Wednesday, 30 March 2016


Acknowledgements and replies were received from both companies after the Easter break:

Haysmacintyre explained that 'Client Confidentiality' prevented their making any further comment.

Bates Wells Braithwaite added that the remarks by Julian Peribañez were defamatory of Francisco Marco, which is undoubtedly correct if those allegations are untrue.

They also helpfully suggested that the matter should be referred to the regulatory and disciplinary authorities.


Further update: copied from Twitter:   (apologies for the quality of the copy). 

See further
OPEN LETTER TO Bates Wells Braithwaite AND TO  HaysMacIntyre

Saturday, 19 March 2016



No Stone Unturned Limited - Audited Accounts - 2007 to 2014

Back in 2007 it would have been difficult to imagine that 9 years after its creation the Fund would have been such an enormous success and yet remain such an enigma. There's been much speculation into its many aspects in particular the nature of its incomings and outgoings. Below is one forensic opinion based on the information we've been given. 

As detailed accounts were only available for years 2008, 2013 and 2014 (highlighted in pink in the expenditure tables) it's not possible to tell for certain what income/expenditure fell under the various categories from 2009 to 2012 (highlighted in Blue).  There was some information available from the published accounts which helped and it was also possible to estimate some of the expenditure based on the actual trends.

The values highlighted in blue are one interpretation based on the criteria detailed in each section.  There's insufficient data to analyze 2015 accounts, all we can tell is that the expenditure exceeded the income by approximately £7K.  



We can deduce possible ratios from 2008, 2013/14 and take information into account - for example we're told that Libel Income of £550K was received in March 2008 from the express, £275K from the Tapas 7 and £125K from News of the World in 2009 accounts. We will assume that the libel donations were lodged net of taxation and legal costs therefore I have deducted 50% of the sum awarded.   Below is an example of how the income breakdown might look. 

We can see as we'd expect - most of the Bank, Internet Donations and T-Shirt sale donations were received in the first year and probably in the first 3 months of Madeleine's disappearance. Roughly 58% of income came from donations via Bank and Internet, the remainder generated from Kate McCann's book, libel payments and T-Shirt Sales. Bank donations dropped from £85,874 to £18,520 between 2013 and 2014.  It's clear that the public's donations have largely been spent and the Fund is operating on the money Kate invested from book sales. Is it fair to assume that the Fund Directors now see No Stone Unturned Limited as Team McCann's private entity?

 * Pink values actual, blue values estimated

This income is relatively straightforward - cash is received through the bank from various sources and reflected as income. Given its simplicity the minus income of £15,796 is a puzzle, how can donors charge the Fund or unpay an internet donation? You can only assume that 2012 Internet donation income was incorrectly overstated - but how could this happen and how did the accounts pass audit? Whatever the situation minus bank receipts are seen as a red flag in any organization.

Similarly it seems odd that T-Shirt sales dropped to £172 in 2013. While the 2012 income of £4,716 is an estimate the 2014 income of £2,744 is actual. It seems  strange that people would buy more T-Shirts in 2014 than the preceding year as it doesn't reflect the overall trend of the Fund.

In 2013 the findmadeleine website migrated from infohost to Domains by Proxy which seemed to result in a change in technology, I recall that shop/donation options were disabled for over a month. As you'd expect this caused a drop in internet donations which ceased completely in 2014. We can deduce that cumulatively internet donations were understated in the accounts to 2012 by at least 16K but this figure could be a lot more like 25K as we don't know how much was received in 2013, only that it netted to a difference in the year of minus £15,796. 



* Pink values actual, blue values estimated

In any company it's understood that admin costs - while necessary - are seen as costs that don't add value to the business. Given that the company doesn't need premises or staff you'd expect Admin costs to be minimal yet they run at 7% of overall income so in real terms £300K has been spent on nothing more than administering the Fund of which £250K approximately was spent on professional services: Legal Fees, Admin, Audit, Accountancy and Professional Fees. 

Much has already been spoken about regarding the £69K legal cost which was paid out in the first year. I've assumed this was a one off charge as the trends indicate it didn't recur. As the cost appears under the Admin category it implies that this was the legal cost of setting the Fund up which is difficult to understand. 

Notes to the accounts state that the Fund provided an Admistrative resource to Madeleine's family from 2009. I've added this line into the accounts (highlighted in green) though the actual figures for 2013/4 suggest this administrative support  was probably charged to the Auditor line as Audit fees were approx £2K more than reflected in the published accounts. 

Working backwards from the actual auditors remuneration from the accounts filed it suggests that the administration support for the family was in the region of £31K. It's difficult to understand the nature of this administrative support. 

Given that No Stone Unturned Ltd is a pretty basic company with few transactions/dynamics  the Audit cost  seems unreasonably high. It's worth noting that HaysMacIntyre had no comment regarding the discrepancy in Internet Donations in 2013. 

As we've already covered the main Professional fee categories of Legal, Audit & Accountancy and part time Admin and 6 directors with varying skill-sets it's very difficult to understand what the remaining £87K of Fund Professional Fees might cover.

Brian Kennedy - Who paid for the Investigators?


In September 2007 just a few days after the McCanns arrived home to UK according to reports Brian Kennedy approached them and offered them financial assistance. The nature of this financial assistance is vague  but it's broadly hinted Brian would pay for their legal costs associated with lifting their arguido status and PR difficulties associated with it - ie. Edward Smethurst's legal and Clarence Mitchell's PR services. 

We're told by Kate and Brian Kennedy that they had no previous connection with each other. I don't see any similar statement between the McCanns and Edward Smethurst though reportedly both Gerry and Edward Smethurst had a shared interest in the Nuclear Energy Industry. Given that Edward Smethurst is still a Fund director we could be forgiven for asking if it was he who approached Brian Kennedy and not the other way around.
From October 2007 there were various media reports on the hiring of the private investigation company Metodo 3 and claims as to who liaised with them and who paid them. According to Clarence Mitchell and the Fund Directors and audited reports it was the Fund who paid for Metodo 3. In January 2008 he makes an interesting statement - "We are paying Metodo 3 £50,000 a month so of course it is a subject of debate. The decision is as much with Brian as it is with the fund, which pays for Metodo 3's involvement." 

