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British deposits lost in Spanish property crash recovered by law firm

A leading law firm in Dorset and Somerset has revealed its success in enabling British clients to recover deposits lost on new-build apartments in Spain following the 2008-2009 property crash.

Humphries Kirk, which can trace its roots back around 300 years and has offices throughout the South West as well as one in London, was approached by Spanish lawyers to offer the service of seeking relevant compensation from local banks.

Before the property crash, which was precipitated by the global financial crisis, hundreds of Britons signed up to purchase new-build apartments in high-class residential areas and holiday complexes in Spain at an affordable price.

However, the ensuing credit crunch and Spain’s considerable financial difficulties at the time soon put paid to any developments and left many British investors thinking they had lost their deposits forever. Many gave up on the chances of ever trying to recover them.

The international practice of Humphries Kirk, though, with its network of correspondent lawyers throughout the European Union (including Spain) recently meant the law firm was able to approach a number of British clients and offer to try to recover their deposits on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. An initial fee was charged to check the strength of the case and pay the Spanish official fees.

The investigation found that, under Spanish consumer protection law, the developers needed to take out an equivalent to a protection bond with the local community bank in the areas where the development was permitted. This, in turn, confirmed that the responsibility to repay deposits lost by investors rested with the local banks.

Of those who took up the offer of attempted deposit recovery, Humphries Kirk achieved a success rate of 100%. In some cases, investors received interest on top of their recovered deposits.

“I used to work in Madrid and have some working familiarity with Spanish commercial and legal practices,” James Selby Bennett, commercial partner at Humphries Kirk, said.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to achieve justice for our clients. They did not know that they had recourse to the local Spanish banks under the enlightened Spanish consumer protection scheme. We have been able to unlock this compensation for them, through our close links with our Spanish correspondents.”

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