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Our Spanish lawyer is refusing to return the deposit we have given him. What are our options?

Civil Law

Antonio Flores Vila

9th of January 2002

Q. We advised our spanish lawyer to transfer deposit funds to the vendor of a house that we wished to purchase. However, on that same day we were advised that the house was no longer available to buy based on the original land agreement. Instead, they said we had to buy more land and pay more for it. We decided not to proceed with the purchase after this as we did not want to purchase more land, so we requested our deposit be returned. The solicitor has refused to do so. How can we get the deposit funds back?


    A. Dear Sir/Madam,

    If your solicitor has refused to refund your deposit I am assuming that he has paid the deposit already to the vendor. If he has however not paid the deposit, according to your instructions, and is refusing to hand it back, he is incurring in a criminal missapropriation, which can bring him many headaches and possibly a disqualification order, apart from the criminal liabilities he may face! Not a pleasant situation to be in.

    However, it may be the case that he did pay the deposit to the vendor of the house contravening your instructions, in which case he would be liable for that if you could prove that your instructions were clear in respect of the house only, and not the remaining land for which the vendor is requesting more money. In this case it is important to know the details of the purchase sale document which has been used to materialise the transaction.

    If you can provide me with some more information I shall be able to advise on the available options you have .

    Yours faithfully

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