*P & P Property Ltd v Owen White & Catlin LLP and another

Solicitor – Conveyancing. The Chancery Division dismissed a claim brought against the first defendant firm of solicitors and the second defendant estate agent, alleging, among other things breach of a warranty of authority, breach of a duty of care and negligence, where the claimant had paid for the purchase of a property, which it later transpired, had been purportedly offered for sale by an imposter pretending to be the true owner. The court held, among other things, that the checks that solicitors were required to undertake were designed to reduce the risk of fraud and could not reasonably be thought to eliminate it, and that the question of title was primarily a matter for the solicitors instructed in relation to the purchase and sale, not an estate agent. In all the circumstances, the defendants were not liable for the claimant's loss.

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