Over the last few years Temple has insured a number of professional negligence claims against solicitors who gave advice to overseas buyers who had agreed to purchase, off-plan, apartments and student flats in developments across the North of England. A number of these cases have settled whilst others are still being contested.
In most of these cases the original developments were incomplete before the developers became insolvent and, in some cases, they became insolvent before any real work on site had started. The buyers were thus left significantly out of pocket, having lost their deposits with little or nothing to show for the money they had handed over.
Under the agreements for sale, the buyers – who had paid deposits of up to 80% of the full purchase price at exchange of contracts – were given a form of security designed to protect their deposits. The alleged negligence in these cases focusses on the advice given to the buyers about the extent to which the security was effective to protect the deposits paid.
In simple terms, on looking carefully at the agreements for sale, the claimants say it should have been clear to the defendant solicitors that the protection was illusory; by one means or another, the developers were entitled to utilise the deposits and get around the apparent protection afforded to the buyers in the agreements.
The Temple Perspective
These have been complex cases to underwrite. They involve issues around breach, causation and loss and, in particular, questions about the applicability of the infamous SAAMCO cap.
Temple has backed and continue to back these cases, trusting in the expertise and experience of our solicitor clients. If you have a property development professional negligence case you would like to discuss please call our commercial team on 01483 577877 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.