Sunday, February 24, 2008

Property buying through Scots legal firms seen as risky as lawyer investigated over housing firm collapse

Buying a property through a lawyer has never been more dangerous as both private & corporate clients across the UK have found out.

Recently it was confirmed that a £4million pound land purchase deal in Scotland, which was to have been made by an English company through one of Edinburgh's well known legal firms had gone bad, seemingly because the English client had failed to come up with the money in time, despite both parties agreeing the transaction and letters from the solicitors both confirming the deal had gone through.

It was later revealed however, the real reason the deal had fell through was because a second client of the English client's legal firm had been offered the same land deal with the proviso that one of the senior partners of the same legal firm become part of the development company which would oversee the building of commercial & residential property at that location.

The second client - a shell company which had been formed by 3 solicitors, together with a small construction company with links to several legal firms, was successful and bought the property for less than the original agreed deal between the English company and the Scottish client, and the senior partner of the second client's legal firm did indeed get his place on the development company as he wanted, while the seller got rather less than the asking price.

A complaint was of course lodged with the Law Society of Scotland, who apparently did nothing as the two firms of solicitors involved in the transaction, as well as the 3 solicitors who formed the shell company which succeeded in purchasing the land, are all 'well thought of' within the legal profession, one claiming to have direct links to his nibs, that well known politician who still thinks he is a lawyer ...

In today's Sunday Mail, a case of another property scam is also exposed, where a solicitor is being investigated by the Law Society after buyers lost money on homes which were never built ...

Little wonder business in the legal profession is getting weaker, and don't expect too much from the Law Society now .. we hear they are binning investigations and complaints as quickly as possible before the new Scottish Legal Complaints Commission takes effect - although since that is staffed with the same Law Society staff who are currently binning all the investigations and complaints, we here at Scottish Law Reporter wonder who clients will turn to when the new complaints venue fails like the old ...

The Sunday Mail Reports :

Solicitor Probed Over Home Scam

Feb 24 2008 Exclusive by Norman Silvester

A SOLICITOR is being investigated after buyers lost thousands of pounds on dream homes that were never built.

Tony Murphy faces a Law Society probe over his role in the collapse last month of Glen Isla Homes, which cost 29 people up to £300,000 in lost deposits.

Bentley-driving builder Stephen Connelly raked in the money - plus £185,000 of taxpayers' cash - before he flogged the site in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, for £700,000 and his company went under.

Connelly's lawyer Murphy, of Hamilton, will be asked why he charged £50,000 in fees to the firm before it went to the wall.

The Law Society will also probe his role in the transfer of £230,000 from Glen Isla to another of Connelly's firms, 1st Access Rentals.

Liquidator Wyllie and Bisset are trying to get creditors' money back.

They found that Murphy, who lives in a £400,000 house with wife Janice, had a Glen Isla credit card and signed cheques - even though he is not listed as a director.

The Law Society said: "A number of reports are being investigated."

No comments: