Please see the latest developments on this matter here: IAP and FUEL Update 2017
Via its UK offices, Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. (“UTF”), is moving forward with the representation of former members of Instant Access Properties, Ltd./Instant Access Properties Global, Ltd. (“IAP”) who suffered financial losses and other damages as a result of their relationship with and membership in IAP. UTF has already represented over 1000 IAP members who have sought to terminate their preconstruction/off the plan “off-plan” purchase contracts and recover their deposits for well over 500 units throughout Central Florida including, but not limited to, Lake Austin Reserve (Grande Palisades, Avalon and Magnolia Woods), Lake Eve, Bahama Bay II, and others. To date, UTF has represented more IAP members in enforcing their legal rights than any other law firm in the world.
UTF is structuring the UK IAP litigation very similarly to the way it has handled many 100s of Florida IAP related cases. We will ask each client to sign a Legal Representation Agreement or an Addendum to their existing contingency fee Legal Representation Agreement and to pay a £350 (approximately equivalent to $500) cost deposit to be used to pay costs. The matter would be handled on a pure contingency fee and/or Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) basis to maximize any potential judgment. The only out of pocket costs to UTF clients would be the £350 cost deposit plus a separate payment to a third party After The Event (ATE) insurance company to provide insurance coverage in the event that the case was unsuccessful, and you were to incur liability via an adverse legal costs order to pay the officer and director defendants’ defense fees and costs.
The costs we anticipate incurring are for at least two Queen’s Counsel opinions and other expenses related to the case which are paid to third parties. The Queen’s Counsel opinions will provide us with additional objective insight into strengths and weaknesses and legal claims against the IAP officers and directors (IAP is in liquidation). We will then utilize those opinions to secure bids for insurance coverage if the case was unsuccessful and you were to incur liability via an adverse legal costs order to pay the officer and director defendants’ defense fees and costs. Each client will be responsible for paying a separate charge for this insurance coverage (in addition to the £350 cost deposit) if they wish to have this insurance protection. The cost deposit will be required from all clients at whatever stage they join proceedings. We envisage that UK solicitors will be instructed to pursue this litigation in the English High Court on a conditional fee basis.
LITIGATION STRATEGY AND ROAD MAP
Both IAP entities are in liquidation. Accordingly, the UK litigation will be focused on seeking recovery based upon the liability of certain IAP officers and/or directors. We would be attempting to recover from them any damages/losses resulting from your relationship with IAP not already recovered. UTF views this as a 3 phased approach with each phase being equally critical:
1) complete analysis of the case and evidence, Queen’s Counsel opinion(s), ATE insurance coverage, and other pre-suit matters;
2) filing of a lawsuit(s) in UK English High Court and securing judgment or other resolution of the litigation; and
3) collecting upon any judgment or other resolution.
UTF is aware of the pending English High Court case of Tamsin Barks versus “Jim” James Moore, “Tony” Anthony McKay, “Brad” Bradley Rosser et al. and the difficulties that the plaintiff, in that case, has faced. UTF has been in contact with and lent assistance to plaintiff’s counsel in that matter. However, UTF fundamentally disagrees with the approach being taken in that case which appears to be based upon making a “best effort” for justice versus UTF’s standard approach of a step by step analysis and ensuring that decisions at each phase of the litigation are made in a calculated business manner with the client’s involvement and based upon a cost/benefit/risk analysis (not emotion and revenge). This is a proven strategy that has resulted in UTF recovering well over $10,000,000 in funds for over 1000 IAP purchaser clients.
Ultimately, UTF believes that the cases will probably be consolidated via a Group Litigation Order (GLO) or another mechanism similar to how UTF administered the Florida litigation cases. UTF believes that there are strong and reduced risk in numbers. For example, the more IAP purchasers that retain UTF, the lower the ATE insurance coverage premium per client may be, the more information can be gathered in support of the litigation, etc.
UTF is actively being retained by IAP purchasers who wish to take the first step as outlined above and well over 100 former UTF clients have already indicated that they want to proceed. IAP purchasers should contact UTF’s Orlando (www.urbanthier.com) or Manchester (www.urbanthier.co.uk) office if they would like to learn more and/or move forward with phase 1. IAP purchasers should also feel free to share this information with others who may be seeking similar relief. UTF anticipates posting additional articles with updates and information, on both the www.urbanthier.com and www.urbanthier.co.uk websites, as the matter progresses.
We encourage all IAP members, who are contemplating legal action, to interview an attorney that they may be considering to retain and to ask that attorney for their experience, record in this area of the law, number of cases taken to final judgment, number of cases affirmed on appeal, number of attorneys in the firm, firm staff, resources, etc. We sincerely believe that purchasers should not retain an attorney or law firm until they are confident that 1) the law firm has the experience and resources to represent their best interest and 2) they fully understand the law firm’s litigation strategy.
The Florida Bar, which regulates all attorneys who are licensed to practice law in the State of Florida, provides strict guidelines which prohibit us from providing any additional details referring to past successes or results obtained for other purchasers in this or any different matter. However, we can provide you with this and other information in response to any inquiry. Accordingly, we encourage you to contact us via the “Contact Us” page, and we will promptly respond with additional information.
With attorneys in Orlando, Florida, and Manchester and London, United Kingdom, Urban Thier & Federer, P.A., continues to assist IAP members and real estate buyers throughout the United States and European Union countries. Most cases can be handled on a contingency fee basis (client is responsible for costs).
We encourage you to explore our websites – www.urbanthier.com (United States office), www.urbanthier.co.uk (United Kingdom offices) and www.urbanthier.de (German office) to learn more about Urban Thier & Federer, P.A., Urban Thier & Federer, Ltd. (SRA approval pending), and Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. Rechtsanwälte, and their attorneys and practice areas. Urban Thier & Federer, P.A.’s representation of buyers, includes litigation of cases in state court, federal court and arbitration proceedings. We encourage you to become informed of your rights and options. You should also ensure that any law firm you consult or retain to represent you has the experience, resources, and ability to take your case through trial and appellate courts, if necessary.
Please note that Urban Thier & Federer, P.A. does not represent you and cannot take any action on your behalf unless and until you enter into a formal written Legal Representation Agreement.
By John L. Urban, Shareholder