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PostPosted: July 13th, 2009, 3:38 pm 
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This is a piece that appeared in yesterday's Mail on Sunday:

Four months after The Mail on Sunday revealed scandals surrounding the sale of holiday homes in Calabria, southern Italy, the London-based solicitor who handled the bulk of the transactions is to be prosecuted before the Solicitors' Disciplinary Tribunal.

Gabriele Giambrone, 33, was last week accused of breaching accounting rules and the solicitors' code of conduct by transferring client files and funds to Italy.

In addition, Giambrone, from Palermo, in Sicily, is subject to a Solicitors Regulation Authority control order as he is deemed 'likely to put at risk the interests of clients', which means he can no longer act as a sole practitioner and any future employment must be approved by the SRA.

Over the past two years Giambrone, right, organised 1,800 property purchases in Calabria, making his the busiest legal practice active in the region, processing between £27million and £45million of clients' money.

In March, we revealed that every one of the major development schemes in Calabria have been halted, cancelled or delayed. British buyers stand to lose hundreds of thousands of pounds in failed schemes.

The SRA is also to prosecute two of Giambrone's associates, Anna D'Arpa and Alessandra Bellanca.

The SRA 'was very concerned about the transfer of some 1,500 client files to Italy in August 2008 without the clients' express and informed consent'.

It added: 'The transfers were not in the clients' interests, especially when combined with Mr Giambrone's unwillingness to deal with the large number of apparently serious complaints he has received.'


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PostPosted: July 13th, 2009, 3:58 pm 
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I am happy to see some justice and exposure at last for all of us who have suffered by using this companyeven though it will not help me it will prevent others being taken advantage off.
I have been badly used and let down by them both financially and mentally not to mention time wasted trying to get help from them because I had paid for their services .
I had to organise all my own completion and snagging and I have had to accept things missing from my property that were in the contract because I did not have the money to pay another solicitor after G and L took my money.


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PostPosted: July 13th, 2009, 4:06 pm 
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Location: Italy
Thank you, Sebastian, for sharing this bit of news with those of us abroad! If it was not such a mess it would qualify for the "Good News" thread on this forum.

The Mail on Sunday and this forum can jointly claim to have played their part in exposing this.

I wished the good news could make it to the papers too. We have about 50 happy clients who have taken possession of their homes and are over the moon with it.

Three years ago we were approached by Gabriele who at the time wanted us to incorporate his fees into our property prices. Refusing to work with him has resulted in us loosing some development contracts but today we are still here and going strong - and all those touched by this little **** are in trouble and have lost money.

Let's see how the SRA fares - there maybe justice after all.

Dennis.

PS: A little correction on the MoS article: Gabriele is Sicilian


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PostPosted: July 13th, 2009, 4:27 pm 
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Good news indeed! (Now, will they take down that monstrous sign of theirs at Lamezia Terme? It must be an awful reminder for some travellers).

This guy looks like a kid. But he managed to do a whole of damage in his short career. Thank goodness I did not deal with him. :o


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PostPosted: July 13th, 2009, 4:59 pm 
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Hear! Hear! Dennis

Thanks to your advice, I have an independent solicitor and didn't have dealings with the "little shit."

Yes, there are good stories about buying in Calabria and although I haven't bought from you things are going well for me and for others too. Had I not been given Roberto's name from you I probably would be one of the unfortunate who have dealt with G and L and are suffering not only in terms of money but in all the angst that surrounds their total b.... .. of representing hard working decent people who have put their life savings or borrowed up to their necks for La Dolce Vita.
I hope and pray that this decision will help make things right for them.

mags

ps My solicitor is robertoviscomi@studioviscomi.com
If anyone wants to know why I rate him so highly just pm me but you'll have to give me an email address to reply to as I can't seem to send PMs.


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PostPosted: July 13th, 2009, 6:03 pm 
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Hi Denis, when you say that he asked you to include his fees in the property price, i'm sure it was only part of his fees, as he would have already fleeced us up front. I love your description of him and how very apt for his stature in every way, another good one would be cowardly, he has appointed someone else to clear up his mess.


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PostPosted: July 13th, 2009, 6:48 pm 
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God bless this forum and all decent honest hard working people.

The little shit has has inflicted untold damage to a lot of people and also dare i say to the legal industry. Who would trust a lawyer / solicitor again after this suffering and misery.

After being burnt by this crooked "money is my god" runt you just feel very let down by the legal industry. It will take a lot to restore my faith - like seeing solicitors working en masse in care homes FREE for a year.

Justice seems about to happen.


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 10:49 am 
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Hi,

As someone who is (hopefully!) going to complete in the next few weeks and to do so we will need to transfer Giambrone lots of money - is this something we shouldn't be doing or are they still "helping" people complete? Am just concerned because it is very last minute for us to be changing but wasn't sure if this article means they are no longer trading etc. in which case obviously we will need to change advisors.

Any help/input would be appreciated.

