Countrywide estate agency group wins breach of contract dispute

The Countrywide estate agency group has won a contract dispute involving the £38m sale of one of its subsidiaries.

The court heard evidence that Countrywide had agreed to sell its subsidiary, Lambert Smith Hampton Limited (“LSH”), to John Bengt Moeller in a share purchase agreement.

Countrywide claimed that Moeller failed to pay £38 million needed to complete the transaction. The time for payment had been extended several times at his request. When he still did not pay, Countrywide terminated the agreement.

It then sought summary judgment on liability for breach of contract, and for contractual interest, with the question of damages to be assessed later.

Moeller was not present or represented at the hearing, but the court determined that it had good reason to proceed in his absence.

The court found in favour of Countrywide. It held that the only condition required for Countrywide to complete the contract had been satisfied when its shareholders passed a resolution approving the sale.

Moeller had then become liable to make the payment, which he had not done by the required date or by any of the agreed extension dates. There was no arguable defence; he had breached the contract.

The level of damages and interest payable will be decided at a later hearing.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of contract law.

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