Reports throughout 2008 and early 2009 continued to emerge regarding Brian Kennedy's underwriting of the Fund's main investigators - Metodo 3, Oakley and Alphaig Ltd. In January 2008 Edward Smethurst became a Director of the Fund thereafter it's not clear whether Edward Smethurst's involvement with the investigators was on Brian Kennedy's or the Fund's behalf.  By early 2009 Brian Kennedy was heavily criticized for his handling of all investigations. 

We must assume that the Fund paid for the investigations because that's what the audited accounts tell us. In the accounting world it's not possible to play the "victim" card and blame Brian Kennedy for mishandling the investigations as it was the Directors who made the agreement and who paid the money over - therefore their mismanagement . 

The question is what really led to Brian Kennedy's termination of support as reported in Feb/March 2009 and why, after supporting their cause financially from September 2007 to February 2009 wasn't he mentioned in the acknowledgement section of Kate McCann's book Madeleine? 



Because each year appears to have a different dynamic it's perhaps easier to analyze these costs by year. Highlighted in green are the items which are more difficult to forecast, they become the "balancing figure" - as we know the Campaign cost totals. 

 * Pink values actual, blue values estimated

2008 - £673K: From the published accounts awareness is explained as distributing flyers and posters across the Iberian Peninsula. Campaign management includes Justine McGuinness, possibly Control Risks and any other expenses not paid by the home office. It's difficult to understand what constitutes £112K Legal fees as we've already had £69K in admin costs for 2008 though the Fund states it didn't pay for Kate and Gerry's legal defence. Much has already been spoken of the £38K web costs. The £250K search fees is explained in the hiring of Metodo 3 - ie. £50K per month as stated  with a balance of £50K likely due in April. The £673K total doesn't include Clarence Mitchell's or Edward Smethurst's fees which were paid by Brian Kennedy. 

2009 - £975K: Estimated.  Awareness is reduced as the Fund states that the website was the key part. The main activities were searches and  translation of the files. £650K to Search Fees seems reasonable - £50K for Metodo 3, £500K for Oakley and £100K for Alphaig Ltd and £180K for translation of the files. Legal fees of £50 included obtaining an injunction against Goncalo Amaral and various libel actions against the Portuguese newspapers and Tony Bennett. Brian Kennedy continued to pay Clarence Mitchell's fees. It's unknown if he continued to pay Edward Smethurst's fees however likely he funded any legal fees in relation to Madeleine being made a ward of court, the release of the files and the lifting of arguido status. 

2010 - £421K: The estimated £113K for Campaign Management is because while Brian Kennedy was no longer paying for Clarence Mitchell and he reduced his work on behalf of the Fund to part time the Fund mentions that they used a specialist communications agency in Portugal to ensure that their "message is communicated as widely and accurately as possible" The £220K for Search fees may be overestimated. 

2011 - £487K: Estimated. With Clarence Mitchell still part time and the Fund still paying the Portuguese communications agency £100K is an estimate for Campaign management. As Operation Grange was established we can only assume that the Fund didn't pay for a continued investigation - rather the cost was for their investigator's assistance with Operation Grange - therefore 60K seems reasonable, one person to answer questions and provide any information requested. Additionally - given the expertise that Grange brought to the table why would a separate Fund investigation be necessary and would Operation Grange even allow it?

It's not possible to allocate the remaining expenditure therefore £268K is  reflected as unexplained Expenditure which makes up 55% of the overall Campaign costs for that year. The Directors report didn't mention legal action so we can only assume the bulk went on the only other item listed in the reports- the specialist Portuguese communications company. The question is - why in its 4th year and when they were appearing constantly in the press - would the Fund need to pay £368K for Campaign management mainly in Portugal? If it's connected to Kate's suspicion that Madeleine is still in Portugal why did they wait 5 years to reveal this possibility in the media? Could the additional spend be connected with the action against Goncalo Amaral? 

2012 - £477K: Estimated. Campaign costs in 2012 were on a similar trend to 2011. Given the actual detail disclosed for 2013 it's easier to line the expenditure up. This year the legal action against Goncalo Amaral has been mentioned by the Directors therefore it seems reasonable to increase travel/hotel and legal costs though we emerge with the same problem as in 2011 - unexplained costs of £256K. 

2013 & 2014 - £179K: The Fund accounts show similar activities to 2012 except it's visible that activities are winding down significantly. It's still surprising how much was paid in 2014 for Search Fees and Campaign Management. 

As stated previously this is one opinion only on the likely nature of the Fund transactions since it's commencement. It's unclear why detail was only disclosed for 2009 and 2013 to 2014. This opinion concludes that approximately 30% of the Fund may have been spent on the search for Madeleine - most of which went to the unsuccessful investigations reportedly managed by Brian Kennedy who wasn't at any point a Director of the Fund. 

With the added complication of Brian Kennedy's assistance and the myriad of different accounts of who paid for what it's difficult to untangle the truth. Logic tells us that as the investigators, Clarence and the media tell us that Brian Kennedy dealt with all investigations he must have paid the bills - but the published accounts say otherwise. 

I gave her one, they gave him two,
You gave us three or more; 
 They all returned from him to you, 
Though they were mine before...

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

OPEN LETTER TO Bates Wells Braithwaite AND TO HaysMacIntyre


OPEN LETTER TO Bates Wells Braithwaite  AND TO HaysmacIntyre
Respectively Solicitors and Accountants for the Madeleine Fund 

Individual Copies sent to redacted  and  redacted 
who it is reported were jointly concerned with setting up the Fund

Dear Sir and Madam,

Several years ago I wrote to you about claims by Francisco Marco - proprietor of the detective agency, Metodo3, that they would be able to return Madeleine McCann to her parents 'by Christmas'.

You were kind enough to reply. You denied that such a claim had been made.

I am not sure whether you were fully aware that the McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell had already said that the family were satisfied, saying '....but we are pleased the agency is confident that they will find Madeleine in due course.'

You will also be aware that Marco's words are on a 'video' clip, available on YouTube, where he re-states his position, - helpfully in English. (full reference in Appendix - 1)

But given that you and HaysM were concerned with the creation and running of the Fund are we to believe that both your firms were simultaneously neglecting their duties.

As you know, in her autobiography, 'madeleine', Kate McCann herself admitted that these words had  been used, which gave rise to a number of questions about your and HaysM's level of interest,  professional competence, and/or veracity.

