M1 Lawyer Sofia Solano Diaz discusses the process when a CLC claim is listed with the UK liquidation
M1 Legal lawyer Sofia Solano Diaz breaks down the work involved when Club La Costa (CLC) compensation cases are dealt with by the UK administration/liquidation.
ECC: Thank you for agreeing to speak with us today Sofia, we know you are busy. Could you start by telling us a little about yourself?
- SSD: Certainly, and it is my pleasure. My name is Sofia Solano Diaz and I am 41 years old.I am a lawyer specialising in timeshare compensation cases. I passed the Spanish bar in 2010 and I have been working with M1 Legal for four years.
ECC: How successful is M1 Legal with timeshare compensation claim cases?
- SSD: Well I believe we are the leading firm of lawyers in this field. Our success rate in court is 98.6%. The small amount of losses we did have were years ago when this was a new field. In my opinion the 98.6% figure is skewed low because of this.
ECC: There is sometimes a misunderstanding about the necessary amount of work that goes into a compensation claim dealt with through the UK administrators/liquidators, rather than the Spanish courts. Which is the more work intensive route to a successful compensation claim?
- SSD: They are both very detail intensive, but for me there is at least as much work to do when we present the claim through the UK administrators and now liquidators, FRP Advisory as when we proceed through the Spanish courts.
ECC: Is it true that people can register themselves as a creditor, without contracting the services of a 3rd party like M1 Legal?
- SSD: Yes, anyone can register as a creditor with the administrators, who are now the liquidators at no charge. But registering is a long way from being successful and having your claim admitted and therefore accepted in the administration or liquidation. In the first instance the claimant should be aware of whether they have a right to claim in the administration or liquidation and not through another route and secondly, they will ultimately need a formal Proof of Debt which will need to include the grounds upon which they are registering as a claimant. a Proof of Debt is a required instrument within the UK administration/liquidation. FRP Advisory will not even consider a claim which is not presented within a formal Proof of Debt.
ECC: Interesting. Could you talk us through the process?
- SSD: Initially we have to identify your best route for the client to claim. CLC wrote contracts via companies in the UK, and also companies in Spain and companies in various opaque off-shore jurisdictions. The Spanish jurisdiction claims need to be submitted through the court system here in Spain, and the UK claims we are currently dealing with by the previously mentioned administration.
ECC: What research do you have to do for this?
- SSD: A lot actually: Case studies have to be reviewed: and like for like cases researched. Every case has many basic characteristics that are common to other cases (often known as similar fact cases), but they also have unique differences (for example where the CLC contracting entity was based) which affect how they are individually dealt with, which paperwork will be required and which applications will have to be made.
ECC: Ok, and what comes next?
- SSD: In either case, the next step is to establish what will form part of the formal Proof of Debt. For this a Viability Report has to be undertaken. This report is vital in terms of getting your case done right first time. It is no good just saying “these people owe me money.” It has to be demonstrated, via the relevant laws, and with the evidence acceptable to the adjudicating authority’s required standard. Whether that be the Spanish courts or the UK administration or liquidation.
ECC: With the clients whose cases are going to be dealt with via FRP Advisory, what is the next step after establishing Proof of Debt?
- SSD: Then we get in touch with FRP (Ed note: The UK accountancy firm handling the CLC administration/liquidation) and register the claim directly, by means of the provision of the Proof of Debt with all supporting information, claim documents, court documents and legal explanations to evidence the claim in specific detail. Again, for the avoidance of doubt, this part of the process the claimant could technically undertake themselves, but FRP are aware that all claims registered by M1 Legal will have been verified by our lawyers to confirm that they already meet the criteria to register as a creditor, subject to the provision of a full and complete Proof of Debt as I have already explained.
ECC: So could CLC owners not simply wait for the conclusion of the administration and liquidation before registering their claim?
- SSD: They could. However, as mentioned they would need to demonstrate to FRP Advisory why they are a justified claimant and in turn why their claim should be admitted and therefore accepted in the administration or liquidation. Not all CLC owners have claims eligible for the FRP administration/liquidation as they may not fit the criteria and so FRP (subject to their own legal advice) could, quite rightly reject any such claim. Nobody knows how long the process may take and an owner who assumes they qualify as a claimant via the administration or subsequent liquidation could later discover they do not. They may have delayed (or worse, missed) their opportunity to proceed through a viable route. During this time they would, possibly (and maybe even inadvertently) have maintained the contractual relationship between themselves and their resort, potentially resulting in (avoidable) ongoing maintenance fee liabilities. This is why many CLC owners prefer to determine the viability of their claim before committing to a specific legal route.
ECC: Do you charge extra for the service of registering the claim with the administration or liquidation?
- SSD: No all ECC clients are on a fixed fee. If we do extra work to help them in respect of the claim, that is always included in the original fee, with no further charge.
ECC: Is there a time limit on M1’s involvement?
- SSD: No, regardless of the time the process takes, M1 legal remain in touch with FRP Advisory, and if anything extra is required, M1 continue working to make sure the client’s file is up to date and in order. The legal team at M1 Legal follow up with every case in the correct way and manage the process up to the point where the claim is ultimately enforced, or in the case of the UK administration, when the client’s Proof of Debt is admitted in the administration or liquidation.
ECC: Thank you for your time today Sofia.
Want M1 Legal’s help?
Due to the volume of enquiries, M1 Legal do not take initial calls from prospective clients. European Consumer Claims (ECC) filter enquiries to select people with the strongest claims.
For advice on timeshare relinquishment or claims, please contact ECC in the first instance.
- ECC contact page
- European Consumer Claims
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First published on MyNewsDesk November 2022