Mortgage Express v Countrywide judgment

At the end of July, the High Court handed down judgment in Mortgage Express v Countrywide Surveyors Ltd [2016] EWHC 1830 (Ch). The Court had previously found that the defendant surveyors were liable in deceit to the mortgagee, for providing inflated valuation figures on which the mortgagee had made 39 loan advances. None of these loans would have been made otherwise, so it was agreed that damages should be the amount of the loans less the sale price and repayments made by the borrowers. The issue for the Court was the calculation of interest, specifically whether the mortgagee was entitled to compound interest, on the basis of loss of an opportunity to use the funds to make loans to alternative borrowers.

The Court refused the mortgagee’s claim to compound interest and only granted simple interest. The burden was on the mortgagee to show that it would have made alternative loans, which was a difficult task. There was no evidence of an unsatisfied demand for mortgages at the time the loans were made.