Lawyer Vows Refund to Disillusioned Irish Property Buyer

Novinite Insider » INTERVIEW | January 20, 2006, Friday // 00:00

Northern Ireland's Gary Taylor expressed in a letter to Sofia News Agency his disappointment with Bulgarian lawyer Maria Dobreva, who, he said, had "robbed" him of EUR 450. When SNA reporter Petya Sabinova contacted Dobreva, who practises in Plovdiv, she explained she had personal reasons to discontinue her services to the client. She vowed that she would return the money as she had not fulfilled her duties and has later notified the client of this in writing.

Taylor first contacted Dobreva on August 17, 2005 as she was referred to him from an English agent called ''. She agreed to represent him and they started the procedures that would allow Taylor to acquire his "own piece of heaven" in Bulgaria.

According to Dobreva, Taylor had contacted her at a very late point, and the developer had even warned her that the deal might blow if her client did not speed up his documents.

On October 25 Dobreva confirmed in an e-mail to Taylor that she had indeed received the money and a signed Power of Attorney (POA) statement and that she had opened a bank account in his name.

From them on attempts to contact Dobreva remained fruitless. She explained that although she had wanted to conclude the deal for her client, personal health-related reasons prevented her from doing so.

"I did not notify him, because at that period I was unable to work due to health problems," Dobreva said. She added that she had received a letter from Taylor, notifying her that he had found another representative and she claimed to be "happy that things were developing in the client's favor."

"Yes, I will return the money, no problem," Dobreva said when asked, "because I have no further business relations to this person."

Dobreva has confirmed that she will return the money, because she "did not manage to engage properly in the deal". She also added that she would close the bank account in Taylor's name if that was his wish.

"I would not want my experience to put anyone off either coming to Bulgaria or buying their own piece of heaven here," Taylor has said.

In the meantime other clients of Maria Dobreva stepped up in her defence. "She may have been unwell at the time the problem arose and we can confirm that she is sometimes difficult to contact," H. C. Robinson wrote in SNA's forum. "However, in her defence, we must say that she has represented us with total honesty over the last 10 months, handling very large sums of money with our total confidence. "

Due to the controversial nature of the topic, SNA remains open to all opinions on the issue.

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