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Vendor says no

For solicitors, the statement, in Replies to Conveyancing Requisitions, “Vendor says no” is common and fateful. It lay behind the difficulties inflicted on the purchasers of landlocked premises in Doran & Anor v Delaney & Ors (No. 2) [1998] IEHC 166; [1999] 1 IR 303; [1999] 1 ILRM 225 (25th November, 1998).

It invites consideration of the need for tone in Requisitions or Rejoinders; something like; “So?” or “Is that so?”

Students of history might recall the phrase “… to lie like a Bulletin…”, in currency in France during Napoleon’s reign. It is not just in Bulletins that lies are propagated.

Not that Vendors commonly lie; to Purchasers or their solicitors or Vendors’ solicitors. No, indeed, but a sceptical tone is appropriate, nonetheless.

Not that a suitable tone would have availed the Defendant solicitor in Kelleher & Anor -v- O’Connor practicing as Don O’Connor & Company [2010] IEHC

Here, the Vendor’s reply to a request for evidence of registration as a restaurant was; “None available”. In fact the premises was registered. The solicitor’s failure to procure a correct reply was not a cause of the Plaintiffs’ difficulties, as the High Court found; it was in his failure to tell the Plaintiffs to make their own investigations of the premises and its suitability for use as a restaurant that he was failing.

For the legal profession, there is good news in this. It establishes that a solicitor should be paid, by a client, not for accepting instructions, but for giving advice.

Where the property market is flat, as now, the correct advice must be; wait.

Where did I leave my Invoice generator?