You will be aware that a recently published book -  La Cortina de Humo - by a sometime employee of Metodo3 details several large scale frauds committed against the Madeleine Fund, and shows how the techniques employed should have been apparent to anyone with responsibility for 'due diligence' and certainly to a trained and conscientious accountant.  (full reference in Appendix - 2)

Again this may raise important questions about professional competence.

I am confident that you will have read the book, and will have studied in depth the chapter devoted to the fraud, but so that anyone else reading this shall know, he details very crude and simple methods, which should have been obvious to anyone. He says that evidence is available to investigators, and may already be in their hands.  

They include simply obtaining receipts for travel from an El Corte Ingles travel branch, and then forging them by overwriting the relevant details, before including these in the monthly invoices to the Fund, overseen by you.

He states that the 20 operatives - or 40 as sometimes quoted - who were being routinely charged for consisted of at most three (3), and for most of the time, only two. He names them.

He goes on to expose the mendacious claim that Metodo3 had successfully recovered more than 300 missing persons in a single year. He worked for this company for several years and was aware of only two (2) such examples. Perhaps these issues could and should have been explored in detail before the contract was signed. Data Protection and the laws relating to the protection of minors would not prevent outline details of many of the cases being supplied for investigation, and Company accounts detailing a total of only twelve (12) employees are public documents.

He publishes the e-mails he sent to the people who had been financing the operation, in which he gives details of the fraud. He also sent these to two of the six Directors of the Fund, whom he names.

He received no reply and no acknowledgement. He interprets this, perhaps with justification, as a 'wall of silence'.

It is inconceivable that you and HaysM were not made aware of this, and again it raises further questions about your involvement, and your professional competence. The possibility of higher level collusion is of course unthinkable.

In your internet advertising you both make great play of your devotion to, and the importance of conducting and maintaining Due Diligence - you use the term 42 times, and HaysM 35 times. You both mention Transparency (58 and 44 times respectively), and Justice (86 and 16). You go further to discuss Investigation (78) and you use the word Fraud 35 times. HaysM use it 25 times.

It is clear therefore that both firms, at least in publicity and advertising, say they understand the importance of vigilance against Fraud at all levels and at all times.

It may be however that on this on occasion both firms simultaneously made the identical mistake or simultaneously failed to notice the glaring irregularities.
This would be in line with what is alleged to have happened many times during this perplexing case.

  • The blood and cadaver detection dogs were said to have made a series of mistakes but only in this  case, when they alerted to 14 items and places linked with the McCanns - but to no other places. The dogs' previous and subsequent performance has never been successfully challenged in the criminal courts
  • Some of the best detectives and Police advisors from several police forces from different countries made identical and false deductions
  • Top lawyers and public prosecutors in Portugal concurrently and independently made identical gross errors
...and so on. The case is full of remarkable coincidences. Many hundreds have been recorded so far. The revelation that  £ 500,000 of publicly donated money was squandered on a fraudulent enterprise, but worse - that no attempt was then made to recover the money, nor to take action against the alleged fraudsters, might damage public confidence in both your firms.

You are also surely aware of the book, El Método, by the proprietor of Metodo3, Fransicso Marco, in which at p. 452, he says 'Someday I'll explain if we believe that Maddie is alive or dead, and, if she was killed, who we think did it.' (full reference in Appendix - 3)

I draw this to your attention, as, of course, if it is eventually shown that Madeleine was in fact dead and that the parents knew or suspected this, as now seems increasingly likely, then the entire Fund would itself have been fraudulent ab initio, and the issue of due diligence and professional supervision will assume even greater importance, with the persons concerned being liable to account either to Civil or Criminal Courts.

The apparent failure or neglect of due diligence in the contracting of Kevin Halligen, of Oakley International, the Company referred to by Clarence Mitchell as 'the big boys, the best there is in international investigation.', - Halligen a proven and convicted fraudster and the Fund's subsequent failure to claim back the £ 0.5 m handed over to him under your joint supervision, is now a matter of historical note, and is documented and has been discussed elsewhere at considerable length.

Similarly the strange case of the contract awarded to two retired junior police officers, Dave Edgar and Arthur Cowley - according to Clarence Mitchell, a team of crack detectives - and of a company falsely named in many press reports as the impressive  'Alpha Group Investigations', - a respectable company in the USA. The company, was only incorporated as ALPHAIG, with an address of a cottage in the hills of Wales, some considerable time after this had been said. This strange case has already been picked over and the timeline confirmed.

Again the level of due diligence performed here seems - to a lay outsider - to be questionable. It is not clear, for example, how even the most basic Company Check could possibly have been conducted. According to the filed Company accounts it was operating on resources of £ 650 cash and fixed assets of £ 853. This case and the alleged involvement of your two firms has been discussed at length.

But we are left wondering whether two firms of your stature could have made three consecutive and identical errors of professional judgement and competence, not learning from the preceding ones, in the handling of a huge amount of donated money paid into just one Fund, benefitting just one couple.

Yours sincerely,   redacted

I fully appreciate that you are under no legal or moral obligation to reply to this letter, nor to answer any of the concerns raised.
In view of that, and the huge public interest generated by this case over the past eight years, it is intended, after a reasonable time, that this letter will be published on a web forum as an Open Letter, with some personal details redacted.
I am confident that given your commitment to Transparency, Justice and Investigation that this is acceptable.

1 YouTube
The interview with Francisco Marco, in which he says - in English -
“I know the kidnapper and we know where he is.
We know who he is and we know how he has done it . . .”
may be viewed at 1:23 on

2 La Cortina de Humo - 'The Smokescreen' - by Julian Peribañez and Antonio
(August 2014, ISBN 978-84-941649-8-9)

3 El Método - ‘The Method’ - by Francisco Marco Fernández
(October 2013, ISBN 978-84-9970-943-7)

Both books are available from, Casa del Libro, and

Quotes from La Cortina de Humo. Translated by a qualified and attested translator

p. 177 - I began to realise to what extent the company was swindling the fund which had been set
up and which was supported by hundreds of unsuspecting people whose sole objective was to
find Madeleine. Nothing special, just inflated expenses, invented items and false invoices, etc.

p.178 - Francisco Marco, whenever asked, always replied that Método 3 had deployed ‘twenty
men’ to investigate Madeleine’s disappearance! That was yet another lie.
This was the tactic used by Francisco Marco to inflate Método 3’s invoices to the client

p. 182 - He omitted to tell the journalist that his specialists were his mother and his cousin; he
must have thought there was no need to mention this. Alternatively, he may have thought
that the journalist had realised that his cousin was the chief financial officer (meaning the
accountant) of Método 3 and that his mother was just a woman who didn’t even hold a driving
licence and had been a secretary at a detective agency and who was involved in sales for the
agency and not investigative work.

p. 185 - He presented them with false invoices for travel and accommodation expenses for the 20 people who were supposed to be working in Portugal. The procedure for accomplishing this task was simple and straightforward and no scientific methodology was required: all they had to do was obtain some El Corte Inglés travel invoices and subsequently falsify them by changing the detail


Acknowledgements and replies were received from both companies after the Easter break 2016:

HaysMacinTyre explained that 'Client Confidentiality' prevented their making any further comment.

