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PostPosted: February 2nd, 2013, 12:15 pm 
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Joined: June 4th, 2007, 4:21 pm
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Location: London
Gabriele Giambrone was struck off the Register of European Lawyers at the SDT yesterday and ordered to pay costs of £70,000. His defence team asked the Tribunal to suspend the sanctions until the full decision was published. As the members of the Tribunal had found the allegations were of a very serious nature the request was declined with a short, sharp NO!

The SRA made over 20 allegations against Mr Giambrone and his former partners. The central allegation was failure to properly write up books of accounts. The accounts were described by the Tribunal chairman on a number of occasions as a “shambles”.

I will put fuller details up as soon as I have proper notes.

Legal actions have now been filed in the High Courts in London and Belfast to recover monies negligently paid away by Gabriele Giambrone. You are by all means welcome to contact me for further details of these actions or those pending.

In my view, in circumstances such as these, it was absolutely the right thing to do to contact the authorities to protect your own interests and help the Solicitors Regulation Authority hold Gabriele Giambrone to account for the pain and misery he has caused very many people buying in Calabria and also to help protect the wider public from risk.

Those who have not as yet received monies awarded by the Legal Complaints Service should contact me as soon as possible and I will give the name of the person to contact at the Solicitors Regulation Authority.


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PostPosted: February 2nd, 2013, 1:36 pm 
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Thank you Lavender. Like so many others, I have been waiting anxiously to hear the news, which is better than I could ever have anticipated. I hadn't realised that the SDT had the power to strike someone off the European register - I thought it would only apply to England and Wales. Have I understood correctly that he can no longer practise anywhere in Europe? What will this mean for those still in the process of purchasing - will they all have to find new lawyers to complete their purchases?

It must bring huge relief to you, after all your efforts to see justice done for the hundreds of buyers who have lost thousands.

Very much appreciate you keeping us informed throughout to the very end.


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PostPosted: February 2nd, 2013, 3:44 pm 
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Sorry for the delay Gracie. Its very welcome news for all those now filing into the High Courts to get their money back!

This is the first time that a Registered European Lawyer has been prosecuted at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and there was much complex legal argument about their powers under different UK and European regulations.

Simon Montagu QC, acting for Mr Giambrone et al recognised that being withdrawn from the register was the equivalent being struck off so I’ve used the term because we all understand precisely what it means and the severity of the sanction.

I’ll leave it to Mr Giambrone to explain to his clients his legal position at this time and would be grateful to those receiving such an explanation to post the details of what he says on this forum.

If Mr Giambrone is still willing or able to assist those still in the process of purchasing, ask yourself whether you would want to be represented by a lawyer who has just been struck off....

Its my pleasure Gracie, now I just hope that all those who have lost their money as a result of Mr Giambrone's 'words of advice' and actions, come forward and join together with others to go and ask a judge to make him give it back!!


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PostPosted: February 7th, 2013, 6:31 pm 
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Joined: January 25th, 2008, 8:35 pm
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Location: Herefordshire/Badolato
http://www.thelawyer.com/sdt-removes-it ... 32.article


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PostPosted: February 7th, 2013, 9:35 pm 
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Location: Hornchurch, Essex
Ionian wrote:
http://www.thelawyer.com/sdt-removes-italian-lawyer-from-european-lawyers-register/3000632.article


Just in case some people can't see it.

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) has taken Italian lawyer Gabriele Giambrone off the SRA’s register of European lawyers after finding him and two colleagues guilty of accounting irregularities.

Giambrone, managing partner of Italian firm Giambrone Law, the firm’s private client head Allessandra Bellanca, and Anna Cinzia D’Arpa, who no longer works full-time for the firm, faced 14 allegations of a breach of the professional code of conduct and accounts rules.

The SDT, ruling on 1 February, found 12 of the allegations against Giambrone were proven and ordered him to pay costs of £70,000. Eight allegations against both Bellanca and D’Arpa were proven and the duo were fined £2,000 each.

The SDT said the misconduct arose from a bulk conveyancing practice acting on behalf of clients purchasing properties abroad, mostly in Italy, from 2006.

An SRA investigation, reported by The Lawyer last year (30 January 2012), found that client files had been sent out of the country to Italy without obtaining informed consent from clients beforehand. Giambrone received clients’ deposit monies associated with their purchase of foreign, off-plan properties. He then released these deposits to developers in Italy when there were no bank guarantees in place to protect client funds and no contracts had been exchanged, despite prior express promises to clients to that effect.

The SDT found that no prior consent from clients had been obtained before their deposit monies had been sent to developers abroad. They also described Giambrone Law’s accounts as a “shambles”.

The tribunal said the allegations were serious, and also found Giambrone’s explanation in response to be unsatisfactory and said that he had offered a “self-serving” account.

SRA executive director David Middleton said: “We welcome the decision of the SDT in what was a heavily contested case. This case sends a message that clients’ interests must be protected at all times.”

The full judgement will be published on the SDT’s website in due course.

A spokesperson for Giambrone Law said: “We are happy that this investigation has now ended as we can now concentrate in our efforts to continue growing the firm in Italy and internationally. The events in question were from many years ago (2006-2007) which were principally caused by a server crash in September 2007 which the firm worked incredibly hard to rectify. The SRA did not suggest that any client or former client had lost money as a consequence and the firm candidly admitted from the outset that some accounting mistakes were made. We cannot comment further until the SDT publishes its detailed reasons.

