The recent case of Purrunsing v (1) A’Court & Co (a firm) (2) House Owners Conveyancers Ltd [2016] EWHC 789 (Ch) illustrates how necessary it is for conveyancers to carry out risk-based due diligence to save themselves and their insurers from expensive claims arising out of fraudulent conveyancing transactions.

The case involved an identity fraudster (F) who purported to be the owner of a house in Wimbledon. He did not in fact own it. He instructed a firm of solicitors, A’ Court & Co (ACC), to deal with the sale of the house. He told ACC the property was vacant and he lived in Maidenhead. He said the property had no mortgage as it had been gifted to him by...

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