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Showing posts from July, 2015

Building Regulations: Cottingham v Attey Bower & Jones Re-Visited

Time and time again I am asked by buyer’s solicitors for indemnity insurance to address the absence of building regulation approval for home improvements such as an extension.  In the majority of these cases there is no justification for the cost of establishing an indemnity policy and though I do my best to argue my case I am frequently met with misconceived responses. The truth is that many conveyancers do not have the time to consider the law and the easy route is to ask for insurance. 
I am sure I am not alone when I say I did not become a lawyer to ignore the law and to follow blindly practices which have through laziness become  the norm.  I recognise conveyancing is very much rooted in practice but there is applicable case law and statutory provision which ought at times to be considered. 
So when asked for indemnity insurance to address the absence of building regulation approval and or a completion certificate a competent conveyancer should look at the facts and apply the law a…

Is there a need to order a plan search in all purchase transactions? Orientfield Holdings Ltd v Bird & Bird LLP [2015] EWHC 1963 (Ch) (26 June 2015)

The decision in  Orientfield Holdings Ltd v Bird & Bird LLP [2015] EWHC 1963 (Ch) (26 June 2015) should serve as a warning to all conveyancers of the serious financial consequences that can flow from mistakes made when carrying our due diligence on the purchase of a property.   
In Orientfield the buyer’s claim against the conveyances acting on its behalf was for damages arising out of an alleged breach of contract and/or negligence relating to the purchase of a property in London. Contracts had been exchanged, a deposit paid by the buyers of £2.575 million and completion fixed for the 4th April 2011.
The  buyer sought damages contending  that its former conveyancers were in breach of duty as they had not informed the buyer of the impending development of a school, which the conveyancers had been aware of from a planning search carried out by them.
The trial took place during June 2015. The conveyancers argued that the buyer had bought the property solely as an investment in central …