Thanks

Liz & Michael


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 11:17 am 
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Hi Liz,
You can pay the builder at Notary's office with a Banker's draft, the Notary fee etc you can pay with cash.
Simu


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 11:20 am 
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Location: Italy
I do not think it is a good idea to hand out money to somebody who is being prosecuted!

In fact, nearly all notaries in Italy have a client account you can use to pay the vendor. Get in touch with your notary, get a translator and do it yourself. If you use PoA use someone else.

Dennis.


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 11:43 am 
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Our problem is, we have given G&L power of attorney to complete on our behalf on 28th July. We are completing with the assistance of a Barclays Italia mortgage and have already paid virtually all of the balance (apart from about 1k euros).

I'm really not sure what to do now. We cannot get over there ourselves (which is obviously why we opted for POA) but don't know where we stand now. Are G&L still trading? We don't even know whether or not they will turn up at the notary's office on the completion date, let alone pay over the money that is hekld in thec lient account.

Obviously, we could appoint another attorney, but who? And how long is that going to take? And how much will it cost, on top of what we have already wasted?

Help! :(


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 12:00 pm 
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donstenk wrote:
I do not think it is a good idea to hand out money to somebody who is being prosecuted!

Dennis.

Agreed! Everyone who is currently using Giambrone Law should disinstruct them immediately and file a complaint with the Legal Complaints Service (www.legalcomplaints.org.uk) if they have a genuine complaint about their service or feel they have been a victim of fraud or dishonesty.

The insurers have begun making payments for compensation/interest which ranges between £1000-£15000.

In these circumstances it would be wise to begin to group together on the different developments to employ an independent lawyer to ensure primarily that the due diligence on the property you are purchasing has been performed correctly as it had not on my own purchase which left me with no option other than to withdraw because of the risks involved.

You should then together be able to source your own notary and translators that you trust which hopefully will result in cheaper fees for all concerned.


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 12:13 pm 
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Hi Martynellis

I too have given G&L POA for completion on the 29th July.
I have transferred all of the completion funds to there client account and as yet have not received any confirmation that they have received it.
Very worried !

Dreamer.


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 12:17 pm 
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Lavender wrote:
donstenk wrote:
I do not think it is a good idea to hand out money to somebody who is being prosecuted!

.


In these circumstances it would be wise to begin to group together on the different developments to employ an independent lawyer to ensure primarily that the due diligence on the property you are purchasing has been performed correctly as it had not on my own purchase which left me with no option other than to withdraw because of the risks involved.

You should then together be able to source your own notary and translators that you trust which hopefully will result in cheaper fees for all concerned.


Hi Lavender.
we tried that, only to be told that all cases would be treated individually, and regardless of information you have previously obtained (mine was from a Italian Lawyer who agreed to co-operate with any UK based solicitor) the solicitor wanted to start from scratch, and at a rather large fee when GL was mentioned. I think some other lawyers are also jumping on the bandwagon, plus it is also apparent that some clearly will not act against fellow solicitors, it's almost like a gentlemans club.


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 12:31 pm 
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Lavender wrote:
Agreed! Everyone who is currently using Giambrone Law should disinstruct them immediately and file a complaint with the Legal Complaints Service (www.legalcomplaints.org.uk) if they have a genuine complaint about their service or feel they have been a victim of fraud or dishonesty.


That's the point! Apart from being slow to answer emails and generally having poor customer service standards, I don't actually have any complaint against G&L.... so far. Specifically, I have no reason to believe that they have acted fraudulently or dishonestly in my case. It's the fact the OTHER people have experienced losses that makes me nervous, and quite honestly I'm in two minds about what to do next.


Last edited by martynellis on July 14th, 2009, 12:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 12:39 pm 
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Any money transferred to G&L will be money lost. Perhaps the article above is not clear enough, so I will restate: G&L have mishandled, i.e., taken, millions of pounds from clients without serving the clients’ interests and the without transferring the money to the developers, or returning it to the clients. There are many people who have not gone to completion because G&L haven’t transferred the funds being held in their “client account” and these purchasers are now in breach of contract. Don’t become one of them!

There are good lawyers out there. One Italian lawyer who is currently assisting in the post G&L clean-up is Nick Metta of Studio Legale Metta (n.metta@studiolegalemetta.it). He is representing ex-GL clients and getting them to the final signing, even when they were in really difficult situations. Working with his associate firm in the UK he has also assisted ex-G&L clients in submitting claims against G&L to the Law Society, thus helping the SRA prosecute G&L. Contact him, search for other reputable lawyers, go it alone, do anything but transfer more money to G&L!

Also, here are some links to the SRA decision. There are two other lawyers who worked with/for Giambrone who are also now being reviewed by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for breaches of accounts rules: Alessandra Bellanca and Anna D’Arpa.

http://www.sra.org.uk/securedownload/file/3173
http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/solicitor-check/3165.article
http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/solicitor-check/3170.article
http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/solicitor-check/3174.article


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 12:48 pm 
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Deepsouth, I understand what you are saying but we do know several people in our development who have already completed through G&L without any major problems! Their money did not go missing, and our development appears to have been generally well handled. Maybe they were just lucky or maybe the losses have only been on certain developments. I'd like to know more before making any hasty decisions.


