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Why use Costa Luz Lawyers?

Listen to Keith Rule, the CEO of our UK office, explain in his own words how he fought and won the first case against Spanish banks. Keith’s landmark ruling paved the way for thousands of off plan buyers to claim their money back

Keith Rule - Actions Against Banks in Spain

In this video Keith Rule explains how he and Costa Luz Lawyers have used a specific law in Spain to...

Keith Rule, CEO of our UK office, was and is, the main advocate for the liabilities of banks in off plan developments in Spain. His fight began in 2007 and his continued efforts and lobbying has led to the development of Supreme Court ‘Case Law’ relating to the liabilities of off-plan property developer’s banks according to their obligations under Spanish Law, LEY 57/1968.  He has been called the ‘Erin Brockovich’ of Spanish off-plan property.

Thousands of off-plan buyers are entitled to refunds of their lost deposits from off-plan property in Spain. Some are not aware that they are entitled to a refund, whilst others are finding it really difficult to fight their case. That’s where CostaLuz Lawyers can help…if you purchased an off-plan Spanish property that has never been completed, or if you have completed the purchase but the house still doesn’t have a First Occupation License, we have the expertise to help with your claim.

In early 2006 my wife and I agreed to purchase a small (off plan) garden apartment in phase 2 of the Nueva Ribera Beach Club at Los Alcazares, beside the Mar Menor, Spain. During the construction we were approached by the developer’s sales agents that our aready small garden apartment had worked out even smaller, so they offered an alternative apartment. This we accepted along with new contracts and the exchange of our existing deposit bank guarantees with new ones which would follow. Within a month of signing new contracts disaster hit the developers along with many others in Spain, so the banks never issued our new guarantees. This would be the start of thirteen years of legal battles through the Spanish Courts. Without bank guarantees our existing solicitor felt he was not able to help us. Another solicitor considered it but without new bank deposit guarantees he too felt that we would not be able to recover our money. What could we do? Reading an article in Eye on Spain we found that Maria Luisa de Castro of Costaluz Lawyers was having success with just this type of problem, so we were very pleased when she agreed to take on our case. Maria and her excellent team provided detailed information, in English, on the process she would use from the outset and through the various courts stages and possible outrcomes. We were also provided with the costs of each stage and outcome and periodic updates following the process. From our perspective the Spanish Court process is substantially different to the English Court System, so Maria’s detailed handholding was a comfort during this protracted and stressfull time. We also found Keith Rule’s support, Costaluz UK contact, to be invaluable. Keith had had his own experience with the nightmare senario of Spanish banks’ reluctance to payout following the collaps of many Spanish Developers taking deposits for off plan sales. We have nothing but praise for Maria and her team. They helped us come to realise that we needed patience with the Spanish legal system and trust in her to navigate through it to our benifit. If you have the right legal team behind you, you can achieve the result you want – we did with Team Costaluz. David and Karen - Dorset


My wife and I have recently had cause to use lawyers in Spain to recover monies paid by way of deposit on an incomplete development in Murcia. The deposit was paid to the developer in 2006 and we had notionally written off the money and felt that the chances of recovery were slender. However, we joined a group action through Costaluz Lawyers following their success in earlier such actions. The action involved enforcement of a guarantee promised by a Spanish Bank in connection with the development.

