'During a brutal legal case regarding our land, one of the lawyers involved was given our house deeds by our usual solicitor. As the case progressed we had to sack (due to gross incompetence) the lawyer who had our deeds and move to a new one. At the end of the case we requested the return of our deeds from the sacked solicitor, only to be told that they cannot find them and the deeds are now “lost”. Our solicitor advises that there is nothing we can do. Can you help? The deeds are precious to us because they hold a lot of past information about agreements with adjoining landowners.'
Russell-Cooke partner Matt Bosworth appears in The Sunday Times to advise a landowner on the loss of their house deeds by their former solicitor.
"The loss of any documents by lawyers is very frustrating. There are limited avenues for you to explore, but you could start by asking all the parties involved in your case who may have had contact with the deeds to review their files and offices (or in the past year their homes as well) and also ask whether a court somehow ended up with the deeds...If the lawyer refuses to pay, you will need to make a complaint to their regulatory body and then, probably, the Legal Services Ombudsman. The latter will seek to resolve matters between parties informally. Where that cannot be done, and a formal investigation has found fault with the lawyer, the ombudsman can get the lawyer to pay you compensation and to ensure that any error or omission is put right (and to pay for it)."
The deeds to my house have been lost. What do I do? is available to read here or on The Sunday Times website.
Matt is a partner and is head of the regulation and sports law team.
He specialises in professional disciplinary matters, financial regulatory matters and the protection of intellectual property rights and copyright in both civil and criminal matters. Matt advises people and organisations on sports law, including individual, professional and amateur sportsmen and women as to regulatory and disciplinary issues.