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 12:50 pm 
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Best of luck, martynellis! I truly hope it works out for you. Keep us posted...


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 1:20 pm 
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howard wrote:
Lavender wrote:
donstenk wrote:
I do not think it is a good idea to hand out money to somebody who is being prosecuted!

.


In these circumstances it would be wise to begin to group together on the different developments to employ an independent lawyer to ensure primarily that the due diligence on the property you are purchasing has been performed correctly as it had not on my own purchase which left me with no option other than to withdraw because of the risks involved.

You should then together be able to source your own notary and translators that you trust which hopefully will result in cheaper fees for all concerned.


Hi Lavender.
we tried that, only to be told that all cases would be treated individually, and regardless of information you have previously obtained (mine was from a Italian Lawyer who agreed to co-operate with any UK based solicitor) the solicitor wanted to start from scratch, and at a rather large fee when GL was mentioned. I think some other lawyers are also jumping on the bandwagon, plus it is also apparent that some clearly will not act against fellow solicitors, it's almost like a gentlemans club.


Hi Howard, I'm referring to people who need to complete.

If I were completing....First I would contact all my fellow buyers, I would want to establish whether any of them had used anyone other than Giambrone Law to do the due diligence on the site to ensure that what I was buying would not be subject to civil or criminal investigation at a later date. If they had used a reputable INDEPENDENT solicitor, I would contact that solicitor for verification and clarify any outstanding queries I had and seek advice on the final deed of sale. I would then seek to source an independent notary to draft a final deed of sale (that could be used by the group), perhaps even outside of Calabria, who would be able to handle the completions of the group, with or without a PoA. I would do the same for the translator and negotiate a group fee.

Many of these contracts did not include details of the management company, maintenance fees, how the condominium would be set up and the mechanism for changing the management company, completion of the external works, fitting of kitchens, how snags would be dealt with (but more importantly 'when') insurance for the individual blocks etc, there are lots of loose ends to be tied up at completion and many people will need legal advice to get them through to the signing and ensure their future best interests are protected.


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 3:21 pm 
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deepsouth wrote:
Any money transferred to G&L will be money lost. Perhaps the article above is not clear enough, so I will restate: G&L have mishandled, i.e., taken, millions of pounds from clients without serving the clients’ interests and the without transferring the money to the developers, or returning it to the clients. There are many people who have not gone to completion because G&L haven’t transferred the funds being held in their “client account” and these purchasers are now in breach of contract. Don’t become one of them!

There are good lawyers out there. One Italian lawyer who is currently assisting in the post G&L clean-up is Nick Metta of Studio Legale Metta (n.metta@studiolegalemetta.it). He is representing ex-GL clients and getting them to the final signing, even when they were in really difficult situations. Working with his associate firm in the UK he has also assisted ex-G&L clients in submitting claims against G&L to the Law Society, thus helping the SRA prosecute G&L. Contact him, search for other reputable lawyers, go it alone, do anything but transfer more money to G&L!

Also, here are some links to the SRA decision. There are two other lawyers who worked with/for Giambrone who are also now being reviewed by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for breaches of accounts rules: Alessandra Bellanca and Anna D’Arpa.

http://www.sra.org.uk/securedownload/file/3173
http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/solicitor-check/3165.article
http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/solicitor-check/3170.article
http://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/solicitor-check/3174.article


Does he speak English or do I need to drop him an e-mail in italian?


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 3:39 pm 
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"all money paid to G & L will be lost."


they should have insurance so that you will get your money back but not next week.


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 4:28 pm 
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Ionian wrote:
all money paid to G & L will be lost.


they should have insurance so that you will get your money back but not next week.


Not if it's proved he acted fraudulantly. I'm not sure any insurance covers that.


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 6:44 pm 
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So what are G & L saying has happened to the client fund's that they have received ?


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 6:58 pm 
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martynellis wrote:
Lavender wrote:
Agreed! Everyone who is currently using Giambrone Law should disinstruct them immediately and file a complaint with the Legal Complaints Service (www.legalcomplaints.org.uk) if they have a genuine complaint about their service or feel they have been a victim of fraud or dishonesty.


That's the point! Apart from being slow to answer emails and generally having poor customer service standards, I don't actually have any complaint against G&L.... so far. Specifically, I have no reason to believe that they have acted fraudulently or dishonestly in my case. It's the fact the OTHER people have experienced losses that makes me nervous, and quite honestly I'm in two minds about what to do next.



Good evening

I am new here. I am also using Giambrone and will join the list of clients who actually do not have any complaints about Giambrone.

I have already completed a purchase in San Rocco II and everything went perfectly well (I have major issues with Italian Connection though) and I am also using them for 2 purchases in Jewel of the Sea. I have met with Mr. Giambrone at their presentation in London and we also met last year in Vibo: he always came across as polite, competent and always address our queries.

