Purrunsing v A’Court & Co ( a firm) [2016] EWHC 789 (Ch) – liability for a fraudulent purchase of residential property

A decision of HHJ Pelling QC dissecting the factual aftermath of a fraudulent sale of residential property. Before practical completion, the purchase monies were transferred to the fraudster’s solicitor and thereafter to a bank account in Dubai at the behest of the fraudster. The registration of the transfer did not take effect once the true owner was contacted by HM Land Registry and none of the purchase monies were recovered.

The judgment sets out at length the many failings of the respective conveyancers.

Liability of the conveyancers was admitted in breach of trust and the court denied relief under s61 Trustee Act 1925, and furthermore, concluded that each firm was to bear the liability for the purchaser’s loss equally.

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