Praetorian Legal have recently become aware of adverse online comments that have been proliferated by the timeshare industry and its envious competitors. We want to address these unsubstantiated, untruthful, defamatory comments made about our organisation.
The background to Praetorian Legal’s work within timeshare is a good starting point in understanding why we are subject to these sustained attacks. Praetorian legal was incorporated on 14 November 2014 after being consulted by an organisation that offered timeshare termination services and was looking to outsource the work to a company who specialised in consumer law matters. The Directors of Praetorian Legal have practiced in consumer law since 1999 undertaking work in Personal Injury claims, Cost Law and claims for Financial mis-selling, since 2006. Timeshare was a new area of law for us but after seeking the opinion of expert legal Counsel it was considered a viable area of practice for Praetorian Legal.
The organisation to whom we refer to above was a company called Eze Europe Limited (otherwise known as Eze Group). Eze Group classified themselves as a lifestyle concierge company who sold lifestyle solutions and one of the services offered by them was timeshare termination. They looked to outsource the timeshare termination element of their services because they did not have an effective solution to assist timeshare owners resolve their timeshare issues. Praetorian Legal agreed to provide a service to Eze Group clients and this was the extent of the agreement entered into with Eze Group, no more and no less. The important point to note here is that the Eze Group clients were provided with Praetorian Legal’s contact details and were not referred to us by Eze Group but made a consumer choice to contract with Praetorian Legal directly, which many did after being told about us by Eze Group.
From the start of the Eze Group/ Praetorian Legal relationship, Praetorian came under attack from the timeshare industry by way of online warnings being sent across the internet and resorts writing direct to clients warning them about us, with both resorts and the industry at large referring to Praetorian Legal as a ‘SCAM’. There followed adverse online publicity being published by the likes of Kwik Chex, the company behind The Timeshare Taskforce operated by a Mr Christopher Emmins; TATOC, a quasi timeshare consumer champion who are now bankrupt and not functioning; and, lastly, the Resort Development Organisation (otherwise known as the RDO), who profess to act in a self-regulatory capacity controlling resorts and how they do business with timeshare owners. Suffice to say ALL of the aforementioned organisations are heavily funded by the timeshare resorts and, therefore, can hardly be considered as ‘independent’ and acting in the interest of timeshare owners. Their primary objective is to safeguard the income of the timeshare industry and it can be seen by the fact that they do NOT report or punish the misdemeanours, mis-selling or unethical systematic misrepresentation by timeshare resorts. Anyone who has had any dealing with Silverpoint, Club La Costa or Diamond Resorts International will fully appreciate our comments, yet all of the aforementioned companies have heavily funded TATOC, Timeshare Taskforce and the RDO.
An important and noteworthy observation here is that whilst these timeshare stalwarts have tried to discredit and defame Praetorian Legal over the last three years or so, on no occasion have they ever evidenced consumers complaining about the services, misdemeanours or the shortcomings of Praetorian Legal. All of the adverse publicity has been warnings based upon opinion; their own opinion. The adverse publicity that we have seen, which is being distributed about Eze Group, mentions Praetorian Legal and one of its Directors Gary Smith. Whilst Praetorian Legal nor Gary Smith have been accused of any wrongdoing or impropriety, the articles strongly imply that both Praetorian Legal and Gary Smith stands accused of some impropriety or wrongdoing and are ‘Guilty by Association’. We can confirm that this is untrue and defamatory and there is no principle in English law of ‘Guilt by Association’. Not once have any of these organisations ever produced evidence of consumer complaints against Praetorian Legal. This also goes for any other government agency or law enforcement agency. Comments that came out of the investigation involving Eze Group were that the timeshare owners who contracted with Praetorian Legal and who were Eze Group clients too, received what was promised to them and, but for the service performed by Praetorian, owners may have been even more disadvantaged financially had Praetorian not kept to their promise and performed a proficient timeshare termination service for them.