By the way, I am a solicitor and the following article was published in the Law Gazette this week:

http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/international-property-blow

With major International Law firms now closing down (John Howell - 30 years experience in the field) or suffering decreased income of 60% (Stefanno Lucatello - Max Gold/International Law Property Centre), or other big firms such as Rowlands closing their international property departments, the fact that Giambrone is still in business does give me a lot of comfort.

Finally, everyone should remember that a referral to the Solicitors Tribunal does not mean that the solicitor is guilty as - at least in this country - we have the old saying: innocent until proven guilty......every year there are hundreds of solicitors/partners referred to the Solicitors Tribunal (and not "prosecuted" as wrongly claimed) for breaches of the rule of conduct, and most of these referrals end up with a fine or a reprimand.

Regards

Mark


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 7:02 pm 
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Ionian wrote:
all money paid to G & L will be lost


can you please expand on this statement? If you do not have evidence to prove this, you are making false allegations against a firm of solicitors for which you may be prosecuted.

Form wikipedia:

In law, defamation (also called calumny, libel (for written words), slander (for spoken words), and vilification) is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image. It is usually, but not always,[1] a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant).

In common law jurisdictions, slander refers to a malicious, false and defamatory spoken statement or report, while libel refers to any other form of communication such as written words or images. Most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against groundless criticism. Related to defamation is public disclosure of private facts, which arises where one person reveals information that is not of public concern, and the release of which would offend a reasonable person. "Unlike [with] libel, truth is not a defence for invasion of privacy."[2]

False light laws are "intended primarily to protect the plaintiff's mental or emotional well-being."[3] If a publication of information is false, then a tort of defamation might have occurred. If that communication is not technically false but is still misleading, then a tort of false light might have occurred.[3]


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 7:33 pm 
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MarkD, welcome to the forum.

I am pleased to hear that your transaction on San Rocco II went smoothly and you found Avv Giambrone to be polite and competent however the SRA have now issued a control order which states that "The Committee therefore considered that Mr Giambrone is putting or is likely to put at risk the interests of clients".

I have no doubt that the authorities would not have taken such an action if they did not deem it necessary.

It is of course entirely up to you whether you want to continue instructing Avv Giambrone in the circumstances.


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 7:38 pm 
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MarkD wrote:
Good evening

I am new here.


Really? Not quite sure that's true . . . . . the only thing missing from this post is the usual request for more money.

Pathetic.


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 8:09 pm 
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MarkD wrote:

I am new here. I am also using Giambrone and will join the list of clients who actually do not have any complaints about Giambrone.

Regards

Mark


Hey Mark, Where is that list!?

You should send it to the G&L!


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 9:11 pm 
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hi,
So please write clearly down:
- what people who are with G&L, still before the final deed, can do in this situation?
- can I cancel the preliminary contract and get my deposit back?
- getting a new layer means of course paying the fee one more time? ( I have payed already to G&L :evil: )

thanx for your answers

pit


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 9:33 pm 
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pit wrote:
hi,
So please write clearly down:
- what people who are with G&L, still before the final deed, can do in this situation?
- can I cancel the preliminary contract and get my deposit back?
- getting a new layer means of course paying the fee one more time? ( I have payed already to G&L :evil: )

thanx for your answers

pit


Getting new lawyers means paying double fees and I suggest that you contact G&L and ask theml if you can cancel your purchase?

I have spoken with Iain Buchan today at great lenght on the phone and he assured me that for the Italian side of the business it was business as usual as the SRA decision did not have any effect in Italy.

Whether you can cancel your deposit is of course a legal question which only an Italian-qualified solicitor should be able to answer: however, I suggest that you contact G&L as your first point of call (email them seems more effective) and ask them for advice? If you have already paid their fees, it won't cost you anything :)


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 10:01 pm 
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MarkD wrote:
pit wrote:
hi,
So please write clearly down:
- what people who are with G&L, still before the final deed, can do in this situation?
- can I cancel the preliminary contract and get my deposit back?
- getting a new layer means of course paying the fee one more time? ( I have payed already to G&L :evil: )

thanx for your answers

pit


Getting new lawyers means paying double fees and I suggest that you contact G&L and ask theml if you can cancel your purchase?

I have spoken with Iain Buchan today at great lenght on the phone and he assured me that for the Italian side of the business it was business as usual as the SRA decision did not have any effect in Italy.

Whether you can cancel your deposit is of course a legal question which only an Italian-qualified solicitor should be able to answer: however, I suggest that you contact G&L as your first point of call (email them seems more effective) and ask them for advice? If you have already paid their fees, it won't cost you anything :)

MarkD, I do not understand why you are suggesting that pit contact G&L and ask them for advice when the SRA have issued a control order which states that Avv Giambrone is putting or is likely to put at risk the interests of clients, please can you explain?


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 10:30 pm 
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MarkD,

Or is it Iain B ?? Who knows !

Sorry but don't know who you are but I think you must be one of the very, very, very few people who seem to think G&L have offered any help to anyone.

If it's true, good luck to you. I'm one of the people who disinstructed them due to dire service. To be honest if I did email them as you suggest I would probably have to wait a couple of months to get any reply.

I'd avoid them but its up to you.