Bates Wells Braithwaite added that the remarks by Julian Peribañez were defamatory of Francisco Marco, which is undoubtedly correct if those allegations are untrue.

They also helpfully suggested that the matter should be referred to the regulatory and disciplinary authorities.

10th March 20017:

 The recent  letter from HaysMcIntyre   from February 2017,  which records their resignation as auditors of the Ltd. Co. Fund.

Thursday, 10 March 2016


This chapter, and the rest of the book, makes remarkable reading. Even if we accept only some of what the author says as being more or less accurate, then we are left with two broad options.
The first must be that everyone involved genuinely believed that M3 were a reputable firm:
that they did have experience in tracking down 300 missing people,
that they were able to put 20 to 40 operatives on the front line of enquiries,
that they were making enquiries in various countries - and
that all the invoices for work and travel were genuine.
It would follow therefore that the fraud committed by M3 on the 'Fund' is a serious crime, which should be reported and investigated. But several problems arise from this view. The Directors of the Fund include amongst others a highly experienced Commercial law specialist solicitor, a Consultant at the height of his career, an accountant (retd.), another solicitor and Coroner (retd.), and behind the entire thing, a hugely successful multimillionaire businessman.  And the Contract can only be awarded after Due Diligence by one of the leading London firms of solicitors, who specialise in Charity law and are fully aware of the pitfalls, AND by the leading firm of accountants who do the same thing.

Bates Wells Brathwaite make this wonderful claim on their website, where they talk about General trustee duties:
Carrying out due diligence;
Monitoring the use of funds;
Keeping records of actions taken.
And the Fund's accountants Haysmacintyre are even more boastful, and under the circumstances even more risible:
We see the big picture and spot the tiniest detail.
They have Partners with specialist knowledge of Fraud - consider Phil Salmon is a Chartered Tax Adviser and has specialised in VAT for over 23 years. He became a partner at Haysmacintyre in 2013 and heads up our VAT Department. Like many indirect task specialist, he started his career with HM Customs & Excise, initially as a visiting VAT officer, before moving on to specialist fraud teams.

Is it likely that NOT ONE of these people even raised an eyebrow, that not one murmured something about wanting a list of the names of the operatives, that not one asked for a breakdown of the invoiced amounts. Is this credible?

They just paid out half a million pounds of someone else's money and then did nothing when it was revealed they had been defrauded..?
And that not ONE of them had a pang of conscience about the fate of the little girl M3 were supposed to have been looking for during all the years that had been wasted?

Can we really just accept that all these people are jointly and severally guilty of gross incompetence and professional negligence?
And further, that once the fraud was exposed, and the details communicated to the Directors of the Fund - not vaguely, but with concrete examples and details of where the evidence is located - that not one of them raised an eyebrow and sent so much as a polite email asking for their money to be refunded..?

Haymacintyre again:
Trustees are responsible for preventing and detecting fraud ...
A good anti-fraud policy should Ensure:
- There are appropriate measures to prevent and deter fraud.
- There are necessary procedures to detect fraud.
- Employees are encouraged to take responsibility and report any suspicions of fraud.
- All instances of suspected fraud are investigated.
- Appropriate disciplinary, civil or criminal proceedings are undertaken.
- All suspected fraud is reported to the appropriate authorities.

But they didn't. Why not. Gross professional negligence, incompetence, stupidity..?
But strangely that may be their only defence, since the second broad option is far more serious. It would follow, if none of the above were incompetent, negligent or stupid, that they were operating to instructions specifically to ignore what they were being told. In other words:
It would follow that everything that happened was wrongly interpreted by an honest detective as being fraudulent, when in fact it was part of a wider overall plan of which he knew nothing, and only gradually becoming aware. Certainly his interpretation of Marco's words and actions, and subsequently of Brian Kennedy's and Gerry McCann's refusal even to reply to his email in which he details his thoughts are most telling.

Why anyone would go to the lengths of pretending to do a search across an entire continent, and submit false documentation to move half a million pounds from one account to another, when in fact the expenses actually incurred were significantly smaller is an open question and one which it might be dangerous to speculate upon.

But we are then drawn to a posted comment we remember from many years ago. A native Spanish speaker phoned M3 and spoke to Marco direct. There is no question of  'loss in translation' or misunderstanding. His report is quite clear and has been in the public domain for a long time:

It took me a while but in the end I managed to speak to the Managing Director in clear Spanish. I asked how it was that a Detective Agency of their standing could make such a ridiculous assertion making it known 'they knew Madeleine was held in Morocco and they were going to get her'. He tried to wriggle  out of it but in the end he said 'DONT ASK ME. THAT'S THE PARENTS' STRATEGY'.

Now we have This Chapter of This Book and as with a jigsaw puzzle - it fits perfectly.  The two lawyers who set up the Fund all those years ago are:
Rosamund McCarthy - advises a wide range of charities, foundations and public benefit organisations (national and international) on establishment, campaigning, governance, philanthropy, fund-raising and Enterprise activities. She also advises on mergers, restructures and incorporations. Her clients include start-ups, Household name charities, international foundations, campaigning bodies, membership bodies, royal charter bodies and corporate foundations. Rosamund enjoys working across a broad range of sectors including children and young people, the arts, education, health, human rights, the humanities, international development and faith-based charities.
Rosamund is recommended by Chambers and Legal 500, was nominated as a Super Lawyer in 2014 and appears in the 2015 edition of  Best Lawyers in the UK.
Publications and lectures:  contributing author to 'The Fundraisers Guide to the Law'.

