CostaLuz Lawyers has been representing and defending the rights and interests of English-speaking foreigners in Spain since 2006.
Over nearly 15 years, our law firm has forged a reputation for pioneering the defence of consumer rights, particularly those of property owners affected by off-plan and mortgage issues.
We were the first to bring banks and developers to account and have made it our mission to help foreigners navigate the intricacies of Spanish law and obtain successful outcomes for their problems.
I founded CostaLuz Lawyers in 2006 with the idea of attracting property investment to the Costa de la Luz in southern Spain and help English-speaking foreigners buying property to retire to, live in or spend holidays in Spain.
My founding principal was to help foreigners understand how Spanish law works and get the best possible outcome for their interests. This mission now forms one of the pillars of CostaLuz Lawyers.
The off-plan issue
2006 was the height of the property boom and I started participating in forums such as Eye on Spain and Spanish Property Insight to help foreigners with property-related problems.
In the summer after writing about bank guarantees (based on the 57/68 Law), I received an avalanche of enquiries from clients looking to conclude or cancel their contracts with developers who were not delivering on time.
I found myself faced with a real challenge – many of these clients, advised by lawyers working for developers or estate agents, had received no independent legal advice about how to cancel their off-plan contracts.
Once the property crash happened, requests for help continued to pour in and our legal team grew fourfold to deal with issues based solely on off-plan contracts.
In some cases, the action required was obvious – those clients in possession of a guarantee were entitled to a refund. But, most clients had no bank guarantee and seemingly no solution.
We could win dozens of cases against bankrupt developers but our clients would receive no financial compensation..
Keith Rule and the solution
In September 2008, we received a call from Keith Rule, a British business man with a keen interest in legal matters. At the time, he was leading a group of affected buyers at the Finca Parcs development.
Keith was convinced there had to be a way of suing developers’ banks using the 57/68 Law even when the client had not received a guarantee. My first response was to say no, like so many other lawyers before me, but thanks to Keith’s tenacity, he convinced me to take an in-depth look at the law and related sentences.
Not for nothing has Keith been called the ‘Erin Brockovich’ of Spanish off-plan property.
My team and I began to unearth occasional sentences issued by the Spanish Appeal Courts.
We conducted extensive research into off-plan property developers’ banks and on the basis of this, filed our first lawsuit against one in 2011.
We won it with a landmark sentence in 2012 and began our history as pioneers in defending the rights of property buyers and owners.
The original pioneers
After winning his own lawsuit against his developer in 2013, Keith Rule joined CostaLuz lawyers. Since then, we have stood at the forefront of the fight to defend consumers against banks who approved abusive mortgages or did not provide guarantees for off-plan purchases.
Using the same tools created by the banks to inflate property values prior to 2008, we have been instrumental in court settlements in favour of our clients.
These have resulted in refunds, more sustainable mortgages or exoneration from negative equity. In the same vein, we have championed consumer causes and resolved insurance and timeshare claims in favour of our clients.
In line with our original purpose – to help English-speaking foreigners to buy property and live in Spain – we also assist our clients in purchasing property with peace of mind, sorting out their affairs for inheritance purposes and filing their taxes correctly.
We are justly proud to be the first law firm in Spain to successfully defend off-plan buyers’ rights and our guiding purpose is to continue to help foreigners obtain what they are entitled to under Spanish law.
At CostaLuz Lawyers, our aim to make Spanish law accessible and understandable for our English-speaking clients.
Legal action in a foreign country involves stress and anxiety and we strive to reduce these.
Our client services are second to none in their quest to explain legal procedures, answer questions and resolve problems. Furthermore, we are always there for our clients. We are proud that thanks to this approach and our attention to detail, our clients consistently resolve their issues or mitigate their problem.
Our core values as a law firm all stand on the same premise: our clients are first and foremost, people. To this end, we are always transparent, committed, sincere and honest. In the face of challenges, we persevere to achieve the best outcome for our clients.
Why use CostaLuz Lawyers
As well as pioneers in achieving the recognition of consumer rights in off-plan cases, we offer almost 15 years of experience, successfully defending our clients against banks and developers.
We featured in the 12th Edition of the Best Lawyers in Spain (2020) for our work in banking and finance law.
We are also unique in our mission to help our clients understand the Spanish legal system and believe that this approach leads to a better outcome for our clients.
The presence of Keith Rule, himself affected by off-plan problems, allows us to empathise with our clients. Thanks to this empathy, we can understand our clients’ frustrations and better answer their questions.
We firmly believe that this ultimately allows us to work for the best possible outcome.
Allow us to help you
We can help with a wide range of services from ensuring you meet your tax obligations to filing a claim against a bank or insurance company.