Dave


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 10:45 pm 
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pit wrote:
hi,
- getting a new layer means of course paying the fee one more time? ( I have payed already to G&L :evil: )


Have you paid them for the preliminary contract work, or the completion work?

All of their literature indicated an all inclusive service, but it would appear not to be the case. I thought it was, and have just recieved the letter telling me that completion is extra.


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PostPosted: July 14th, 2009, 11:01 pm 
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Quote:
Have you paid them for the preliminary contract work, or the completion work?

All of their literature indicated an all inclusive service, but it would appear not to be the case. I thought it was, and have just recieved the letter telling me that completion is extra.



It was for the preliminary contract. And yes very sadly but this is the case they indicated that there is one fee for the all service but now completion is extra?!

What I start to understand that there is on other chance but go for new lawyer? Spend money again...
Who knows anybody that you can trust and will kick the G&L ass?
I don't want to think even about what is not written in my contract?


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 9:01 am 
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[/quote]

Getting new lawyers means paying double fees and I suggest that you contact G&L and ask theml if you can cancel your purchase?

I have spoken with Iain Buchan today at great lenght on the phone and he assured me that for the Italian side of the business it was business as usual as the SRA decision did not have any effect in Italy.

Whether you can cancel your deposit is of course a legal question which only an Italian-qualified solicitor should be able to answer: however, I suggest that you contact G&L as your first point of call (email them seems more effective) and ask them for advice? If you have already paid their fees, it won't cost you anything :)[/quote]

If only it was that easy to contact and get a reply from GL. Had this been happening, some uf us would not be in the dire mess this shower have created.
Mark, please do share with us the contact details you have, or is it "the old boy network"
Please try calling Iain Buchan and mentioning Bella Vista 2, perhaps you could be the link we are all missing :evil:


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 10:58 am 
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In relation to the article published in the Mail on Sunday on 12th July 2009, it seems that there are many conflicting stories surrounding Avv. Gabriele Giambrone.

It is important to note that the article is very biased, as are many articles printed in the press. Unfortunately, the press seem to devise reasons for actions which suit their own purpose, which is clearly to sell newspapers and maintain readership of their “glossy supplements”.

We would like to point out that the Solicitors Regulation Authority, has, on a previous occasion, considered the matter of transferring our clients’ files to Italy and found that there was nothing wrong in doing so. Indeed our explanation when asked why was very simple, it allowed us to facilitate dealing with the numerous builders and to complete the purchases using our own attorneys as opposed to locally appointed agents which are used by the majority of other “Italian” law firms in the UK, purporting to provide legal representation on completion.

Avv. Giambrone has always assisted the Solicitors Regulation Authority in answering any questions raised by them concerning the files of our clients, in particular, those clients who are purchasing in Calabria.

Giambrone Law and Avv. Giambrone as the owner of the firm fully supports the operation of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the role which they fulfil in England and Wales. Given the allegations that have been made by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the fact that they are concentrating their allegations against the individual Gabriele Giambrone and not the firm Giambrone Law LLP (at the time), the matter has been referred to our own Solicitors who will obviously defend any allegations of impropriety.

Avv. Giambrone and Giambrone Law are very proud of our achievements and we categorically refute any allegations of wrong doing.

It is true that Giambrone Law represented nearly 2000 clients who wished to purchase an off-plan property in Calabria, and it is also true that Giambrone Law grew to become one of the busiest firms in the region due to this. This is not something we are ashamed of, Giambrone Law are widely considered throughout Italy as the leaders in our field, and this includes Real Estate, Private Client work and Litigation.

Some clients are clearly looking for a way out of their Preliminary Contract due to the worldwide recession; unfortunately, the person that people look to pass the blame to is always going to be the one party involved that speaks both languages and completed the due diligence. It is important to point out that by signing the contract clients promised to purchase a property, be it in one two or three years time, and if the builder is not in a breach there is no simple remedy to escape from the obligation.

Furthermore, the article states:

“we revealed that every one of the major development schemes in Calabria have been halted, cancelled or delayed”

This is a statement that is also very misleading since it seems to infer that this is due to Giambrone Law’s involvement.

Calabria as a region for “off plan property” could at best be described as part of an emerging market and was certainly untested. Purchasing a property in Calabria can never be compared to purchasing a property in, for example, the United Kingdom.

Yes, a lot of the developments are delayed but, at this stage, no developments that we have represented clients in have been cancelled.

We would like to point out that Giambrone Law have, year to date, successfully completed on in excess of 500 properties for our clients in Italy, and this adds to the 400+ completions that we facilitated last year. These clients are perfectly happy with the service provided and are currently living the dream they were sold by the promoter at the time.

We admit that there have been some teething problems in the region, but this is to be expected. Giambrone Law has always strived to provide our clients with the best service possible, often being hindered by the inefficiencies of the other parties involved in the transaction.

The article claims that British buyers stand to lose hundreds of thousands of pounds in failed schemes, but we emphasise that there is no specific reference to which developments the journalist is referring to. This kind of spurious statement only serves the purpose of creating a feeling of unrest and unnecessary worry among the people, such as you, who fell in love with the region and are looking forward to living in “La Dolce Vita”.

