Case update: final flat sale completes following administration

23rd October 2023

A collaboration between our Restructuring and Insolvency Team led by Partner Alex Wild and our Residential Property Team led by Partner and Head of Residential, Thames Valley, Laura Upshall, allowed the completion of a final flat sale to proceed. This was following an application being made to the High Court for execution of the lease following a refusal to sign from the director.

Alex Wild was instructed initially by joint administrators in respect of the sale of a flat, and sought the assistance of the HCR Thames Valley Residential Property Team to navigate the issues throughout the sale.

The company entered into administration on 13 January 2023 having been served with a winding up petition. The company was a special purpose vehicle for the development and sale of residential flats situated in Kingston-Upon-Thames in London. The First Respondent had been the sole director for the company since its incorporation. The redevelopment involved the creation of 26 residential flats.

An offer on the flat had been accepted in November 2022. The contract of sale was agreed at the end of March 2023 between the company, the joint administrators and the buyers. The draft lease was circulated for signature ahead of exchange and completion.

By this point 25 of the 26 residential flats at the property had already been sold, however the last flat was unable to proceed as the director – the first respondent and director for the management company – refused to execute the lease. We saw no option but to advise the administrators to make an application to the High Court given the refusal and escalating frustration of the buyers.

On 22 June 2023, having reviewed the documentation in question to include witness statements from the joint administrator and the respondent, ICC Judge Barber ordered that the lease of the flat be executed by the First Respondent and delivered to the applicants solicitors by 4.00pm on 26 June 2023 to allow the sale to proceed.

The respondent was ordered to pay the applicant’s costs of the application summarily assessed in the sum of £20,000 plus VAT.

The judgement was handed down at 9.30am on August 2023 and can now be viewed in The National Archives.

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