Mike and Carole Travis

We paid a supposedly reputable UK Company a deposit in 2006 for a lovely 2 bed 2 bath apartment in Terque. We then paid more money to a firm of Spanish Lawyers to look after the transaction for us. After we paid Inroal the bulk deposit, the contract build date came and went, and it was apparent that things were clearly not going to happen. Our existing Lawyer wanted a very large sum to investigate and try to recover our outlay. Nothing was forthcoming except demands for more money to continue the case! In 2011, we had all but given up but discovered María and CLL. She and her team appraised our case, and after exchanging documents and other formalities, told us that they thought we had a strong case. There were of course requests for more up front money, which at first we thought would be pouring good after bad. We decided to trust María and her team, and invested around €2300 in the case to pay theirs and procurator costs. Inroal contested, and we had to appeal, at a further cost in 2014 of €2400. We were advised later that year that we had won the appeal in the 1st instance. In 2016 we received a percentage of our initial deposit back, less costs. We were advised that legal costs and the contractual 6% interest would come later. We were advised yesterday that we can expect a bank transfer for these next week (Sept 18) So after 12 years of fighting, we are as happy as can be expected, as we are still out of pocket by the deposit to the UK agent, and the initial Spanish Lawyer etc, but we would strongly recommend María de Castro and her Company if you find yourself in a similar position. Her team's communication has been excellent over the 7 years, and their advice to fight the case sound. I would also mention Mr Peter Firth who as a buyer, formed a group and was able to get some discounted up front legal fees for some cases. Thanks María

Neil Atkinson

Hi Keith, I would just to say how pleased we have been with the services of Costa Luz Lawyers and in particular with the assistance that Mar Durio has given us with selling our house in Islantilla. I hope to buy another property in Spain in the future and will most certainly be giving you a call when I do. Thank you once again for the outstanding service and support. Regards

Laurence Otoole

Dear Maria, Thank you once again for all the efforts that you and your team have made to produce a successful outcome for me. As I said to Keith, I was not entirely confident that the courts would actually find in my favour, especially after such a long time, but your continued efforts have indeed won the day. Asefa is now concluded, and I await the final outcome from the Bahia case with anticipation. I will be very happy to leave a positive testimonial. I wish you all the best in you future endeavours, Iain.

Iain Cameron

Dear Keith, We would like to thank you and Maria and all the team for all you have done for us. We are so grateful. We can't begin to explain how after all these years we feel that we may not have to sell our home. Martin (our son) saw the article in the newspaper that you had won your case against the bank and urged us to write to you, how glad we did, obviously he knows the worries we have had over all these years and wanted everything to be right for us. Thank you for your quick and comprehensive replies to his numerous questions. You must have helped many people over the years. Once again our heartfelt thanks to you and all the people who have helped us. Yours faithfully

Valerie and Ken Warren

My sincere thanks to everyone at Costaluzlawyers for your professionalism in dealing With mine and my late husbands case. You have treated me with respect and kept me informed At every stage. I appreciate the breakdown you have given of all the charges. I really appreciate that all your correspondence was in English and Spanish. I would advise anyone with a similar issue to mine, to use your company. My three words for your company are: Professional Honest Transparent. God bless Costaluz Lawyers and all who work there.

Pauline Callaghan

Good morning to all our friends in Spain, Firstly on behalf of Emma, Karen, Laura and myself a BIG thank you, to you all for helping us to recover our deposits on our Holiday Homes. Never did any of us ever consider that 12 years ago when we signed for the Apartments would it all end up in court and the apartments never completed, but a mighty thank you must go to Keith Rule, who was the Path Finder in the recovery of his funds and set the way for many to follow. I watched his case very carefully from a far with fingers crossed and once he won, it inspired me to begin our campaign along with Emma and Karen we are all delighted to recover our deposits and the interest payment was a bonus. I remember travelling to Spain and drinking Tea with Maria in her house, where we agreed to begin the recovery campaign and you have all contributed very much and we have all worked together to achieve this successfully recovery of our funds, which I have to say, we all thought we would never see again, you should all be so proud of the work you have done. We wish you all the very best of luck and please continue the good work as there are many people like us out there who have not yet began the recovery process and should be encouraged to do so. Many thanks once again on behalf of:-

Emma OReilly Karen & Laura Hearn Leslie Vine

"Dear Maria, Thank you once again for all the efforts that you and your team have made to produce a successful outcome for me. As I said to Keith, I was not entirely confident that the courts would actually find in my favour, especially after such a long time, but your continued efforts have indeed won the day. Asefa is now concluded, and I await the final outcome from the Bahia case with anticipation. I will be very happy to leave a positive testimonial. I wish you all the best in you future endeavours, Iain."

