Claim for a Statutory Indemnity under the Land Registration Act 2002: Ashraf v Lester Dominic Solicitors [2022] EWHC 621 (Ch)

23.03.2022

Edwin Johnson J has handed down his judgment in the long-running case of Ashraf v Lester Dominic Solicitors [2022] EWHC 621 (Ch). The action concerned a property in Ealing. Until 23 June 2011, the registered proprietor of the property was Mr Ul Haq (who died in 2017). In 2010, the property was the subject of what may or may not have been a valid transfer by Mr Ul Haq to a Mr Attarian. Mr Ul Haq claimed that his signature on the 2010 transfer had been forged. The transferee, Mr Attarian, granted a charge over the property in favour of Bank of Scotland. Subsequently, Bank of Scotland then sold the property as mortgagee to a Mr Singh and Mrs Nijjar, who became registered as proprietors.

Mr Ul Haq brought – and, following his death, his estate has continued – claims against various solicitors for negligence in connection with the witnessing and registration of the 2010 transfer. He has also claimed a statutory indemnity against the Chief Land Registrar under Sch.8 to the Land Registration Act 2002.

Edwin Johnson J heard, and dismissed, an appeal by Mr Ul Haq’s estate against an order of Deputy Master Hansen, by which his claims against the solicitor defendants were dismissed and costs orders were made in their and the Chief Land Registrar’s favour. He also determined an application by the Chief Land Registrar and the Bank of Scotland for summary judgment on and/or to strike out the balance of Mr Ul Haq’s estate’s claims.

Nicholas Trompeter QC acted for the Chief Land Registrar, instructed by Preeya Rajani of the Government Legal Department.

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