Claim for return of goods dismissed with substantial costs in favour of our trade member

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After a false start, when no judge could be found for several months, the case eventually came back on and to trial when a specialist barrister was instructed at cost to represent our member before the court.

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So was the recent outcome of a hard-fought and acrimonious case, which at times was more akin to a bitter family dispute than a consumer one, that lasted the best part of two (2) years and concerned the ownership of a vehicle sold to our member by a member of the public, which she asserted was hers to sell but her estranged ex had suggested otherwise.

In turn, the vehicle was sold on to trade but following this the ex-partner came forth and claimed ownership.

To avoid hefty solicitor’s costs, which would have exceeded the amount at issue and involved fighting battles on two fronts while simultaneously bringing a third, we advised our member to take the vehicle back from trade and focus all our efforts on proving that it had acquired good title from the seller.

After seeing off the first set of solicitors, albeit by agreement and in short order, we next saw off a traditionally cocksure second set. After fighting them to a standstill over a protracted period, they slunk off leaving their lay client to fend for himself, mostly badly.

We continued assisting in the preparation of our member’s case while managing conflicting interests and multiple lay witness requirements with the singular goal of proving that good title in the vehicle had passed to our member and in what became a rather unorthodox alliance for justice.

After a false start, when no judge could be found for several months, the case eventually came back on and to trial when a specialist barrister was instructed at cost to represent our member before the court.

Suffice to say, after hearing all the evidence the judge found that the vehicle had been a gift to the seller and she had good title to pass it on to our member. The right result in the end, but a long and expensive exercise for all concerned, brought about perhaps more out of rancour than any real conviction.

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Howard TilneyHead of Strategy / Legal AdvisorRead More by this author

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