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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Good Morning, 6 years ago I have invested into residential

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Good Morning, 6 years ago I have invested into residential project in the Emirates via UK based real estate agent. Company took the reservation fee (non-returnable) and organised payment of initial 30% plus further monthly installments to their account in a local bank in the Emirates.The funds totally invested overreached GBP 150k. However, they have never issued me (and other clients) with valid Sale & Purchase Agreement. Only a legal document I've been given was a Reservation form. I do keep originals of all money transfers / receipts from the Agents. Project ended up in problems and was put on hold (and never restarted).Those who bought their units directly from developer were refunded - but ourselves, as a secondary market buyers, have been told to claim our money from the UK agent. Agent declared insolvency in early 2010, as "the only money they owned was the amount earned from our reservation fees". Seems that funds on that account in Emirates have been stolen (however, I queried the bank and there is still account traceable but has been closed already).
UK Agent went into CVA with CEO promising to sell all remaining company assets incl. his private properties (within 5 years). Nothing has been sold and a CVA Supervisor had to close CVA down earlier this year with no refunds for us at all.
I had several reasons to sue Agent's rep's as the individuals for bringing me into this trouble (hiding the fact that project has been stopped and keeping me paying, promising me a PR status in the country if I buy,etc.) but I was told that unless they haven't committed a crime, this is not the way.
Apparently there's nothing much I can do on the UK soil now.
Please would it make sense to start any action (Bank investigation, dealing with the developer -allegedly,according to the CVA Supervisor - money from Emirate bank have been transferred to the developer) at all?
If so - would it be better to start with a UK lawyer - or to seek one in the Emirates?
Which sort of law would this case fall under?
I am not the UK resident but I am from an EC Country.
Thank you,
Best Regards XXXXX XXXXX
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

What was the outcome of the CVA please? Did creditors get anything?

Customer:

Hi Alex,

Alex Watts :

Hello

Customer:

there was a small amount paid to clients 2 years ago when CEO managed to sell some property - and this year after closing down, nothing at all . Thats all BS as I know prop'ty market and company had prop'ties all over the world, from UK accross Egypt to Malaysia and market "wasn't down" as they said all places. Officially, property under CEO's ownership has been "repossessed" but I do believe it was just a scam and whole CVA is just to help those who put client in limbo and get those involved (company) gently out off the legal punishment - my guess (and many others, too).

Alex Watts :

Were there ever any findings of fraud?

Alex Watts :

What did your contract say about which country it was governed by please?

Customer:

On the side of UK agent I cannot say but definitely someone stole money in emirates (Mashreq Bank in Dubai) -account was open by 2nd branch of this agency in Dubai - and according to CVA Supervisor - money i.e our installments - have been going to developer (hard to prove and another problem is - as a 2nd market buyers, we were not on the developers's list, even though I could refer exact unit I have bought, apparently not registered under my name on the plan). But let's keep in mind - developer is heavily involved , too - I would blame them even for not verifying who were the agents/subcontractors allowed to deal with them.

Alex Watts :

Yes but did you sign any agreement?

Customer:

2nd Q: Biggest problem - I was never issued a real contract! - just a sheet named "Reservation Form". The idea was (verbally stated) that we should be given S&P Agreement at a later stage (this is my fault, I should have stop paying at that moment).

Alex Watts :

If so it should have a clause which states which country law it is governed by

Customer:

I don't have original on hand but a Reservation Form stated that their initial duty = to arrange reservation fees (money went to UK Bank - not like installments) was governed by UK law, next duty was to arrange payments to the developer.

Alex Watts :

OK - who is it you want to sue?

Customer:

Their main argument was that the reservation fees (GBP 2k/person) were the only funds they had in their pockets to compensate us when CVA was established. but tere were some legal actions against them already and cvery likely they have spent resources at an early stage to satisfy these claims.

Alex Watts :

But you paid the reservation fee before the CVA?

Customer:

I was about to sue 2 individuals in the agency but it proves to be difficult as they were covered by company protection and unless they committed crime I can't sue them. But I wonder how could disappear that whole load of our installments in Dubai bank without trace - this is where I would try to start. I had a contact with the banker in charge of that account and what I know is that it has been US $ account (although our installments were sent in AHD - dirhams) and that account has been closed.

Alex Watts :

Yes of course. If there was a CVA then there would have been an Insolvency Practioner

Alex Watts :

They should be dealing with the assets etc.

Alex Watts :

However if there are no assets then your only chance is to sue in UAE

Alex Watts :

You would need to show that the agents were just that, agents and acting on behalf of the company in UAE.

Customer:

Well - bad taste in my mouth b

Alex Watts :

However I can't advise on that law as I am an English Solicitor.

Alex Watts :

You would need to take advice from a UAE lawyer

Alex Watts :

But it sounds as if they have been in a CVA and no criminal matters that sadly you can't sue the company here and the Directors personally.

Alex Watts :

If there had been fraud etc you could have pierced the corporate veil and sued personally

Alex Watts :

But without any form of conviction sadly I think this is a dead end

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

No - that's allright. I wouldn't expect much more - just a confirmation that we cannot proceed any further in the UK.

Alex Watts :

No I am sorry

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.


Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.


 


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Customer:

OK, Thank you Alex, good Luck

Alex Watts :

Thanks. Please remember to leave feedback before you go today!

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Alex,


just briefly to my recent query : I am now communicating with UAE lawyer, please can I use statements made by UK Insolvency Practitioner (CVA) in the future case in the UAE ? How about if he would be asked to co-operate - is he bound to do so in any way according to UK law?


 


Thank you,


 


Best regards


 


Karel

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