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Professional Negligence On Property Purchase

Liz Norris acted on behalf of Ms Smith, who had instructed her former solicitors to assist in the purchase of a property for herself and her partner in January 2005.

Ms Smith paid a lump sum towards the purchase price of the property from the sale of her former property, with the remainder being funded by a mortgage in joint names with her ex-partner. Ms Smith's solicitors failed to advise on the different ways in which a property can be held by co-owners, and failed to take instructions from Ms Smith and her partner on this issue. Subsequently, when Ms Smith and her partner's relationship broke down and the couple split up, it transpired that the couple held the property as joint tenants, rather than as tenants in common. This meant that Ms Smith's partner was entitled to half of the equity in the property, notwithstanding that she had contributed a significant lump sum from her own funds to the purchase price.

Proceedings were initiated against the solicitors who advised Ms Smith during the purchase of the property. Liz successfully secured Ms Smith a large proportion of the amount that she had had to pay her ex-partner on separation.

Ms Smith was delighted with the result.

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