Where legal eagles soar

Find a good lawyer if you want to OWN your dream property.

Avoid using your home based lawyer as he or she will not be familiar with the law in that country, unless you are using your own lawyer to look after your interests and communicate, on your behalf, with the lawyer in that jurisdiction.

Note: If you do that you will be paying two fees instead of one. Also, do not use the developer’s lawyers, as there may be a conflict of interest, nor use a law firm that has been suggested by the developer, again there may be a conflict of interest.

So you have found the villa of your dreams and paid your deposit. Now is the time to get serious and find a good lawyer.

It is important to find a lawyer in the country where you are buying your villa.

Always go for the top law firms, do not try to cut costs by appointing a small private practice, they are unlikely to have the specialist knowledge or the backup and clout that the big law firms will have.

Look for large law firms like Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy. These firms have branches in lots of the major cities and most of the lawyers who work for them are top in their field, professional and have many years experience.

Except for a part payment up front, most reputable law firms won’t bill you until all the paperwork is finalised and you take possession of your villa, even though this may be several years away.

Tip: If you get to know other buyers in the same development you could all join forces and use the same lawyer. This would save you money, as the paperwork would be the same for each villa and therefore, the costs would be amortised.