Industry Update
Press Release 5 May 2016

UK class action lawsuit commences next week against timeshare exchange operator RCI Europe

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Edwin Coe LLP

Law firm Edwin Coe LLP has announced it is representing 487 claimants in a class action lawsuit to be heard in the High Court in London next week, "Abbot & Others v RCI Europe". The case, which is listed as a 10 day trial, concerns claims of detriment suffered by members of the RCI worldwide timeshare exchange club, part of the Wyndham Worldwide Corporation.

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The claimants allege improper "skimming off" of premium timeshare properties from the exchange pool by RCI, for profit and in clear breach of its obligations to exchange members. As a result, claimants say they were rarely, if at all, able to exchange their right to use a holiday property for an alternative holiday property in a different location of the same 'value' and that they are entitled to compensation of £5000 each totalling approx £2.4m.

Edwin Coe LLP has acted in the past on class action lawsuits in the UK representing Lockerbie victims, Railtrack shareholders, Northern Rock investors and investors in a Madoff fund.

It says a further 9000 members of a UK timeshare action group may potentially be affected by the judgment. In addition RCI Europe has over 700,000 members across Europe who may be interested in the outcome of this UK trial.

Two class action suits have been filed against RCI in the US over the conduct of its exchange pool. One is ongoing and one settled recently (which concerned the transparency of its points based system and property evaluation methods).

Some of the UK claimants say they only purchased their timeshare property with the express purpose of entering the exchange scheme and have found it completely failed to live up to the glossy brochure promises.

Lawyer David Greene at Edwin Coe LLP comments: "All timeshare owners want is a simple, transparent and effective way of swapping their right to use a property for the right to holiday at another residence of similar quality, within a reasonable timeframe. RCI, despite boasts of its large property exchange pool, seems to consistently thwart this reasonable expectation. Too many members too often have been told that they cannot exchange their own property for one of their choice, at a time of their choosing, and that no properties of equal value exist anywhere within RCI's 'extensive' pool. We intend to expose RCI's unfair practices at trial, and to secure rightful compensation for thousands of frustrated holidaymakers. This case may provoke a long-overdue shake up in the opaque world of timeshare exchange companies."

RCI Europe (Resort Condominiums International) is based in Kettering, Northamptonshire, England and is owned by Wyndham Destination Network, part of Wyndham Worldwide, one of the largest hospitality companies in the world. RCI claims to be the world's largest resort holiday exchange network.

Edwin Coe LLP is a commercial law firm based in the heart of London"s historic legal district in Lincoln"s Inn. Founded in 1913, we have grown from our litigation origins to become a thriving and dynamic practice, providing a comprehensive range of legal services to meet the needs of a wide variety of businesses, individuals and organisations based throughout the UK and overseas. www.edwincoe.com

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