Buying investment properties overseas can be fraught with hazard but, if the worst happens, specialist English lawyers will do all in their power to ensure that you do not lose out. In one case, investors who ploughed funds into a disastrous Italian apartment development were awarded seven-figure compensation.
The investors paid substantial deposits, reservation fees and other costs to secure flats in the development off plan. They expected solid and secure returns on their money but found themselves entangled in an irretrievably flawed and doomed project. The development seriously breached planning, environmental and other legal requirements and never came anywhere near completion.
More than 40 of the investors launched proceedings against an Italian limited liability partnership (LLP) which had inherited the contractual liabilities of the Italian law firm which had advised them on the property transactions. The firm was alleged to have in numerous respects breached the duties it owed to the investors and to have knowingly and consciously failed to protect their interests.
The investors took action in London and succeeded in obtaining a default judgment against the LLP. Following a hearing, the High Court assessed the extent of each of the investors’ losses arising from the debacle, and awarded them damages totalling over 3 million euros, plus interest.