Von Essen loses ‘Cotswold four' verdict in the High Court

21 December 2006 by
Von Essen loses ‘Cotswold four' verdict in the High Court

Von Essen has lost a High Court battle for £165,000 in damages that arose during the £13m purchase of four Cotswold hotels.

The 20-strong hotel group bought the properties, which include the Lower Slaughter Manor and Buckland Manor hotels in Gloucestershire, from Roy and Daphne Vaughan in September 2003.

A dispute arose when they couldn't agree the completion accounts and Von Essen began legal action, alleging the Vaughans were in breach of warranties in the sale agreement.

But on Monday this week, a judge ruled that Von Essen failed to serve its claim to the correct solicitors or within the agreed time limit and dismissed the case.

It was stipulated in the sale agreement that any claim should be served on Kendall and Davies, but Von Essen had argued it was better to serve the claim on Paul Davidson Taylor solicitors, as the firm had been acting for the couple in relation to the matter for more than a year.

This was rejected by judge Mr Justice Etherton, who said: "It was not sufficient for the copy warranty notice to be sent to solicitors other than those which were authorised to accept service."

The judge gave Von Essen leave to appeal and a spokeswoman for the hotel group said: "We are pleased we have been given this opportunity and we will be appealing against the decision."

By Tom Bill

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