It is usually the case that deliberate, unlawful conduct (for example, a wilful breach of a restrictive covenant, or the deliberate interference with an easement) is likely to be punished in judicial proceedings. However, this was not the outcome in the recent case of Millgate Developments Ltd & others v Smith & The Alexander Devine Children’s Cancer Trust  UKUT 515 (LC).
The recent case of Dreamvar (UK) Limited v Mishcon de Reya & Anor  EWHC 3316 (Ch) has caused alarm bells to ring in the offices of property lawyers. It involves a multiplicity of claims brought by a defrauded purchaser of property in London, against its own solicitors, and also against the solicitors acting for the purported seller. The case explores the responsibilities taken on by solicitors acting on the completion of a property transaction.
A recent article in the Law Society Gazette (“Bankruptcy in conveyancing”, 1 August 2016) addresses the risks of a sole vendor becoming bankrupt, or subject to bankruptcy proceedings, during a property sale, and considers the extent to which a buyer’s conveyancer might be considered negligent for failing to discover the proceedings.