Property Developers v Bank

Even in a case where the original events happened five years previously, and where the defendant was a bank, Harbour’s funding and ability to introduce a top legal team to the claimants led to a successful outcome.


The Property Developers had banking arrangements with the bank which required two signatories on any payments out of the Property Developers’ bank account. Unfortunately the bank allowed monies to leave the account with just one signature, causing significant losses to the claimants as these funds were fraudulently funnelled away from the business into the gambling account of a dishonest partner. These losses led the insolvency of the property development companies, which then had no funds to pursue the bank for its breach of mandate.

There were no funds to pursue a claim. This gave the bank an easy opportunity to defeat the claim. Don’t worry about the merits; instead use your financial muscle to force the Property Developers to spend more money they didn’t have to pursue the claim.

Stephen Davies QC: “The bank’s strategy was conventional in such circumstances – it had been capitalising on its former customer’s impecuniosity by converting the simplest pre-action requests for information into a costly and protracted legal dispute of its own and then seeking security for costs.  As soon as funding was in place, it caused a sea-change in attitude as the bank was now litigating against a counterparty on equal financial terms, obliging it to address the merits for the first time.”

In addition to funding, at the claimant’s request, Harbour assisted with the appointment of the legal team which led to the production of top quality pleadings for the claim.

As a result, just 12 months after it was signed up for funding, the case was successfully mediated to a settlement. The lawyers, liquidator and original directors of the property development company were all delighted with the outcome, not least the directors who were on the hook for personal guarantees had they not been able to recover the misappropriated monies.

The lawyer leading the case said; “If Harbour hadn’t had faith in the claim and backed us …. we would have been unable to get the proceedings issued.”


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