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The Dreamvar nightmare

Susan Hopcraft discusses the recent decision in Dreamvar v Mishcon de Reya and the warning flags it raises regarding identity fraud in conveyancing

7 June 2017

The courts have been busy in relation to solicitors’ liability when property purchase monies have been stolen following identity fraud. A number of recent cases share similar facts but the outcomes have varied, causing real concern to conveyancers.

In each case buyers attempted to purchase properties from sellers who were not genuine. When they lost their purchase monies, receiving no Land Registry title in return, they claimed against their own professional advisers and also the seller’s solicitors.

This note reviews the most recent case, Dreamvar (UK) Limited v Mishcon de Reya and another [2016] EWHC 3316 (Ch).

Facts

The property in the case, 8 Old Manor Yard, Earl’s Court, London SW5, was unoccupied, unmortgaged, and in a hurry to be sold. A fraudster impersonating the real ow...

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