Philip Kirkpatrick has been with BWB for the whole of his career, qualifying in 1995 and becoming a partner in 2000. He then became co-head of the Charity and Social Enterprise team in 2011. Philip advises charities and social enterprises on numerous aspects of charity, corporate and commercial law and has extensive experience in: constitutional and structural work including mergers, incorporations and other reorganisations, joint ventures and other forms of collaborative working, fund-raising and trading, charity formations, charity financing, business establishment, acquisition and sale, public sector contracting and legal governance.

These are not back-street firms from a small town in Leicestershire. These are the top lawyers and accountants in this sphere.
AND COLLECTIVELY THEY DID NOTHING  - Who told them not to?     



‘THE SMOKESCREEN’ by Julian Peribanez and Antonio Tamarit

(August 2014, ISBN 978-84-941649-8-9)





The first part of this chapter is written by Antonio Tamarit; the second part by Julian Peribanez

Antonio Tamarit:

Our involvement in the case of a little girl called Madeleine McCann began during October 2007 in the city of Tangiers, Morocco, where I was on location for business reasons. It is a place with which I am well acquainted. Performing work such as mine at that location is no easy task.

Whilst I was there, Francisco Marco rang me from Barcelona, instructing me to establish contact in Tangiers Airport with some people from Control Risks, London, who wanted to speak to me about a little English girl who had disappeared in Portugal, and to hear what they had to say.  

I met Brian Kennedy at the airport, accompanied by his son Patrick. The former was not connected to Control Risks, London, but was instead a patron who was helping the little girl’s parents to discover her whereabouts.

Our conversation focused on the common elements of the youngster’s disappearance. I made a few general comments on the basis of what I had read in the press (by this point in time, the only scenario I could envisage was finding a body, although I did not say that), and the conclusion that I drew from this first chat was that my conversation partners were very religious, as I myself am.

They were both convinced that the little girl was alive and that someone had abducted her. We got on well together. All three of us are keen on rugby and Brian Kennedy even has his own team (yes, that’s what he told us, that he had his own team). I commented that a complex case such as this requires in-depth research in order to be able to analyse all aspects. 

We agreed to meet again in Manchester, Brian having already taken it as agreed that we would be contracted. When I enquired about their flight number for their return journey to England, they pointed to a private jet standing on the runway. I jovially commented that they don’t have a hard life, after which we said goodbye.

I subsequently rang Francisco Marco in Barcelona to inform him of our agreement and I suggested that he refrain from involving the press, as was his usual practice, and that instead we should simply get on with our work quietly, so that he could enjoy his moment of glory when we actually made a discovery.

As the whole world is now aware, there has never been a single moment of glory in the Madeleine McCann case; however, it has occupied many hours of time on the television and radio as the centre of attention, packed with lies, and hundreds of pages in daily newspapers, magazines and on websites, containing many untruths.

For the above reasons, my relationship (and likewise that of the other serious employees of the company) with Marco was seriously damaged.

From that moment on, which took place as I was at Tangiers Airport, I was relegated to the sidelines. Marita Fernández and José Luis Marco Llavina travelled to Manchester; these were Francisco Marco’s mother, who had not carried out any investigative work for many years, and her nephew, the company’s accountant. This was all symptomatic of the plans they were setting up at poor Madeleine’s expense.

The aunt and nephew team returned from Manchester in heroic style. They made a big point of emphasising that where this operation was concerned they were not motivated by money; however, in reality they ended up making a fortune by means of deception and dishonest trickery.

I was sent to Portugal on two occasions, just to make up the numbers, because in theory a whole army of Método 3 detectives were supposed to be working in Portugal. The reality of the situation was very different. Nobody from Método 3 was actually working there except Julián Peribañez, who was burning the midnight oil in an attempt to solve the case, and Elisenda Villena, for several months.

They sent me to Marrakech because, according to what I was told, there was a witness there. The witness turned out to be a French woman who assured me that the missing girl was in the Rif Mountains. When I asked her how she knew that - and whether she had seen her - she replied that she knew two clairvoyants, one in France and one in Morocco, and that both had informed her that Madeleine was in the Rif Mountains. 

As the witness was unable to provide any further details, and just in case the clairvoyants’ predictions came up with any results, I proceeded to scour the country from top to bottom in my capacity as a member of the Método 3 army of investigators deployed to Morocco to solve the Madeleine case, travelling to Tangiers, Casablanca, Rabat, Agadir, Fez, Uarzazat, Uchda, Nador and any other places you may care to add. Needless to say, the little girl failed to appear.

After I had left Método 3, I began to realise to what extent the company was swindling the fund which had been set up and which was supported by hundreds of unsuspecting people whose sole objective was to find Madeleine. Nothing special, just inflated expenses, invented items and false invoices, etc.  Who were the beneficiaries of this dishonesty?

Needless to say, the usual suspects: Francisco Marco, Marita Fernández and his cousin José Luis Marco Llavina.

Julian Peribanez:

And there is more besides that about Portugal, relating to frauds, the hotline and Brian Kennedy’s extraordinary reaction when we explained to him that they had been defrauded.

The Madeleine case was yet another outrage bearing the unmistakable hallmark of Método 3. Now it’s my turn to tell you about it. Método 3 became involved in the search for Madeleine McCann in October 2007.

Although there had been some talk of my accompanying Marita Fernández to the interview, in the end Marita went with Jose Luis Marco Llavina to meet Madeleine’s parents, Gerry and Kate McCann.  I have no idea why, but the interview between the Método 3 representatives and Madeleine’s parents was recorded, which was not normal practice. I had an opportunity to listen to the recording. From that point on, Madeleine’s parents were relegated to the background and conversations were led directly by Brian Kennedy.

It was decided that the search for Madeleine was to take place in two countries: Portugal and Morocco (yes, Portugal and Morocco). My reason for emphasising that is because you may have read that the search took place in other places; however, that was a complete fabrication.

Antonio Tamarit trudged all over Morocco during a search the nature of which was both bizarre and insane. Where Portugal was concerned, Elisenda Villena and I were responsible for making the appropriate enquiries at the outset; however, after several months I found myself carrying out this task practically single handed.

In terms of the investigation, which lasted approximately eight months, we only received very sporadic assistance from Antonio Tamarit and Gerard Acereda. Indeed, their back-up was so sporadic that this only took place on a couple of occasions. Francisco Marco had tasked the latter of the two with locating a suspect who did not even exist. The purpose of Antonio Tamarit and Gerard Acereda’s visit to Portugal was to hide from Brian Kennedy (who had meanwhile suddenly left the United Kingdom and relocated to Praia de Luz in order to check first-hand on the progress of the search and rescue operations) the ‘empty shell’ nature of the supposed ‘twenty-man team’ from Método 3 which Francisco Marco had stated were dedicated to the search for the little girl in that area.

