4 New Square’s Michael Bowmer acts for the successful solicitors in Various North Point Pall Mall Purchasers v 174 Law Solicitors Ltd v Key Manchester Ltd  EWHC 4 (Ch). The case involved the first of a number of claims by buyers of off-plan flats in an unrealised fractional sales development in Liverpool, heralded as part of the further regeneration of the city pursuant to the Northern Powerhouse initiative, against the solicitors who acted as stakeholders holding their deposits. Following a 10-day trial in November 2021, the claims were dismissed against the stakeholders on the basis that the release of the buyers’ deposits for use in the development was authorised and on the basis of an estoppel by convention. The court would also have found for the stakeholders on their additional claim against the buyers’ own solicitors. The result was significant because of the large number of flats in the development with further claims of up to £9m turning on the outcome.
The judgment can be found here.