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(1) ANTHONY JOHN PAGE (2) TERENCE ALBERT PAGE (ADMINISTRATORS OF THE ESTATE OF ANNIE HARRIET PAGE & AUBREY WILFRED PAGE) v (1) HEWETTS SOLICITORS (2) CHRISTOPHER ROBERT FULLER

In a claim in equity and common law against solicitors who had obtained a secret profit from the sale of a clients’ property at an undervalue, time began to run on the common law claims for limitation purposes when the claimants at least knew the gist of the claim for damages for causing the property to be sold at an undervalue. Time began to run on the equitable claims when the claimants had the material facts necessary, even if not all the evidence, to allege a prima facie case.

10 October 2011

The appellants (P) appealed against the summary dismissal of their claim against the respondents on the grounds that it was statute-barred by reason of limitation. P were the beneficiaries under their parents’ will. The first respondent firm of solicitors (H) were retained to advise and act for P in the administration of their parents’ estates. The second respondent (F) was employed by H as a legal executive. F was instructed by P in 1998 in relation to a sale of P’s parents’ property. Unknown to P at the time, F carried on business as a property developer through a company (E) and recommended that P sell the property for £190,000 to a company (S), which had agreed to pay E a share of the future profit or a fee as a result of the sale. Soon after the sale, P discovered that the property’s true value was £350,000 and wrote to the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors in November 2000 about H and F’s conduct, setting out their grounds for suspicion about the sale. The...

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