I wish to emphasise here again how shocking this was, so that it will not be overlooked: Francisco Marco, whenever asked, always replied that Método 3 had deployed ‘twenty men’ to investigate Madeleine’s disappearance! That was yet another lie.

This was the tactic used by Francisco Marco to inflate Método 3’s invoices to the client and it also gave him an opportunity to brag to the numerous journalists who were keen to report on the Madeleine case, as he was their point of reference.

I began in Portugal by following up various leads and then, by virtue of my good knowledge of English, I attended the offices of the Latium group in Wilmslow, Cheshire, in England where I met its owner, Brian Kennedy, lawyer Edward Smethurst, Madeleine’s parents Gerry and Kate McCann and cousins Francisco Marco and José Luis Marco in their capacity as the representatives, at the highest possible level, of Método 3.

The meeting, which had been arranged in order to outline the strategic plan and the investigative lines being pursued to locate the little girl, was also attended by another lawyer who was a former police officer, whose name I cannot recall. During the meeting, at the point when Francisco Marco addressed me. saying, “Stand up and talk, Julián, that is the only reason for your attendance here,” I realised that I had been sent to Wilmslow simply in order to deflect attention away from the fact that Francisco Marco’s English skills left a lot to be desired, which meant that he was incapable of describing in an intelligible manner the actions being taken to find the missing girl.

The presentation was laboured but it went reasonably well. There were some difficult moments when we had to take breaks. One such example was when the possibility was raised that Madeleine could have been abducted by a paedophile network. The parents remained stoical when this scenario was considered, although they were unable to stop their eyes from filling with tears. We had to stop at that point because their heartbreak was upsetting us all.

After the meeting had ended, the participants all went to Brian Kennedy’s home for supper. There, I was struck by how both our host and Madeleine’s parents were lovely people, and I was able to deduce, without any reservations whatsoever, that as far as that operation was concerned Francisco Marco had no particular interest in finding Madeleine. I made that deduction when during an aside, he asked me, “Do you realise how much an advertising campaign like this for Método 3 would cost me?”

Before I had a chance to reply, he answered his own question, “At least two million Euros!” An advertising campaign costing him next to nothing, which was barely the cost of setting up the Madeleine McCann telephone line - the famous hotline no. 902 300 213 - the purpose of which was for people to ring in with information leading us to the little girl’s whereabouts.

Headlines in the media stated that a mechanism had been set up whereby operators would answer calls in Spanish, English, French, Italian, Arabic and Portuguese. However, this consisted in reality of a switchboard which redirected calls to our office, where Método 3’s employees, including myself, answered them. Before going on to describe the nature of the calls we received, I should mention that our understanding of English, French, Italian, Arabic and Portuguese certainly left room for improvement. In any event, the linguistic element was of no consequence, given that no relevant information was lost.

Fortune tellers (Spanish playing card and Tarot readers), necromancers, palmists, individuals who had had dreams but did not know what they were about, followed by others who offered interpretations of those dreams. In short, pure esotericism and complete time-wasting, all of which was the result of Francisco Marco’s bright and unique ideas about how to find little Madeleine.

After that, the genie having by now run out of ideas, he returned to his lamp, not without failing, however, to make frequent appearances in the media circus, where both he and his mother shone like bright lights. They were the king and queen of the trapeze.

The daily newspaper El Mundo on 25th November 2007 quoted Francisco, who was overwhelmed by his stardom, as saying, “The pressure is immense. I have a waiting list for 60 interviews with media from all over the world - and in the mornings, when I go to take my breakfast in the bar, I also come up against some English reporter or other who wants me to divulge information.”

Then, Marita Fernández had the absolute audacity to state that “half a dozen translators are responsible for answering calls in their own language, whether French, English, Portuguese, Arabic, etc. … Each conversation is recorded in a file and every piece of information is cross-checked with the others.”

When the journalist asked whether they were doing all this work for financial money reasons, the reply was: “We’re talking about five-figure sums and no more, and almost the whole of that amount is to cover the travel expenses to the countries where we have been working. The 20-strong team who are working exclusively on this case are all on our payroll, and our fees are practically symbolic. Madeleine is our only client.”

Both mother and son were trained in how to answer questions of this sort. On the back page of La Vanguardia dated 1st November 2007, at the time when rumours were circulating about whether Madeleine’s disappearance was simply a money-making hoax, the journalist Victor M. Amela asked Marco what was the basis of his belief. The latter replied, “Our experts spent ten hours interviewing the McCanns, which was sufficient time for them to ascertain whether they were deceiving us. My specialists have assured me that they are not hiding anything at all, and that is why we have decided to help them.”

He omitted to tell the journalist that his specialists were his mother and his cousin; he must have thought there was no need to mention this. Alternatively, he may have thought that the journalist had realised that his cousin was the chief financial officer (meaning the accountant) of Método 3 and that his mother was just a woman who didn’t even hold a driving licence and had been a secretary at a detective agency and who was involved in sales for the agency and not investigative work. 

When asked what amount of money was being charged for the search for Madeleine, Francisco Marco replied, “Expenses plus a figure which is symbolic rather than high.” In answer to a question about how many cases of missing persons they investigated each year, he replied insistently, “We specialise in business fraud but we also locate approximately 300 persons per year.”

And now here is my attempt at solving a ‘rule of three’. If Francisco Marco’s agency turned over approximately a thousand cases each year and each missing person is one case, then what percentage of the trading account of Francisco Marco’s agency related to missing persons? And if I were to complicate the rule of three a little further, it would be interesting to know how many Método 3 employees were responsible for finding missing persons, given that during the six years I spent with the company I only dealt with two cases, which to my great pride I solved; these kinds of cases are the most rewarding within the profession.

Where Madeleine’s case was concerned, Francisco Marco answered the journalist from La Vanguardia with maximum audacity by stating that his agency had “about 40 people here and in Morocco”. To avoid repetition, I will avoid making any further comments, other than to say that I wish he had been struck dead when, upon being asked how he foresaw the ending of the Madeleine case, he said that he would “give Madeleine her dolls, calm her down, remove her from the place where she was, ring her parents and put her on the phone.”

