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Rayner, it's not on Bailii. Yet.

This was a straight case of Seller's solicitors (Mary Monson) relying on a dodgy driving licence issued to an address in Catford and a TV Licence for ID.

They were found to have complied with the completion Code because in representing that they acted for the seller, that meant "the person who instructed them" not "the actual registered proprietor".

By contrast, MdR held the money from Dreamvar on Trust to pay it only to a genuine seller's solicitors. When they paid it to Mary Monson (not solicitors acting for the real registered proprietor) they were in breach of trust. Even though they acted honestly, they were not to be excused liability (although the judge said that if contrary to his decision MM were liable to the purchaser he would have excused MdR to that extent).

So the real issues are how a purchaser's solicitor can flush out high risk matters when they will usually only know the high sale price, whether the sale property is mortgaged and if there is more than one address on the register.

And the upshot of this decision seems to be that even if the purchaser's solicitors ask all sorts of questions and could not possibly have known it was a fraud, paying away the funds to a fraudster's solicitors will still be a breach of trust unlikely to be relieved by the court.

However horrific that is for the profession and their insurers, we can't just leave the poor old client to take the hit so there needs to be a solution and I repeat as I did above that there needs in my view to be a government-backed compensation scheme paid for by SDLT receipts, with rights of recovery against firms and their insurers who don't do due diligence on their clients.

In this case MM paid the proceeds of sale to Denning Solicitors (I think now defunct and not the firm on the register with a similar name)who merrily paid it off to China on the basis that it was required for equipment purchase.

One wonders what action MM and Denning will face if any, though this is scant consolation to the Purchaser or MdR.

It surely cannot be right that the firm which causes problems is not liable, and I do wonder if the court ought to consider breach of AML requirements an actionable breach of statutory duty, though I doubt this is what parliament intended.

This one will run and run.

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