The same applies to our competitors, who often pick up on the defamatory stories put out by the timeshare industry and they try to capitalise upon the adverse publicity to gain business. The timeshare industry and the less scrupulous cold callers, often ex timeshare reps, who seek to confuse timeshare owners in an attempt to gain their trust and win their business, are the real nemesis of the timeshare owner and not the likes of Praetorian Legal, who carry out their work diligently and stand by their clients. We do, however, understand and sympathise with timeshare owners who contact us with concerns and suspicions, after being contacted by our competitors or read something put out by the timeshare industry and resorts. The unfortunate thing about timeshare owners is that they are being unknowingly manipulated by what they hear and are often totally confused and do not know what, or who, to believe. The timeshare industry knows this and looks at timeshare owners as easy pickings, whilst often asking for money up front from owners. This is a practice that Praetorian Legal never partake in and because we act with integrity, we will never ask a client to pay money up front and any owner who has used our service will know this.
Having now explained what we have done, we backtrack to where we began, with adverse online publicity being proliferated by the timeshare industry and competitors all the time. We do not deny that we have been involved in obtaining business from companies that are under investigation. We have also been involved with those investigations and fully complied with the investigating agencies. There has been no allegations or accusations of wrongdoing or misappropriation levelled towards Praetorian Legal whatsoever. It has also been confirmed by the investigating agencies that the only complaints received by them have been related to the companies being investigated NOT Praetorian Legal. It has also been confirmed in writing that they have never received a single complaint about the service provided to a timeshare owner about Praetorian Legal.
We can also say that, where it is widely reported that Praetorian Legal are and unregulated paralegal company, this is totally and utterly incorrect and, again, defamatory. Praetorian Legal can confirm that they are authorised and regulated by the Claims Management Regulation (Ministry of Justice), as defined under the Compensation Act 2006 and the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990, amended 2007. Praetorian Legal’s regulation under the MOJ can be verified here> www.gov.uk/moj/cmr. Our legally qualified staff, who conduct matters, are Fellow members of both the National Association of Licenced Paralegals and the Institute of Paralegals and have current practicing certificates to undertake legal work related to those qualifications and practicing certificates. This can be confirmed by visiting the following websites:
National Association of Licenced Paralegals: http://www.nationalparalegals.co.uk/
Institute of Paralegals: http://www.theiop.org/
Please note that the membership to both organisations relates to the individuals who work for Praetorian Legal and NOT Praetorian Legal because it is the individual who holds the qualification NOT the company. This is the same in all law practices, it is the solicitor who holds the qualification, not the law firms. We are happy to give any enquirer the names of the people who work for Praetorian Legal who hold a qualification under both of these organisations for it to be verified, if required.
In addition to the MOJ regulation and the membership of the various institutes and associations, what comes with this is a requirement for us to have in place Professional Indemnity insurance to cover negligent advice or actions in respect of legal work entrusted to ourselves. Praetorian Legal have £2,000,000.00 worth of professional indemnity cover.
The detriment to any timeshare owner is the belief and credibility they afford to the untrue defamatory online publicity put out by the timeshare industry, whose only interest in keeping owners locked into paying maintenance to the resorts who fund their existence. As for our competitors, their interest is in gaining business on the back of regurgitating unsubstantiated, adverse publicity. What we would say to timeshare owners is this: throughout this article we have been totally transparent, as we always have been. As a regulated and insured company, Praetorian Legal can assure timeshare owners of professional and trustworthy timeshare termination service that we are convinced they cannot find anywhere within an unregulated industry, such as timeshare, where there is so much misrepresentation, confusion and lack of trust.
Our final thought to timeshare owners is: why would you believe or trust in organisations who are supported and heavily dependent on funding from the timeshare resorts, who mis-sold, misrepresented and in some cases have consistently sold you timeshare products that have not only not lived up to your expectations but in some cases has taken away from you money that is much needed into to your retirement years?