The way in which things were turning out, Madeleine’s case would have to be closed. Brian Kennedy grew tired of trying to achieve the impossible, and of paying. Francisco Marco and José Luis Marco arranged to meet me at the Petit Paris Restaurant, which no longer exists as it was forced to close by customers who went there for meals on company accounts which were never settled.

Método 3’s name appeared on the list of clients who were in default because they had failed to pay a 3,000 Euro debt, as the accountant of Método 3 himself would have described it. He was the person who dealt with creditors. It was when we were inside the Petit Paris that Francisco Marco and José Luis Marco informed me that the contract with the Madeleine Fund had been terminated and that I should therefore take several days off in order to unwind. They also told me over that same meal that Brian Kennedy had suggested that I continue working on the case with him, an offer which was turned down by Francisco Marco and José Luis Marco on the grounds that I was too valuable to them. At that moment in time I was filled with pride, but the mere thought of it I now find repellent.

On 23rd November 2009 the news broke that Kevin Hallingen and Henry Exton from Oakley International had conned the Madeleine Fund out of half a million pounds. It would appear that that company had picked up where Método 3 left off.

On 13th December 2011, officers from the Policía Nacional (Spanish National Police) and Scotland Yard arrived at Método 3’s premises in order to remove documentation related to the Madeleine McCann case. I will pause for a moment here to describe the star performance in the office by Marita Fernández when she found out that the Scotland Yard officers had arrived.

As she cannot speak English, she participated in the conversation via the interpreter who had accompanied the officers, to whom she blurted out the following words only, “How are you getting on with those child sexual abuse cases of yours? How are you combating it? Because that is something which, obviously, forms an innate part of your English genetic makeup and which you carry with you …” The interpreter was absolutely astounded, yet the Método 3 director insisted that she translate these words. I ended up asking a question in order to divert the officers’ attention and rescue the interpreter from this situation.

Whilst they were there, Francisco Marco rang Mayka Navarro, the editor of El Periódico, to alert her and suggest that if she wanted to illustrate this news item, she should send a photographer and television cameras along to capture images of the British and Spanish officers leaving the premises of Metodo 3. On 14th December 2011, Francisco Marco appeared on the programme directed by Ana Rosa Quintana on Tele 5. I now reproduce a verbatim record of a significant part of the dialogue:

  • Ana Rosa: El Periódico de Cataluña presents an exclusive story by our colleague Mayka Navarro about the investigation of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Mayka, what are these photographs?
  • Mayka Navarro: Well, these photographs were taken yesterday at 3pm by our colleague Albert Bertrán from El Periódico, and in fact they show officers from Scotland Yard accompanied by officers from the National Police Agency. At that point they are leaving the Barcelona offices of the detective agency Método 3, there is the corner of the intersection of Tuset and Diagonal (streets) and they are holding boxes containing photocopies of the complete file on the disappearance of the little girl Madeleine …
  • Francisco Marco: I believe there are six, seven or eight very important leads in there, which were reported at the time in question, in partnership with the Spanish and Portuguese police, which the Portuguese police always dismissed without even investigating them - for the reason which has already been mentioned previously. And that was because this was a highly politicised issue and also because they did not want to act on any information which did not originate from their own sources. The only thing I would say is that on each day when one of us from Método 3 travelled to Portugal, we were followed the whole time and checked up upon continuously so that they could see what we were up to. We were never allowed to get on with our work quietly, and all the investigative work we carried out at that time outside of Portugal, and indeed some which was carried out inside Portugal itself, can be performed by Scotland Yard and the Metropolitan Police or else they can continue where we left off.
  • Mayka Navarro: Six leads, six lines, yes, yes, you were just saying…
  • Francisco Marco: Yes Mayka, that’s more or less it…

The reason I am recounting that incident and am able to do so in these terms is that firstly, I was present in Método 3’s premises when the officers from Scotland Yard and the National Police entered to find the documents; secondly, because I overheard the telephone call made by Marco to Mayka Navarro; thirdly, I am one of the people whose photographs were published, and fourthly, because Francisco Marco instructed me to let him know when the officers were due to leave Metodo 3’s offices so that they could be photographed (otherwise, the photographers would not have known who they were).

Don’t you agree that it is obvious how the Madeleine case was advantageous for Francisco Marco? It was so that the media provided him with a huge publicity campaign free of charge, whilst at the same time enabling him to fob off Madeleine’s Fund, an organisation funded by thousands of well-intentioned people who wanted to make their own financial contribution towards the search for the missing girl. He  presented them with false invoices for travel and accommodation expenses for the 20 people who were supposed to be working in Portugal.

The procedure for accomplishing this task was simple and straightforward and no scientific methodology was required: all they had to do was obtain some El Corte Inglés travel invoices and subsequently falsify them by changing the details. These invoices can be found stored inside Método 3’s computers which were seized and are located at Barcelona Court no. 14 (Juzgado 14 de Barcelona). For the time being, they remain there by virtue of an action filed by Montserrat Turu against Francisco Marco for breach of confidentiality.

As soon as we had compiled all the relevant information and evidence to show him, we subsequently contacted Brian Kennedy during December 2013 in order to inform him of what we had found out and suggest that he should take action against the persons in Spain who were responsible for defrauding him.

I rang him during the first week of December 2013 and my conversations with both Brian and his son Patrick were relaxed and friendly. Due to financial problems and Christmas holiday dates, we had to delay meeting him until January. We contacted Brian again on 8th January 2014; he asked us to explain why we wanted to see him and we informed him of the discoveries we had made.

We explained that, as a result of the latest scandals relating to Francisco Marco and Método 3, we had carried out certain investigations of our own. In so doing we had discovered that the company had conned the Madeleine Fund by producing false invoices, and so we wanted to meet them in order to check the information with him and work out a strategy whereby they - the parents of the little girl, in whose innocence we have always believed - would not suffer any harm as a result of this intrigue, in particular from the media.

I did not receive a reply from him, although I knew he had received my email because I had requested proof of delivery. I had to send him two messages and I finally heard back from him on the 11th day of that month, when he sent a vague-sounding reply about having to go to the USA and it may therefore be better if I spoke to Ed Smethurst, his lawyer. I had to send four emails before I was able to obtain details of his lawyer, and moreover in his last reply he warned me that he would be unlikely to be willing to take any legal action against Método 3 because he had to focus upon the search for Madeleine, or at least, find out who was responsible for her abduction.

