Swift 1st Ltd, represented by Josephine Hayes of Gough Square has succeeded in defeating the Chief Land Registrar’s appeal. The Chief Land Registrar appealed to the Court of Appeal against a finding of liability to indemnify the lender for loss of a cancelled charge.

The Court of Appeal’s judgment is available here Swift v Land Registrar judgment.

The lender made a loan on the security of a first legal charge over a house, and registered the charge at the Land Registry. But when the lender took steps to enforce the charge, the house’s owner denied all knowledge of the transaction. A handwriting expert reported that the landowner’s signature on the charge was forged. The Land Registry cancelled the entry in the charges register. Subsequently the lender asked the Land Registry for an indemnity against loss, which was refused.

The case turns on the interpretation of the term “rectification” and the indemnity provisions in the Land Registration Act 2002.

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