CamdenNewJournal

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Any advice on getting back the Talacre £4m?

25 November, 2021

The development on land next to Talacre park

• SIR Geoffrey Cox MP is of particular interest to us in Camden. He’s a leading barrister, QC, and former Attorney General.

He has represented a number of senior government figures from the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and he is a consultant with the well-known law firm of Withers.

Here in Camden we have been witnessing our council maintaining that it is owed a substantial amount of money which can’t be collected because it doesn’t know who owns the land it sold.

Camden doesn’t know because the company now owning it is registered in the BVI and in the BVI, unlike almost every other country, the shareholders of a company do not have to be disclosed.

The land in question is, of course, that on which the Princes Park flats at Talacre were built.

Sold in a Land Sale agreement for £325,500 to be increased by what is known as “overage” if the 36 private flats were sold for more than a defined amount.

They were. The £325,500 assumed the private flats would sell for £8.5million. They sold for £21million.

So perhaps Sir Geoffrey can, with his MP’s & Withers’s hats on, and his knowledge of the BVI, advise Camden Council whether the following two pieces of legal advice we have are correct and if so, what should be done to collect the substantial amount of overage due. We reckon it to be £4million.

First: “These documents like the Land Sale Agreements are binding on successors in title which will include future purchasers of the freehold land and leaseholders of the flats. So, all persons who own Talacre whether freehold or leasehold are subject to these agreements.”

Second: “We are of the view that should any overage be due to Camden, the liability rests upon the existing owner regardless as to where it is domiciled.

“Further that should the existing owner fail to pay such overage, Camden would be able to sue in the English courts and, in the event of the defendant failing to pay any sum awarded to Camden, Camden would be entitled to take steps to recover it, including foreclosing on the property”.

Sir Geoffrey Cox’s opinion on this matter, which is causing so much embarrassment to Camden Council that even our MP, Sir Keir Starmer, cannot get an answer out of its leader Cllr Georgia Gould, would be very useful.

BRIAN LAKE, NW1

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