We understand that the article and continued speculation causes you concern but please rest assured that Giambrone Law continues to protect our clients’ interests and will continue to represent them through to completion.

As I have previously stated on this forum I am happy to speak with any clients who have any concerns.

The telephone number for the Palermo office in which I am cased is +39 091 7434 778 (or 0870 111 2158 from the UK).

Kind regards,

Iain James Buchan
General Manager
Giambrone Law


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 11:36 am 
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FULL TEXT OF THE CONTROL ORDER IMPOSED UPON GABRIELE GIAMBRONE BY THE SOLICITORS REGULATION AUTHORITY IN THE UK

PC CONDITION DETAILS

On 7 July 2009, a Panel of Adjudicators Sub-Committee decided to impose immediate conditions on Mr Giambrone's registration as a Registered European Lawyer pursuant to paragraph 6 of the European Lawyers Registration Regulations 2000 and/or Regulation 6 of the SRA Practising Regulations 2009 that, he may act as an REL only in employment which has first been approved by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, he is not a sole practitioner or a manager or owner of a recognised body; and Mr Giambrone shall immediately inform any actual or prospective employer of these conditions and the reasons for their imposition.

REASONS

The Committee noted the serious breaches by Mr Giambrone of the Solicitors Accounts Rules 1998 and the Solicitors Code of Conduct 2007 as detailed in the Report of Forensic Investigations dated 20 February 2009.

The Committee noted Mr Giambrone’s express confirmation that all of his practices as an REL within England and Wales have been or are in the course of being closed. On this basis the Committee deferred consideration of whether it was necessary to effect an intervention and fully expect that to happen in accordance with his assurances. The above conditions are intended to allow Mr Giambrone to effect a proper closure of his practices whilst allowing the SRA to regulate his future practice as an REL in view of the serious concerns identified.

The Committee was very concerned about the transfer of some 1500 client files to Italy in August 2008 without the clients’ express and informed consent. The Committee considered that the transfers were clearly not in the clients’ interests especially when combined with Mr Giambrone’s unwillingness to deal with the large number of apparently serious complaints he has received and his failure to date in 3 instances to comply with adjudications of the Legal Complaints Service.

The Committee therefore considered that Mr Giambrone is putting or is likely to put at risk the interests of clients
and that by imposing the above condition, such risks will be restricted. The Committee considered that in all the circumstances the imposition of the condition was proportionate and appropriate.


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 11:56 am 
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Whilst I do appreciate the internet as a tool to share thoughts and ideas, it is important to note that a lot of the posts in this section contain statements that are spurious to say the least.

I would like to go on record with the following.

The "breaches" that are referred to by the SRA are historical breaches that occurred during 2007 and are not current.

Giambrone Law LLP (at the time) employed a number of people who worked in the Real Estate Department when the files were held in London and the people who were responsible for causing the breaches of the Accounts Rules were dismissed from Giambrone Law LLP because of their misconduct.

Furthermore, their is absolutely no allegation of "missing money" and the allegations refer to breaches of the Accounts rules with regards to the methods used to reconclie the client accounts. These incorrect methods were used in 2007 and Avv. Giambrone has since employed a firm of Chartered Accountants to provide the SRA with the information in the format they require.

The SRA confirmed in an open letter to Giambrone Law LLP that they considered that we did not breach any code of conduct by transferring the files to Italy.

In addition, Studio Legale Giambrone (the trading name for Giambrone Law in Italy) is completely untainted by the current situation and continues to trade as normal, assisting our clients with their purchases in Italy, or more specifically to members of this forum, in Calabria.

It is important to note that the interim decision of the SRA, is simply an "interim" decision and does not presume any guilt.

Every year thousands of Solicitors in England and Wales are referred to the SDT for both major and minor breaches of the accounts rules and a referral certainly does not mean anyone is guilty. The standard principle of "innocent until proven guilty" prevails.

In relation to the handling of client complaints, I would like to stress that of the 64 current complaints with the LCS, the vast majority have not been upheld by the LCS and the files have been closed.

Giambrone Law represents in excess of 2000 clients purchasing in Calabria and any decent statistician would agree that the number of complaints is hardly a significant amount when you look at the whole picture.

In any event, any complaint raised, is given its due consideration and responded to accordingly. If we were at fault, we would admit it. If we were not at fault we would defend it.

Giambrone Law's own independent Solicitors are now dealing with the outstanding complaints.

I have found that a lot of clients are simply looking for a get out clause because their financial situation has changed and they cannot afford to complete the purchase that they agreed to buy 2 or 3 years ago.

I repeat, if any of our clients have any concerns I am happy to discuss them over the telephone or via email.

Thanks

Iain Buchan
General Manager
Giambrone Law


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 11:58 am 
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martynellis wrote:
Deepsouth, I understand what you are saying but we do know several people in our development who have already completed through G&L without any major problems! Their money did not go missing, and our development appears to have been generally well handled. Maybe they were just lucky or maybe the losses have only been on certain developments. I'd like to know more before making any hasty decisions.


