams (the terms “Barrister” or “ESQ” don’t exist in Spanish law). Also, fraudsters tend to cite fake organisms such as “The Ministry of Finance” or “The Security Company”.

    10. What others are saying – Use search engines to find information about the company. Try putting the company in inverted comas, and add terms like “scam” or “fraud”. The company or individual you mention might have already been reported online as fraudsters by other people.

    Needless to say, the above list shouldn’t be taken as definitive, nor the absolute legitimacy o illegitimacy of a company established based on one or more of the above points. You can use it, however, to personally evaluate the risk of the transaction.

    My recommendation is that you never pay any moneys upfront if you have been contacted out of the blue. However, if you have to, before doing so always suggest the use of an escrow company (chosen by you) to hold the funds until the product or service has been delivered. If they refuse, I recommend that you back off.

    Always remember; have a lawyer analyze the transaction before making any up-front payments.
    Last edited by Lawbird Lawyer; 06-02-2009 at 06:56 PM.

  3. #3
    Ronald Barber
    Guest

    Default mr.

    I Have been contacted by Legal Advice counsel in San Pedro Southern spain. They assert that they can take court action against Holiday companies that are offering to sell my 2 Club Class holiday packages?
    I have submutted to them 5 plus organisations that have taken holding deposits over the past 12 months, & never found a purchaser, but have retained the so-called returnable deposit (Usually paid by Credit Card) The C Card companies have not been efficient at recovering these monies due to the 12-month contract usually associated with the transaction.
    The LEGAL ADVICE COUNSEL have prepared an invoice as a pro Forma to recover some £40,267, which includes the anticipated price they estimated that they could obtain for the packages.
    A 5% deposit of £2,012 is required up-front,for the service, & 10% of the monies recovered will be the legal fee.
    Their full address is Centro Comercial Guadalmina, 4 Edificio 2 local 88
    29678, San Pedro de Alcantara, malaga Spain.

  4. #4
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    179

    Default

    If you have been cold called by Company A who knows you have been conned by Company B, it is reasonable to think that Company A = Company B.

    We've had plenty of similar cases in the past years with very similiar modus operandi, and they all turned to be scams (Servicios Fuengirola 2002, Conectese SL, European Mediation, etc.).

    You might want to ask them if they are registered with the Malaga Bar Association as a law firm. Only registered law firms are allowed to provide legal services.

  5. #5
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Unhappy Legal Advise Council

    Hi, i to have just been contacted by a lady who explained she was a solicitor in Spain who was able to fight these holiday companies and claim my money back....She asked me to fax my reclaim voucher and my contract over to her today, as she was going to court this afternoon to gain an affidavit against Holiday Warehouse (tenerife). I told her i was very wary of companys claiming they could get us our money back as they have so far all turned out to be more con men..... she assured me that no money would be paid up front and that i would not have to go back over to Tenerife to go to court, she said as she was acting for over 2000 people who are in our situation and that there was a good chance of getting us our money back....... she said all i had to do was fax over the infomation today to her by 4.00pm before the court case and that she would then be able to do this for us..... As usual i have googled the name and fax number given to see what infomation i could find and i was sent to this page................... im not surprised its a scam.... i just wish these people would leave us alone now, we know we have lost the money, do they really think we are gonna give them any more ?????? And yes it does raise the question as to how she knew our address and phone number????
    Please let me know if anyone has any more infomation on these people .
    Thanks

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default

    I havew also been appoached by "The Legal Adcice Counsel" claiming they can win me compenastion from Holiday Warehouse and Club Class Holidays and Reclaim Ltd . They have promised me over £7000 in compensation but have asked for £600 up front and 10% of any money sum gained for me by their actions.

    They have quoted a lawyer

    Carlos de Miguel Olivares No Colegiedo ( Licensce Number) 831 Abogado

    The Address on the letter headings emailed to me is


    Centro Comercial Guadalmina ,4
    Edificio 2 Local 88
    2976 San Pedro Alcantara
    Malaga , Spain


    Helpline 08719711864
    Tel 0034 952887206


    I have got 4 pdf documemts emailed to me one of which is a contract.

    I think this is a scam to get me to throw good money after bad. Can the above details throw any further light on this ?

    Grasie

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Marbella
    Posts
    1,095

    Default

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    We take no stance on this company, we leave forum lurkers to make their own minds being factual in everything we write.

    The lawyer you mention is duly registered at Malaga's Bar Association. This company may then be outsourcing work over to him.

    Yours faithfully,

  8. #8
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Michelle

    So Lawbird,
    Are you saying that Tara Hamilton is a registered Lawyer
    Michelle

  9. #9
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    179

    Default

    Not Tara Hamilton, but the lawyers they quote as supposedly responsible for the legal work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grasie
    They have quoted a lawyer

    Carlos de Miguel Olivares No Colegiedo ( Licensce Number) 831 Abogado
    Ms Tara Hamilton is not a practising lawyer in Spain. You can check for yourself:

    https://www.redabogacia.org/censossl/printLogonCenso.do

  10. #10
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Michelle

    Thank you for that, but cannot seem to get into that website, my system is saying it is not secure, does not have a certificate.
    Michelle

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