Can lawyer retain funds?

Can lawyer retain funds?

Q.- Two months ago a friend sold her house. The estate agency accepted the initial €6,000 deposit (which they are holding on to) and four weeks later her lawyer accepted the 10 per cent deposit minus €6,000. This was a non-refundable deposit.

Her lawyer is refusing to pay this deposit into her account saying that the deposits are part of the full purchase price and will be paid to her, minus fees and costs, on the signing of the escritura.

This causes problems for my friend as she needs to put down a deposit to buy another house, but cannot do so as her lawyer is holding on to the deposit for her house. What is the legal situation? Can a lawyer legally hold onto a deposit? If not, can my friend insist that the deposit is paid over to her before the signing of the escritura?

D W (Costa Blanca)

A.- It depends on the terms of the agreement signed with the lawyer. Has she granted Power of Attorney to the lawyer? Does her contract specify that the lawyer is the depositario of the funds? If she has not done this, then she has the right to claim her funds back.

Send your questions for David Searl through lawyers Ubeda-Retana and Associates in Fuengirola at, or call 952 667 090

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David Searl

You and the law in spain Send your questions for David Searl through lawyers Ubeda-Retana and Associates in Fuengirola at, or call 952 667 090.