House Sale & Purchase

Know your Seller!

22 FEB 2017

The Law Society is considering intervening in a negligence case between Mishcon de Reya and its former client, after its client was duped into buying a London property from a tenant posing as the owner.

In September 2014, the client thought he was purchasing a £1.1m property in Earl’s Court, West London. The property seller impersonated the actual property owner via a forged driving licence and TV licence before disappearing with the £1.1m.

The claim against Mishcon de Reya related to its failure to identify ‘a number of features relating to the transaction which should have alerted it to there being a real risk of fraud.’
In conclusion, a High Court judgment found Mishcon de Reya liable for negligence and ordered the firm to pay £1.08m to its client in damages.

Mishcon de Reya is taking the case to the Court of Appeal, and stated that: ‘This judgment has major implications for solicitors and for the professional indemnity market. This goes beyond real estate and the result will impact on all transactional lawyers.’

The Law Society has announced its intention to intervene in the case.

This case has sparked widespread confusion over the scope of a solicitor’s liabilities and what reasonable checks they can make during the buying process. #Fraud #Propertyfraud


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