In the case of Gzala Saddique v Zarina Begum and Muhammad Munir we have successfully represented our client to set aside two transfers of the legal estate of her property on grounds of duress and undue influence so as to gain full legal title.
Solicitor Holly Sherratt initially assisted Mrs Saddique at Court as Duty Solicitor to defend proceedings for possession of her family home commenced by Zarina Begum who at that stage held the full legal title to the property. Under Legal Aid, we assisted Mrs Saddique to defend proceedings and counterclaim for a beneficial interest in the property. Mrs Saddique’s former husband, Muhammad Munir was joined to the proceedings as a Second Defendant. The case proceeded on our client’s counterclaim to trial following discontinue of the claim for possession.
In a factually complex and emotionally sensitive case, James Stark of counsel successfully persuaded HHJ Truman sitting in the Business and Property Courts in Birmingham during a three day trial to make findings of fact in favour of Mrs Saddique. HHJ Truman found that in transferring firstly a half share of the beneficial interest in the property and then the later remaining share in favour of the Part 20 Defendants, Mrs Saddique was acting under duress and undue influence and therefore the transactions were set aside as of right. The title on the Land Registry has now been amended to award our client full title.
The case highlights the need for conveyancing firms to undertake proper and effective conflict of interest checks and due diligence when instructed on cases that involve transfer of the legal title for no consideration.