‘Right to buy’ negligence claims against three law firms reach High Court

Right to buy transactions: alleged conflicts

Right to buy transactions: alleged conflicts

Twelve test cases over how three law firms handled of right to buy conveyancing transactions – setting out the stall for around 2,100 professional negligence claims in all – are to be heard in the High Court tomorrow.

A spokesman for Tandem Law, which is representing the claimants, said there are four cases against each defendant – Goldsmith Williams, Howes Percival and Matthew & Matthew.

The firms were contacted by Litigation Futures but declined to comment at this stage.

Under a practice direction, introduced in 2013, all right to buy claims have been transferred to the general list of the Central Registry of the Chancery Division and assigned to the Chief Chancery Master.

Tandem Law has been required to maintain a register of the claims, together with the names of claimants and defendants and addresses of the properties purchased.

The original right to buy scheme, introduced by the Housing Act 1985, allowed secure tenants, who had lived in council properties in England for at least five years to buy their homes at a discounted rate.

The initiative also applied to secure tenants of Housing Associations, whose homes had been transferred from the local council.

It is claimed that as more and more people began to take advantage of the right to buy their home, intermediaries saw an opportunity to make money by charging excessive fees for arranging mortgages.

The spokesman for Tandem Law said the allegations against the three firms involved referral fees and relationships with brokers that conflicted with the best interests of clients.

North-west firm Antony Hodari bought litigation specialist Tandem Law via its AVH Legal trading arm in 2013.

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