I was barely able to believe what was happening and so I wrote to Edward Smethurst, who in addition to being his lawyer was also a member of the board of directors of the Madeleine Fund. The text of his email is reproduced below:

    Dear Julián,

I have just finished participating in a telephone conference with our advisors. As you are probably aware, the Metropolitan Police is currently responsible for the investigation. Therefore, the Trust (the Madeleine Fund) has decided neither to meet with, nor to discuss the investigation with, any private investigators whilst the MET (Metropolitan Police) are carrying out their investigation. We will therefore not be able to meet with you.

However, if you have any information which may assist the Trust (the Madeleine Fund) or the investigation, please feel free to send it to us by email and we would welcome this.

I was annoyed at the cold and distant tone of his reply. I simply could not understand how they could fail to be alarmed by the discovery that they had been the victims of a financial fraud and had been charged for work which was not carried out, as well as having had their hopes raised, only for it to come to nothing. Feeling let down, I wanted to find out exactly what the Madeleine Fund’s position was, and so I sent them the following email:

I understand that your position is as follows: that we wish to assist the Madeleine Fund to uncover a fraud which was perpetrated against the above Fund by a firm of private detectives, Método 3, with which the Fund had entered into a contract – and that you do not wish to hold a meeting with us - and that you will not co-operate with us in order to expose the above agency, which has stolen money destined for locating Madeleine McCann, which people around the world had donated out of the goodness of their hearts for the purpose of finding a missing girl, and which ended up lining the pockets of Método 3 as a result of false invoicing. Please would you simply let me know whether I have got this right, as I am finding it difficult to understand your position, and solely for the sake of clarity, so that I can be sure that we cannot rely upon co-operation from the Madeleine Fund in relation to this matter, and to enable us to pursue this issue in a different direction.

         With best wishes


I did not receive any reply. I was therefore able to ascertain that the Madeleine Fund had surrounded itself in a wall of silence, especially when I realised that Gerry McCann, the missing girl’s father, did not even respond to the message I sent him, the content of which was similar to those I had previously addressed to Brian Kennedy and the lawyer Edward Smethurst.

In the light of this situation, I should perhaps point out the following: the Madeleine Fund is not a charity, but is in fact a limited company called “Madeleine’s Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Ltd” based in Cannon Street in London (EC4M 6YH), with registered no. CRN 624815, office of registration 2-6. Its six directors include the aforementioned Edward Smethurst and Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of little Madeleine.

Furthermore, with the exception of the last invoices, which were processed by Brian Kennedy’s company LATIUM MANAGEMENT SERVICES, in theory Método 3’s client was not Madeleine’s Fund but was in fact Mr Brian Kennedy. Therefore, if Brian Kennedy failed to take legal action in relation to the fraud, we would not have a case, and that would be the end of the matter. Don’t you think that would be a shame?

However, rather than wallowing in displeasure, I think that it is worth examining the fact that the annual accounts presented to the press by Madeleine’s Fund clearly showed that they had allocated money from their own Fund to a team of private investigators who were searching for Madeleine, Método 3 in this instance, and that that money had originated from altruistic people whose sole intention was for Madeleine to be found.

That leaves a huge black hole which has swallowed up many thousands of Euros. In order to emerge from that hole, I would suggest that the English police, who have been tasked with solving the case, track down the only two existing copies of the fictitious invoices. Brian Kennedy has one of these copies, but he is extraordinarily disinterested in filing a lawsuit for fraud against Método 3.

The other copy is at Barcelona Court no. 14 (Juzgado de Barcelona no. 14), where the items seized from Francisco Marco remain lodged, pursuant to a court order enabling the police to proceed to search Método 3’s premises. The English police should act swiftly in order to obtain the false invoices, as if they fail to act expeditiously, Francisco Marco is sure to make sure they disappears, if the seized items are returned to him.

That would not surprise me in the least, given that this is a man who had the audacity to brag in writing that in order for Método 3 to carry out its investigation, “We have infiltrated Moroccan and French paedophile gangs” (El Método, page 452) and also speaking into Radio 4’s microphones - in a phony, humble tone - during the interview with Xantal Llavina and saying that he “felt proud to have led to the arrest of a paedophile network. I believe that anything which affects children is what propels me forward, having protected them by stopping these people, having meant that certain children will not have to suffer what many others have suffered before them; I think that is my achievement. As I also mentioned in my book, if Método 3’s entire existence had served only to lead to the arrest of that paedophile group, then I would say that its existence had been worthwhile.”

He was rather economical with the truth here, having failed to mention the following important detail: that the paedophile ring in question was busted thanks to a sickening video which a debauched paedophile provided to Método 3, telling us that Madeleine appeared in it, and also thanks to my investigation, the results of which I handed over in their entirety to Juan Carlos Ruiloba, a good friend and a member of the National Police’s Cyber-crime Unit.

In other words, Francisco Marco boasted to Xantal Llavina’s audience, taking the credit for what the person in his book The Method (El Método) described as a “liar, thief, extortionist and blackmailer” had achieved. And that was my good self!

Needless to say, the content of the video in question could be downloaded using a simple P2P and not by means of the mysterious-sounding “hidden server” which Francisco Marco pulled out of his hat in order to brag yet again that his words were the greatest.

If it is the case that the objective was to raise as much funding as possible in order to continue investigating the little girl’s disappearance, would it not have been logical to sue the company that has defrauded you? - and thus obtain additional resources?

In fact, that was what happened early on to the English tabloids, when they threatened to take legal action against them and succeeded in obtaining a settlement of a million pounds from them, a sum which was supposedly destined for the Madeleine’s Fund.

There is also the case of Goncalo Amaral, the senior Portuguese police officer in charge of the police investigation, following publication in 2008 of his book ‘The Truth of the Lie’, after he was removed from the case.

Given the above, it is surprising that they did not sue Kevin Halligen, who was the other person who conned them and is awaiting extradition to the United States for allegedly having defrauded a London company of 1.3 million pounds. (* see Notes below)

Anyone who is interested in doing so can watch on YouTube certain statements made by Francisco Marco on television, where he brags about his investigations and gives false hope to Madeleine’s family and friends. In some of these, he even goes as far as to say that he knows the identity of Madeleine’s abductor, his whereabouts and how he did it. Those videos were the ones which raised indignation worldwide and subsequently, the shaming of the profession in Spain.