Dear Martyn,

There is absolutely nothing for you to worry about with regards to your completion. The date is booked and all the documents are in place.

You are correct by stating that Giambrone Law have completed on properties without any problems.

If you would like further reassurance, please do not hesitate to give me a call on +39 091 7434 778.

Regards,

Iain Buchan
General Manager


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 12:05 pm 
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davecandou wrote:
MarkD,

Or is it Iain B ?? Who knows !

Sorry but don't know who you are but I think you must be one of the very, very, very few people who seem to think G&L have offered any help to anyone.

If it's true, good luck to you. I'm one of the people who disinstructed them due to dire service. To be honest if I did email them as you suggest I would probably have to wait a couple of months to get any reply.

I'd avoid them but its up to you.

Dave


With all due respect Dave, if you are basing your opinions only on the content of this forum and personal experience I find that quite naive. Giambrone Law represent in excess of 2000 clients and the majority of whom are very happy with the service received.

Iain


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 12:19 pm 
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Here is to hoping all is well after all.

Why is G&L so incredibly bad at reassuring their own clients and so good at writing press releases?


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 12:21 pm 
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Hi all,

the thread is in the 'Members Only' section. Please only read and post here if you agree to be bound by the terms in the yellow box on top of this page.

Dennis.


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 12:30 pm 
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donstenk wrote:
Here is to hoping all is well after all.

Why is G&L so incredibly bad at reassuring their own clients and so good at writing press releases?

Dennis,
For the avoidance of any doubt, I reiterate that the majority of our own clients are more than happy with us.

Iain


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 12:40 pm 
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Ian - spoken like a politician. You obviously discount past clients who are no longer instructing your practise, but with an acknowledged base of 2000 clients and a majority of 1 you could still have 999 dissatisfied clients and these are the people you should be concentrating your time on, not appeasing the man at the cause of the problem.


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 12:47 pm 
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Tuffareo wrote:
Ian - spoken like a politician. You obviously discount past clients who are no longer instructing your practise, but with an acknowledged base of 2000 clients and a majority of 1 you could still have 999 dissatisfied clients and these are the people you should be concentrating your time on, not appeasing the man at the cause of the problem.


I have already stated that if any clients are unhappy they can contact me directly and I can deal with their issues.

Your statement above is very mathematical but untrue, I will rephrase for clarity; the vast majority of our clients are happy with the way their matter is progressing.


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 12:54 pm 
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Hi Iain,

the vast majority of our clients are very happy with our services too, and those who are not are looked after before they turn to some forum or other in desperation. I appreciate you have quite a lot more clients but a few lessons in public relations would have done your company well.

For the benefit of everybody else: public forums (fora) will always attract people that are unhappy with something and start searching for it and meet each other online. Those who are happy are sipping a drink by the pool and certainly not discussing their lawyers online.

What worries me is that we have over a 1000 members, and a LOT of the discussions on this site are exactly about G&L. We have moved all the G&L rants into a restricted section because we want there to be a place to exchange information but also we do not want a whole forum dedicated to G&L. To be honest I am tired of you lot and think you should work a lot harder for your clients to avoid them going public with their complaints. And no, they are not all trying to find an excuse to pull out from their purchase.

Now, please be my guest and use this platform as a public relations exercise but do add something useful to the community as well.

Dennis.


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 1:03 pm 
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To members of this forum using Avv Giambrone and his firm, for the avoidance of doubt, the Panel of Adjudicators Sub-Committee of the SRA decided to impose immediate conditions on Mr Gabriele Giambrone's registration as a Registered European Lawyer pursuant to paragraph 6 of the European Lawyers Registration Regulations 2000 and/or Regulation 6 of the SRA Practising Regulations 2009.

The full text of the regulations referred to are below:

Regulation 6 of the SRA Practising Regulations 2009 – Conditions

6.1
The SRA may impose one or more conditions on a practising certificate or on the registration of a European lawyer when granting an application under regulation 3 to 5, or at any time during the practising year, for the following purposes.

(a) The SRA considers the individual concerned unsuitable to undertake certain activities in relation to a legal practice, either at all or save as specified in the condition, and that imposing the condition will, in the public interest, limit, restrict, halt or prevent the involvement of the individual concerned in those activities.

(b) The SRA considers that the individual concerned is putting or is likely to put at risk the interests of clients, third parties or the public by taking certain steps in relation to a legal practice, and that imposing the condition will, in the public interest, limit, restrict, halt or prevent the taking of such steps by the individual concerned.

(c) The SRA considers the individual concerned unsuitable to engage in certain business agreements, business associations or practising arrangements and that imposing a condition requiring the applicant to obtain the SRA's written approval before taking certain steps will, in the public interest, limit, halt or prevent a risk to clients, third parties or the public.

(d) The SRA considers that imposing the condition will, in the public interest, require the individual concerned to take specified steps conducive to the carrying on of efficient practice by the individual concerned.

