Mother's anger over solicitor's errors

A Hertfordshire woman claims that what should have been a simple process to help her daughter buy a house turned into a nightmare due to errors made by a solicitor.

Sandra Smith from St Albans remortgaged part of her own house so she could buy a home for her daughter and her fiancé. However, mistakes made by solicitor Blavo & Co in the town resulted in her almost losing the house. The law firm was closed in October by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and John Blavo has been suspended while an investigation into a number of issues takes place.

Any business offering advice to clients which could result in a claim against then should ensure they have adequate levels of professional indemnity insurance. Mrs Smith is seeking compensation and her financial advisor Gary Minkin told the Herts Advertiser that the legal firm should have professional indemnity insurance to cover this.

Mrs Smith said she had been caused “untold stress” due to the problems with Blavo. The legal firm had failed to send relevant documents to lenders on time, which meant Mrs Smith was on the verge of losing the home she had bought for her daughter and her partner. She also faced a number of delays on completing the sale, which she had been hoping to do before her daughter’s wedding in August last year.

Mrs Smith said: “Because of the lack of action from Blavo, nothing could then be done until after the wedding, which I was organising myself as well as running my business.

“My daughter’s solicitors had got the sale price of the property wrong in its documents which meant the contract had to be drawn up all over again. Because of this, Hanley’s had to withdraw the mortgage offer so we were on the brink of losing the house but we managed to scrape just one week’s extension.”