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PM Law success in 30 year property dispute

Success for PM Law in 30 year property dispute

PM Law has won a property dispute for a client, ending a family feud that has lasted for 30 years.

The Dispute Resolution team worked for more than two years to resolve the dispute, which centred on a house in London owned by two brothers.

Client struggled to keep his home

Our client suffered years of financial struggle to keep ownership of the house he and his brother bought together in 1989.

“We bought together because neither of us could afford to buy a property on our own,” the client states. “The house was registered in both our names, but I paid for all the legal fees and purchase costs. He walked out 3 weeks after we moved in, leaving me with all the payments for the endowment mortgage and bills. At many times over the years, I found it extremely difficult to keep up the payments, but he never offered to help. As you can imagine, this caused a huge rift between us.”

Laura Thorpe, litigation expert at PM Law, continues the story, “When the mortgage came to an end in 2014, our client was unable to pay it off and faced the house being repossessed. The house had by then become the family home for himself, his wife and their two daughters and the prospect of losing their home cause a great deal of stress for the family. With no choice but to sell, our client was then staggered to find that his brother wanted 50% of the sale price, which at the time amounted to £120,000. ”

Loss of sight brought further stress

As the client was also losing his sight at this time it was a very difficult period for the family. The former retail manager was forced to take early retirement when his sight loss made it impossible to do his job. However, it did mean he was able to use his pension savings to pay off the mortgage.

“I’d had enough of the situation by then,” he comments. “I wanted to get my brother off the deeds so I looked for someone who could help me. My union recommended PM Law, as they are property law experts.”

The team at PM Law were convinced that the client had a good case. Laura Thorpe explains, “Initially it seemed quite clear cut, and we thought it would be simple to resolve. But when the brother challenged us and filed a defence, it became a much more complex matter and it’s taken a long time to conclude. The case was scheduled for trial and going to court would have been another stressful experience for our client. However, we managed to have the defence struck out before it went to trial, which was a huge result for our client.”

“The judge awarded him full ownership of the property and also awarded him costs. It’s very unusual for a case like this to be struck out and also for the judge to award 100% ownership when it was previously split between two parties.”

“We’re absolutely delighted for our client,” she adds. “He and his family can finally relax and enjoy their home.”

If you are in an unresolved dispute over property, PM Law can help. We know that starting legal proceedings can be daunting and that the financial cost can be a worry. So in many cases we work on a fixed costs basis for each step of the process. This means you always know how much you’ll be paying.

For more information or to discuss your case please contact the Dispute Resolution team on 0114 220 1795 or email

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