Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2011] All ER (D) 59 (Oct)
Neutral Citation: [2011] EWHC 2525 (QB)
Court: Queen's Bench Division

Eady J

Representation James Lewis QC, James Ramsden and James Weale (instructed by Devonshires) for the RB.
  John Brisby QC, Tom Gentleman and James Knott (instructed by David Cooper & Co) for the first defendant.
  Stephen Auld QC and Rachel Oakeshott (instructed by Grosvenor Law LLP) for C Ltd.
Judgment Dates: 6 October 2011


Contract - Enforceability - Understanding - No binding legal contract created - Charity offering for sale country house - Claimant offering to purchase property for £22.5m - Claimant entering into exclusivity agreement with charity - Defendant shown around property by claimant - Claimant setting up special purchase vehicle, C Ltd, for acquisition of property - C Ltd purchasing property - Claimant claiming £5m fees allegedly owed by defendant for benefit of agreement.

The Case

Contract Enforceability. The Queen's Bench Division held that the first defendant was not liable to pay RB 5m on the basis that had permitted her to 'step into his shoes' and obtain the benefit of a contract to purchase and develop a country house on the banks of the River Thames. It further held that C Ltd had been induced to acquire the property by dishonest representations made by RB prior to the exchange or contracts.

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