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Let's clear the decks. And however vanishingly small the perceived risk.

The issue is whether your innocent client should take the hit.

One way out would be to have a piece of Land Registry paper that proved that the vendor was the owner of Black acre. Doesn't need to be a full blown Land Certificate. Urgently needed, even if fraud is vanishingly small. Confidence is important.

Another is to join up all those involved in the property transfer business - estate agents etc - into a single entity to prevent fraud. If this can't be agreed, then searching questions to all those involved should be the norm, and if not answered - or declined - be left to the client - and his lenders - to take the risk.

As an aside, I'm with Gloster LJ.

I expect that this will go to the Supreme Court, but the problem really lies with those governing sensible practice. The legislative underpinning - money laundering - is there.

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