A woman who bought a London house in 2012 is now suing the conveyancers that worked for her at the time for £4.6m.
The Evening Standard newspaper reports that Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring bought the mews house in Kensington eight years ago with plans to convert it from office use to residential, with additional features including a double basement and swimming pool.
The local authority rejected some of the planning applications at the time, prompting her to make a vivid protest by painting the property with broad red and white vertical stripes - an act that led to international publicity.
She eventually won consent to make the property residential in 2018, but only with some of her anticipated basement plans; she is now suing her former legal representatives, Charles Russell Speechlys, saying the firm should have warned her she stood no chance of getting consent at the time that she purchased.
Charles Russell Speechlys denies negligence, saying the buyer knew it was a “big gamble” buying a property without residential consent.
“The claimant is a wealthy and intelligent woman, possessed of fierce independence of mind, extraordinary determination and considerable experience both of the English planning system and of litigation” a lawyer representing the legal firm tells the newspaper.
Meanwhile Lisle-Mainwaring’s barrister, in a written submission to the court, says: “Had [she] been properly advised by the firm, she would either have aborted her purchase of the property straight away or she would have obtained specialist planning advice and then aborted her purchase of the property.”
Lisle-Mainwaring claims she is £4.6 million out of pocket due to increased building costs, legal fees and the fact she could not build a double basement.