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I am informed by local Greek Lawyers, a sale and purchase

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I am informed by local Greek Lawyers, a sale and purchase agreement for a sailing yacht in Greece I entered into, I have been defrauded because of the yacht broker (English) mislead me with proof of owners documents from the seller, as well as other documents. As I wasn't satisfied with the yacht, the broker's attitude and lack of documents, I rejected the yacht in May of this year and till now the broker refuses to return my 10% deposit. The yacht broking company is based in the UK and the contract states UK law to apply in the courts of England & Wales.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I live in athens, Greece.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: The yacht is ashore here in a marina.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I can call you to explain in more details if you want and give me a number?
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
(Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I can call you if you want? Please let me have your number.

Hello, this is Jim and I am a dual-qualified lawyer (UK and Republic of Ireland) and happy to help you this evening.

Can I ask how much the deposit was for?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
11,000 euro + out of pocket expenses. But it is not just the deposit, but the principle of the matter.

Thanks, do you have access to a UK address? If not, you would need to instruct a UK law firm to pursue them for the 11,000 euro for you. I asked how much as if it was 5,000 euro or less you could avail of the European Small Claims procedure - a simple form which is filled out and the case is decided on paper by a judge.

Would you like recommendations for law firms?

I have a template letter which may work and may result in the refund - you would have to send one to him in any event to warn him about court proceedings. Would you like me to send you the template?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
thanks. I wanted to attach a document with a further explanation and reply but there doesn't seem to be any place on this webpage to do so. I am copying and pasting it into the 3 line chat box here. Please confirm good receipt, otherwise please advise how i can communicate easier because I cant type sensible explanations here. Yes please send the template and take a look below. Kind regards.

Many thanks for your reply. There are two issues I believe. One is that the broker is in breach of the S&P agreement because he (and the seller) did not allow a proper inspection plus not disclosing documents concerning ownership. Secondly, as mentioned, it also amounts to fraud. I was in the marine business many years and my lawyers were Hill Taylor Dickinson (Now Hill Dickinson) a top international shipping law firm and the Director here is a friend of mine. He looked at the S&P agreement and informed me I was entitled to withdraw from the S&P agreement and have my deposit returned. (but the broker disputes this).

The problem is the legal costs etc are likely to be more than the deposit amount. The broker is very smart and has PI and he will hardly be worried about legal costs, even more so if I win the case and he then he takes it to appeal. He obviously knows this and virtually puts me in a no-win situation, regardless. I am pretty certain he engineered it this way due to his very arrogant, insulting and slanderous communications. (My Greek family lawyer informed me of the latter). Please note the S&P agreement states any disputes have to be heard in the courts of England & Wales.

There are some other twists and turns, but can be further explained in due course when necessary.

Another Greek Marine lawyer friend informed me that because it is a case of fraud and I, the broker, his office (branch) and the yacht are all in Greece, I should apply for an emergency court order to put the yacht under arrest (it is currently undergoing a sale, according to the brokers website) and call the broker to court. The problem here is my friend cannot deal with this as it requires travelling to the local court on an island which is quite a distance and would take a day to get there and another to return. He doesn’t have time and advised me to appoint a lawyer locally. I have spoken with a few lawyers, but the ones I did find, they found the S&P law clause for the UK problematic. Of course, I wonder about their expertise in such a case because it would need knowledge of marine and criminal law, which is unlikely to arise very often in a basically non-commercial island far from the maritime courts of Piraeus.

So rather a dilemma.

I don’t know about in the UK, if instigating a criminal procedure for fraud, there would be any financial benefit? Here in Greece, such a procedure would involve the public prosecutor and there would be no financial benefit. The Greek lawyer suggested it would be a way of pressuring the broker to return my deposit if done in the right way (better to discuss this over phone if necessary).

So how to proceed and at what cost and risk of losing any court case? If it was a large amount, I would hardly hesitate, but for the amount of the claim, it may be questionable. But on the other hand, the broker deserves to be sued.

Can you go to this link and it shows you how to upload:

http://ww2.justanswer.com/help/how-do-i-send-photo-or-file-expert-hl

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
ok, noted and thank. But I did paste and copy into the text box (here), didn't you receive it ok? I see it all above, bring my last reply. Anyway, for the sake of good order I attache it here. Regards.

Thanks, I agree that you should pursue them. It would cost 25 euro to issue a cross border claim for up to 5,000 euro. But for a claim of 11,000 euro, you would either need a UK address to be able to use the money claims online website, or instruct a UK law firm (if you chose the latter then they would not do this on a "no win no fee" arrangements because they cannot recover their own legal costs in a small claim).

I recommend you send the defendant a letter before action (template attached) and see if this works. If they ignore the letter then you would need to think about suing them like I mentioned above. In terms of a criminal prosecution, in the UK only the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) can do this - you would need to report the matter to the UK Police authorities to see if they would do anything about this. Your loss is 11,000 euro though so my view is that you pursue this man for that amount and then report him to the Police.

I hope this helps – if you can please rate the answer by clicking the 5 stars (the top of your screen & then click “submit”), I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and I will be credited for helping you today.

Many thanks,

Jim

JimLawyer and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Many thanks. I would just like to clarify a couple of things to make sure I understand correctly. but I have to go out now so will revert later. Thanks and regards.

Sure, I will be available later so we will speak then.

Thanks

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
May I please ask:

If I appoint a UK solicitor, can you give me an idea of fees and costs?
If we succeed with the case, apart from my deposit, can we not also claim my legal costs etc?
I guess most solicitors can read and interpret a contract (S&P agreement) but is it possible to find one that is (also) familiar with marine law?
Actually, the yacht was to be in my son’s name and he lives in the UK. (we both have the same name).How does the ‘money claims online work and costs?
So for the fraud, it can only be done via the police who then pass the case to the CPS?
So if they don’t understand the situation properly, or can’t be bothered, nothing else can be done? I have contacted the police for fraud in the past (a merchant was using my credit card details to buy items for his clients + other CC crime) without them paying any attention.
In the marine business, there are many claims and counterclaims (a litigious business overall) and as there there are ways for a shipowner to escape responsibility for say a debt, In which case here in Greece and elsewhere, you can apply for ‘emergency security measures’, and have a vessel arrested pending a court hearing. This is because a ship can simply sail away and leave debts etc to the port and local services, suppliers etc. I know we are between two countries as the yacht is here, but can I/solicitor take any similar measures?
Help with the above would help me decide on what course of action I should take. Thanks in advance.

I am not sure because each law firm is different - they may have a fixed fee service (try http://www.stephensons.co.uk or http://www.slatergordon.co.uk) but I can't comment for any law firm with what they will charge.

Yes, the CPS can only pursue fraud charges. The Police need to be notified first.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I called Stephensons and they don't look at any claim that's worth less than £25,000. Slater Gordon cannot be contacted by telephone (the line immediatly closes after dialing) and their contact form only asks for a UK telephone number, so I cannot complete the enquirey form. Any other ideas?
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Hello. My debit card has just been debited with €45 and I have not agreed to any subscription. I have tried to contact Just Ask, but their so-called contact page has no chat available and contact to email them doesn't allow you to do so. What kind of site/service is this?

I will ask customer services to refund you the membership fee. Thanks