Quite a number of law firms have tried to apply law 57/68 in respect of properties in Morocco. With some developers, specially, those who did not furnish their clients with bank guarantees, it has been specially difficult to obtain and prove the link between the Spanish and Moroccan arms of the operation, not because these links do not exist, but because to obtain any detailed official documents is practically impossible to those who are not on the ground. With one developer in particular, it has taken us over three years to obtain that proof, all with considerable expense. Obviously, these documents are worth their weight in gold and will be presented to the court for the matrix case in Spain. A favourable resolution here will lead to all hope for the subsequent presentation of individual cases, this time with an extremely high percentage of success.
The procedure is divided in two stages:
A potential favourable ruling on the link between the S.A.R.L and the S.L (A general matrix ruling)
Individual case by case (Each client individually).
What is a Matrix Ruling: (In this particular case) It is a case won by the accusers at the first instance court that will create a precedent, Law 57/68 is one of those pieces of Spanish legislation that admits precedent. Spain is a civil law country and not Common Law, as for example the UK. However, in some instances the civil code admits precedent which in Spanish is called “jurisdicción” (jurisdiction has a different meaning under, say, English Law). What are we trying to achieve with this? – Very simply… We are trying to prove that the S.A.R.L (Morocco) and the S.L (Spain) companies are one and the same. If that ruling comes through, it will be taken into consideration by a judge when the time comes to take to court each individual case. According to my legal sources, if this is established there is an 80 to 90 percent chance that the defendant will win each individual case. The Matrix case will take less than a year to come through.
Armed with precedent, each individual client will take “their” bank to court in order to claim the deposits originally transferred and to win a compensation package. This is the second stage.
For the Matrix Case there is no need to send any personal documents, we will only require a signed mandate form and a Power of Attorney. Both documents we will prepare.
For each individual case: If you are an existing NHI client, we will have all the information on how you paid the developer. Eventually, you will need to notarise and apostille the following documents:
Sales Contract (French Version Only)
Proof of Payment (Very Important)
Power of Attorney (Spanish Version Only)
Copies of Passports (No need to Notarise nor Apostille this)
You can see that Law 57/68 was an attempt to stop the unscrupulous developers of the day from doing what they wished with other people’s money and the “hound” who were supposed to ensure this did not happen, were the banks themselves. So, a duty of care was established, banks had to ensure that constructors issued their clients with insurance policies or bank guarantees and supervise that (bank) finance was applied correctly. There is yet another angle that this firm has discovered and that’s not widely known. The law can be applied even if you haven’t got a bank guarantee. We need to prove that funds stayed in Spain, whether that is, funds went from client/lawyer to the developer’s Spanish account. This coupled with a positive ruling in the matrix case (link between the Spanish/Moroccan companies) will compose an excellent case.
Remember that the law requires the developer to open a separate account for day to day transactions. I simply cannot see a bank supervising the comings and goings of funds from an account prior to 2008. The bank was, simply caught when necessity came during the crisis.