Iains Cameron

“Hi Maria, I’d like to say thank you to you and your team on winning the court case for El Patio. All of your staff were very polite and spoke very good English. Your company is a credit to your country especially with everything going on around the world at the minute. All the best

Roger Woodall”

“I am extremely happy with the service I have received from Manuel Guerrero who has successfully managed to cancel my time-share contract which I have been struggling to do for many years. He kept me fully aware of everything that was happening and managed to conclude the work required very quickly. I would recommend this Spanish law firm to anyone, they have been brilliant.

Dawn Lyndon

I cannot praise Maria and her team highly enough. After being misinformed by the builders representatives and legal people it was very reassuring to speak to Maria and very pleased with the successful outcome.

Nigel Dix

“We want to let everyone know how the lawyers at the Costaluz Lawyers – have really saved us! We bought an off-plan property on the Costa Blanca several years ago. As everything changed, and the developer didn´t do his part we had to make a breach of our contract. We really hoped that we would be able to get our money back which we had payed the company for the property. We were really not at all sure that it would happen. We saw some recommendation of the Costaluz Lawyers here on the Eye-on-Spain site and decided to talk to them about our trouble. To make a long story short, they really, really came through for us. We did not only get our money back – all of it, we got the interests and costs as well! We can´t say it often enough – but THANK YOU – COSTALUZ LAWYERS. We are ever so grateful. You did a fabulous job and we want you to know that we really, really appreciate your efforts which was a success! Best wishes from us,

Bergur Gunnarson

We decided to buy a villa off plan in Spain, and all was going well until it was discovered the builder did not have permission and as it turned out the bank did not honour their obligation of a bank guarantee either. We started to think that this was another example of unscrupulous developers and banks purposely cheating us out of our deposit. We had the support of Keith Rule who formed FPAG and enlisted Mari­a Luisa De Castro of Costa Luz Lawyers who worked so tirelessly on the case…”

Terry Sharp

“Are there a stronger words than thank you from the bottom of our hearts to both Keith and dear Maria. Getting our deposit returned is a great achievement and to us, my Wife (Shirley) and myself it is of so much importance. Best wishes to all who have been involved. Kind regards,

Shirley and Tony Bartlett

As seen in…


Our Service Includes

  • Claims against developer’s banks for advanced payments made for off-plan property purchases in Spain
  • Claims against banks for illegal properties
  • Claims against banks for handing back properties in lieu of the outstanding mortgage debt
  • Claims against banks for Floor Clauses (Cláusula Suelo) which effectively imposed a fixed interest rate in Spanish variable rate Mortgage contracts
  • Claims against banks for set up expenses in Spanish mortgages
  • Claims against Timeshare companies for mis-sold timeshare contracts in Spain

We are not a new firm or service launched on the back of the recent LEY 57/1968 Supreme Court Sentences.  We began research into the liability of off-plan property developer’s banks in 2008 and filed our first Lawsuit against an off-plan property developer’s bank in 2011, which was won with a landmark sentence in 2012.

We get asked a lot of questions about reclaiming off plan Spanish property deposits, here are some of the most commonly asked questions:

What am I entitled to claim back?

You can claim all amounts paid off plan, plus legal interest normally from the dates you paid to the developer’s bank account.  Legal costs may also be recoverable in some cases.

Are banks actually paying this money back?

Yes, they are. Banks are solvent entities that must comply with the law.  All banks with a firm court decision against them are refunding the claimants. Even if the developer’s bank no longer exists, action is still possible against the bank that has taken it over.

How safe is this action?

The Spanish Supreme Court has already interpreted the full text of LEY 57/1968 in favour of buyers/consumers, so the success rate is very high.

How liable are Spanish banks?

A recent supreme court ruling in September of 2016 has paved the way for further liabilities.

Does this apply if I bought more than one house?

It does, as long as you didn’t do so as part of your professional trade. It also applies if the contract mentioned these guarantees explicitly to secure the success of the business.


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