My experience with some real estate lawyers in Limassol

General questions & discussions on Cyprus property related matters
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Joined: 03 Dec 2020 15:56

My experience with some real estate lawyers in Limassol

Post by JMot »

I went through quite a few Limassol lawyers if anyone is interested in recommendations please PM.

Let's start from the positive. I have found two legal practices that I could recommend: a big famous one (it is in the British High Commission list) and a smaller one (it is not in the list, but it is a well known one in Limassol). Standard legal conveyancing work is priced pretty much the same by most legal practices (approximately 1% of the deal value give or take), the big difference is on any extra legal service (like legal opinions, legal fees for litigation, escrow accounts, ...).

I would carefully avoid the Limassol legal practices that is very recommended in this forum. Even if their pricing is aligned to the market, unfortunately nowadays it delegates to juniors who only work and answer telephone 10am - 1pm Mon-Thu, they also take a lot of additional out of office time and complain straight to the client if you manage to get their mobile in an urgent case like the appointment for the transfer of the deeds. The worst was causing a big delay on the simplest transaction of all (no mortgage on both sides and clean title deed) on a very basic procedural error due to their lack of attention (they know the procedure, they don't seem to care).

Another factor that can massively delay the process is the incompetence of the sell side lawyer (unfortunately in both of my deals so far), they only think about how to reduce their work and try to offload even issues that can only be dealt by them. The two I dealt with so far have almost no knowledge about banks' AML process, they actually dislike it, because the bank forces them to produce documentation. What most lazy lawyers will want as a means of payment are expensive bankers drafts drawn on a Cyprus bank, this only benefits the lawyer (since he can avoid becoming involved in AML completely when the draft is issued direcly by the bank) and none of the parties who would have a more efficient and cheaper deal with a SEPA transfer.

I won't even start about the abuse of the process of Revenue and Land registry employees who thanks to the excuse of the lockdowns managed to delay by 2-3 weeks every step of the conveyancing. They answer to nobody and they absolutely fear opening their offices, since the only way to push a deal faster is to go there in person to push the requests at least twice a week.

In my opinion the interest of the lawyer is not aligned to the interest of the client (this is very common in the UK and in Ireland as well, but in Cyprus it is macroscopic). They receive their full fees in any case even if delays are due to their errors and the delays are expensive for the client who looses rent time, they try to reduce as much as possible the amount of work since the fee is fixed as long as the process goes forward somehow.

Hope this helps buyers and sellers alike.
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