Litigation Recent Decisions 07/05/96

Building society in dispute over land

Bristol & West building society v May, May & Merrimans (a firm) and between Bristol & West building society and 13 other parties (1996).

Ch.D (Chadwick J).

Summary: 13 actions in Bristol brought by a building society against 13 local firms of solicitors for breach of contract/professional negligence where the solicitors acted for them in mortgage transactions between 1988 and 1991 and the mortgagors defaulted.

Appeals against decisions from decisions of district judges and applications under RSC O.14 for summary judgment in 13 actions by a building society against firms of solicitors who acted for the society over domestic property between 1988 and 1991.

In the case of the Society v May, May & Merrimans, Gary Simmonds and Anita Jane Williams applied for an 98 per cent advance of £55,995 on a property with a purchase price of £56,995. The society offered £56,773, the amount sought, with the addition of £778 towards an MIG premium. Negotiations resulted in an exchange of contracts. The defendants did not think it necessary to inform the society that a special condition H in the contract meant the price paid by the borrower to the vendor was £1,000 less than specified in the advance offer.