NSW Solicitor Negligence - What are My Rights?

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24 December 2019

I have purchased a business and settled in September 2019 for $200,000 AUD in NSW. A week after settlement, I found out that the outgoing amount was too high and as it is my first business purchase, I did not know what legal documents I was supposed to receive and sign prior to settlement.

After legal advice from other solicitors that I realised that the solicitor acted for me at the time did not obtain a Disclosure Statement, hence I was shocked to see a huge amount added to expected business expenses on the invoice from the real estate agent.

I immediately spoke to the solicitor acted for my purchase of that business to try to work something out, he advised me to seek an opinion from an independent solicitor, which I understand that he could not give me further advice because he had made a mistake during the purchase.

What are my rights in this situation? How much will I be able to be compensated?

Tim W

LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
What you can do next depends on what sort of deal it was, and what exactly when wrong.

For example, if it was SAV+ goodwill, or a lump sum "walk in-walk-out" deal,
or a complicated franchise, or a debt for equity deal, then different things can go wrong.
Which in turn means that what you can maybe do about them is also different.

What exactly do you mean by the "outgoing amount"?
Do you mean the "outgoings", as in the recurring expenses related to occupying the property?

It's not strictly the solicitor's job to make operational commercial judgements
such as whether or not a fee, or a cost, or a price, is "too high".
Such things are typically a matter for the judgement of the (would-be) operator of the business,
often along with the advice of an accountant.
Checking this stuff out first, before you sign anything, is called "doing due diligence".

I was recently involved in a dispute about a franchised cafe that was in equal parts deceptive conduct by the franchisor, and failure to do the due diligence on the part of the incoming franchisee.

It would take somebody, that is, a lawyer, probably working with an accountant,
a while to work out what happened, and then to work out what, if anything,
can be done to help you out.
You won't get your answer here, you'll need to the help of a lawyer of your own.