(e) The SRA considers that imposing the condition will, in the public interest, facilitate closer monitoring by the SRA of compliance by the individual concerned with rules and regulations.

(f) The SRA considers that it would be in the public interest to impose the condition in any other case during the currency of a practising certificate or registration.

6.2
Without prejudice to the powers of the SRA under paragraph 2A, 12 or 13 of Schedule 14 to the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, the SRA may when granting an application under regulation 2.1(c) or at any time during the currency of a registration, impose such conditions on a foreign lawyer's registration as it sees fit:

(a) if any event listed in regulation 3.1 applies to the individual concerned;

(b) for a purpose within regulation 6.1(a) to (f); or

(c) where the SRA considers in any other case that imposing the condition would be in the public interest.

6.3
When the SRA decides, on an initial application for a practising certificate or registration or on an application for replacement of a practising certificate or renewal of registration, to grant the application subject to a condition:

(a) the SRA may postpone the issue of the certificate or the registration pending determination or discontinuance of any appeal; but

(b) the postponement may be rescinded if in the SRA's opinion proceedings on appeal have been unduly protracted by an appellant or are unlikely to be successful.

6.4
(a) The SRA must, subject to (b) below, give 28 days written notice, with reasons, to the individual concerned, when the SRA decides to impose a condition during the currency of a practising certificate or registration.

(b) The SRA may shorten or dispense with the 28 day period under (a) if it is satisfied on reasonable grounds that it is in the public interest to do so.

(c) A condition is effective from the date on which the condition is imposed unless a later date is specified in the condition.

Paragraph 6 of the European Lawyers Registration Regulations 2000

6. Conditions on registration

Any registration, at the time of initial registration or renewal of registration, or at any other time, may be made subject to such conditions as the Law Society may think fit, and the Society may lift such a condition.

As I have said before, I have no doubt that the UK regulatory authorities would not have taken such an action if they did not deem it necessary and I agree with Dennis that you should not pay any monies to a firm run by an individual who is under investigation accused of SERIOUS breaches of the Solicitors Accounts Rules in the UK and who will be prosecuted before a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

It is of course though entirely up to each individual to decide whether they want to continue instructing Avv Giambrone and his firm to represent their best interests, in whatever jurisdiction they are practising.


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 1:30 pm 
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ijb wrote:
We understand that the article and continued speculation causes you concern but please rest assured that Giambrone Law continues to protect our clients’ interests and will continue to represent them through to completion.

As I have previously stated on this forum I am happy to speak with any clients who have any concerns.

The telephone number for the Palermo office in which I am cased is +39 091 7434 778 (or 0870 111 2158 from the UK).

Kind regards,

Iain James Buchan
General Manager
Giambrone Law


Are you stating that in spite of the SRA's order prohibiting Gabriele Giambrone continuing to practise in the UK, he will do so? This post should be forwarded to the SRA.


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 1:37 pm 
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Lavender wrote:

As I have said before, I have no doubt that the UK regulatory authorities would not have taken such an action if they did not deem it necessary and I agree with Dennis that you should not pay any monies to a firm run by an individual who is under investigation accused of SERIOUS breaches of the Solicitors Accounts Rules in the UK and who will be prosecuted before a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

It is of course though entirely up to each individual to decide whether they want to continue instructing Avv Giambrone and his firm to represent their best interests, in whatever jurisdiction they are practising.


I am sure that the 500 clients whom we represented on completion year to date would disagree with you.

As i have stated in my previous posts, the breaches of the accounts rules that have been "accused" and not "found" relate to the incorrect methods used to reconcile the accounts in 2007 and does not relate to anything since then, furthermore this is being rectified by an external firm of Chartered Accountants.

Lavendar, are you accusing Avv Giambrone of stealing money??? If so I truly hope that you have some evidence to back up your accusation because it is a very serious one!!!

There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in any report which indicates that the SRA believe that any money is "missing".

If it would help I could publish the entire Solicitors Accounts Rules to this forum so that the members can read for themselves and then it may assist the "concerned members" as to what may constitute a breach of the rules.

IAIN


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PostPosted: July 15th, 2009, 1:41 pm 
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mailonsunday wrote:
ijb wrote:
We understand that the article and continued speculation causes you concern but please rest assured that Giambrone Law continues to protect our clients’ interests and will continue to represent them through to completion.

As I have previously stated on this forum I am happy to speak with any clients who have any concerns.

The telephone number for the Palermo office in which I am cased is +39 091 7434 778 (or 0870 111 2158 from the UK).

Kind regards,

Iain James Buchan
General Manager
Giambrone Law


Are you stating that in spite of the SRA's order prohibiting Gabriele Giambrone continuing to practise in the UK, he will do so? This post should be forwarded to the SRA.


Maybe you misunderstood me.

For your background information, all Real Estate files are handled from the Head Office in Palermo and not in the UK and all of our clients are fully aware of this.

I was simply informing our clients that if they have any concerns they can contact me and I provided my contact details since I am the General Manager for Giambrone Law in Italy.

I hope this clarifies it for you.

Regards,

Iain Buchan
General Manager
Giambrone Law


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