Eversheds hit by claim over property deal

National law firm Eversheds is being sued by London & Capital Group over its handling of the collapse of a £220m property transaction in February.

The investment and fund manager is claiming £300,000 plus interest from the firm, alleging it was negligent is carrying out instructions after an agreement to purchase the private property company St James’ Capital’s property portfolio collapsed.

The company claims Eversheds failed to recognise that a “notice of withdrawal” from the deal needed to be served to the vendor prior to the scheduled date of completion.

This is alleged to have caused London & Capital to forfeit the £300,000 ‘commitment sum’ it had paid when heads of terms were agreed in January.

London & Capital had paid the sum at the time heads of terms were agreed, which was held by the vendor’s solicitor Mishcon de Reya until completion.

However, under the heads of terms the sum could be returned if any statement by the vendors was shown to be inaccurate to the extent that it affected the value of the portfolio.

The deal later collapsed because, London & Capital claims, inaccuracies were discovered in the information provided by the vendor, reducing the value of the portfolio by £12m.

However, London & Capital claims that despite instructing Eversheds on February 4 to prepare a notice of withdrawal, this was not sent to the vendor until February 20, the scheduled date of completion and too late for London & Captial to recover the commitment sum.

In a statement, Eversheds said: “Eversheds is defending the claim made by London and Capital Group Limited with regard to the latter’s deal with St James Capital Limited. As this matter is sub judice, the firm is not in a position to comment further.”