“The findings of the SDT do not have any material impact on the current operations of Giambrone Law in Italy since the London office has been closed since April 2009. Mr Giambrone was not struck off and he will continue operating as Italian ‘avvocato’ and managing partner of the Italian firm. He does not have any immediate plans to re-apply for registration as registered European lawyer to the SRA (although he is at liberty to do so) as he is no longer practising in London on a permanent basis.”

Giambrone maintains a presence in London through a consultancy firm, Giambrone Consultancy Limited, but the spokesperson said this office did not provide any legal services.

The bit in the text that is red.

Can anybody tell me where they got that info from?? Because me and 4 others are waiting to go to the High Court in London as we were former clients that have lost money.


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PostPosted: February 8th, 2013, 9:05 am 
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http://www.legalfutures.co.uk/latest-ne ... nveyancing


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PostPosted: February 8th, 2013, 11:31 am 
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The SRA said: “Crucially it was determined by the tribunal, in respect of evidence relied upon by Mr Giambrone that an employee of his firm had obtained verbal consent from clients permitting the release of deposit monies, that no such conversations had taken place and no prior consent from clients had been obtained before their deposit monies had been sent to developers abroad"

The employee referred to is "Brendan Dine".


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PostPosted: February 18th, 2013, 10:38 am 
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8 February 2013

Three Italian lawyers have been found to have committed a host of accounting irregularities while acting for clients in overseas property deals.

The prosecution was brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) as the trio had seriously breached the professional code of conduct and Accounts Rules. The case was heard by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal over five days in January, and the tribunal delivered its sanctions on Friday 1 February.

Gabriele Michael Giambrone, Anna Cinzia D’Arpa and Allessandra Bellanca of firm Giambrone Law LLP, based in Essex Street, London faced a number of allegations during the hearing. The Tribunal considered the 14 allegations that the SRA pursued against each of the three and found, in respect of Gabriele Michael Giambrone, 12 proven.

The Tribunal found 8 proven against both Anna Cinzia D’Arpa and Allessandra Bellanca. Giambrone’s name was ordered to be withdrawn from the SRA’s Register of European Lawyers, while D'Arpa and Bellanca were fined £2,000 each. Giambrone was ordered to pay costs of £70,000.

The Tribunal found Giambrone to be primarily responsible for the misconduct, which arose from this bulk conveyancing practice acting on behalf of clients purchasing properties abroad, primarily in Italy, from 2006 onwards. The breaches were discovered following SRA investigations, with the Tribunal describing the firm's accounts as a “shambles”.

The SRA discovered client files had been sent out of the country to Italy without obtaining informed consent from clients beforehand. Giambrone received clients’ deposit monies associated with their purchase of foreign, off-plan properties. He then released these deposits to developers in Italy when there were no bank guarantees in place to protect client funds and no contracts had been exchanged, despite prior express promises to clients to that effect.

Crucially it was determined by the Tribunal, in respect of evidence relied upon by Mr Giambrone that an employee of his firm had obtained verbal consent from clients permitting the release of deposit monies, that no such conversations had taken place and no prior consent from clients had been obtained before their deposit monies had been sent to developers abroad. The Tribunal described all of this as serious and found Giambrone’s explanation in response to these allegations to be unsatisfactory and said that he had not been frank, offering a self-serving account to the Tribunal.

David Middleton, SRA Executive Director, said: "We welcome the decision of the SDT in what was a heavily contested case. This case sends a message that clients’ interests must be protected at all times.”

Source: The Solicitors Regulation Authority, regulatory arm of the Law Society of England and Wales http://www.sra.org.uk/sra/news/press/su ... wyers.page


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PostPosted: February 21st, 2013, 9:10 pm 
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Doe this mean that Giambrone can still practice as a Lawyer?


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PostPosted: February 21st, 2013, 9:22 pm 
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According to Mr Giambrone's press release, he can "continue operating as Italian ‘avvocato’"


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PostPosted: February 21st, 2013, 11:13 pm 
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He's practising away merrily in Italy including representing Concordia clients


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PostPosted: February 24th, 2013, 10:17 am 
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THREADS TO READ TO CATCH UP ON LATEST NEWS

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3712 (El Caribe = Italian Connection)

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2405&start=650 (Jewel of the Sea = VFI)


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PostPosted: February 24th, 2013, 10:19 am 
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viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1284&start=750 (Giambrone & Law main thread)

viewtopic.php?f=51&t=2076&start=250 (Gabriele Giambrone to be prosecuted)


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PostPosted: April 11th, 2013, 5:03 am 
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Mr Giambrone did not appeal the decision of the SDT and their written judgment was sent to the parties on Monday and filed at the Law Society on Tuesday.

It should be published on the SRA/SDT website shortly.

No doubt correspondence will be going out informing those still instructing Giambrone that they cannot complain to the authorities in England. That remains to be seen because my understanding is that Giambrone has admitted that the English retainer did not end when the 'real estate department' fled to Italy! At what point it did end will perhaps depend on the correspondence you received from Gabriele Giambrone/Studio Legale Giambrone.


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