Legal Updates

Property Law  – Sale Price of Property – Court Order

The case of Federal Republic of Nigeria v Dagwan and Another [2007], concerned an issue relating to the purchase price of a property in a sale of land. A flat in north-west London (“the Property”) was registered in the name of the first defendant. It was well known that the first defendant's name was a fictitious name used by the second defendant (“the Defendant”) to purchase the property.

Until his impeachment, the second defendant had been a governor of one of the Nigerian states. The claimant government took the view that the Property had been purchased by the Defendant with misappropriated funds. Therefore, the claimant sought to claim the Property from the Defendant. The Defendant was obviously opposed to this.

In December 2006, it was ordered (“the Order”) that the Property be sold and the proceeds of the sale should be held until the outcome of the hearing to determine the claimant's claim. The conduct of the sale was given to the claimant's solicitors. Following the Order, agents were instructed to market the Property. On the basis of the figures put forward by the agents, the claimant's solicitors suggested a minimum sale price of £425,000.

The Defendant's solicitors were informed about the recommended sale price, but no comments were received from them. Later, in February 2007, the claimant's solicitors informed the Defendant's solicitors that an offer of £430,000 had been made on the Property and they sought the Defendant's agreement to that sale price by close of business on the 9th of February 2007. On that date, the Defendant's solicitors informed the claimant that they would accept a sale price of £440,000.

It was clear from the agents who had been marketing the Property that despite the Property being extensively advertised, which had resulted in numerous viewings, the offer of £430,000 was the only serious offer that had been made. In the agents’ opinion a higher offer was not anticipated.

In the light of the Defendant's objection to the claimant's minimum sale price, the claimant applied to court requesting an order that the Property be sold subject to its minimum sale price.

The application was allowed.

Having considered all the relevant matters, the minimum price of £425,000 seemed to be appropriate, and in the absence of a good reason to the contrary, the court would set the minimum sale price at that figure.

Please contact us for more information on assessing damages due under termination of a contract at

© RT COOPERS, 2007. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.




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