lumiere leeds site at a stand still

Discussion in 'UK Property' started by Minime, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. Benny

    Benny New Member

    Have you appointed independent solicitors or are they the developers ie orouke reid?
    Are orouke reid handling everyones?
    Def need collective ie we the undersigned, maybe if orouke reid are acting for us all then we should pressure them first with petition from us all & get them to do what they should be doing & act in our interests not the developers.
  2. Conerned Investor

    Conerned Investor New Member

    My solicitors are independent of O Rourke who are an Irish firm with an office in Leeds.

    My solicitors are based in London
  3. pdlt2008

    pdlt2008 New Member

    I'll get the Ballymore solicitors details from Property Week. I agree we need to have a common view/platform for going forward.
    Will be very interested to see what Linfoot's come back with ( assuming they do...) in response to the lawyers letter...
  4. Conerned Investor

    Conerned Investor New Member

    I will keep everyone posted on any response
  5. Minime

    Minime New Member

    Thanks to all for the replies. There are also allot of investors on skyscrapecity I am going to post a link there to totally property forum to get more people involved.

    Here is a posting I came accross today Calls to turn Leeds's Lumiere site into a park - Yorkshire Evening Post :D

    If we were to employ a solicitor as group to work for us. How would this work? Do they need an up front fee ? how would we agree a fee.

    I development company I know in the UK and being sued by investors that are owed allot of money in rents and deposits . I also spoke with one of the investors he said the lawyers are so confident of winning the case that they are not charging the investors until the case is over. The development company has serious assets. I am going to try and get in contact with this lawyer and see what he says.
  6. Minime

    Minime New Member

    Hi All.

    I contacted a solicitor in Manchester and I explained the position we are in with Lumiere.

    Further to our telephone conversation I set out some brief details which may be of assistance in respect of the situation you and your contacts find themselves in with regard to the proposed Lumier development in Leeds.

    would emphasise that this is by no means a letter of advice and I would welcome the opportunity of considering the matter in more detail, but some points immediately arise:-
    Consideration would need to be given as to the exact language used in the contract which sets out the developer's obligations and in particular whether or not there is a time period for the developer to complete the development and convey the apartment to the numerous purchasers. If there is no specific term then occasionally English law allows implied terms to be incorporated into contracts although it is quite rare in respect of formal conveyancing contracts.
    If it is the case that the developer is under no legal obligation to complete the development within a period of time then it does occur to me that the contract may be void for uncertainty. A key ingredient to any contract under English law is that the contract must be completed within a specific period of time. Often where there is no specific time provided then the law implies a term that such a contract would need to be completed within a "reasonable time".
    If there is no term in the contract to assist the prospective purchasers who have paid over their deposits, then it does seem to me that we would need to look at the nature and extent of the advice which each individual purchaser received from its professional advisers at the time of entering into the contract. A simple point but if a purchaser was advised that the developer was under no legal obligation to complete within a certain period of time then I expect a lot of purchasers would have decided not to proceed on that basis.
    Finally, you have indicated that the deposits may in some way be insured or backed by bond. We would need to look at the circumstances in which a claim could be made under the insurance policy.

    The above are some "headline" thoughts which I would seek to develop upon a more detailed review of such paperwork that could be made available.

    I suspect that all of the purchasers will be in the same position and therefore there is every merit that the purchasers collate their efforts which will add force to their argument and also reduce their exposure to the legal costs that will be incurred in progressing any claim.
  7. Loonier

    Loonier New Member

    I've been spending most of my time on the skyscraper pages and frankly the debate has turned into some psuedo academic drivel on the history of urban developments...doesn't seem to be the appetite for any kind of action (not at least yet) but I know of 3 parties (myself included) who are only just realising what a one sided contract we've signed upto and find it incredible that the developers think they can effectively hang onto our money as long as they feel like to suit them!

    The first thing we need to do is establish that we have a case to put forward to the developers on which we can base our demands for a refund. My impression was/is that we can only do this as the completion date nears so that it's going to be pretty obvious that they won't meet their obligations and will effectively be forced to hand over the money BUT if we're now saying that the law will step in on our behalf due to the one sided nature of this contract and that the expression 'force majeur' doesn't extend to the inability of the developers to secure financing (which frankly isn't our problem and should've been sorted out by them before the project went ahead) then great!

    Can we get a show of hands in terms of how many investors are willing to club together and put some money in for legal help? What if we stump up £100 each...even with a modest representation of 100 people that's already 10K in the pot. I can vouch for 3 interested parties.
  8. Loonier

    Loonier New Member

    MiniMe and Concerned Investor ... seeing that you guys have already taken the first step to get independant legal advice is there any room for more people to be represented by them in the communication they're directing at the developers? We could split costs at this tentative stage and see if this nudging produces any results?

    I guess we need to be prepared for some stiff resistance though and everyone knows that if they cave in to the demands of the few then the banks wil burst and everyone else will demand their money back.
  9. Loonier

    Loonier New Member

    For what it's worth - Q&A from an online property lawyer:

    I'm in a contract to purchase an offplan property which I signed upto in 2007 in a Leeds development which was due to complete around start of 2012. The development has been put on hold since mid 2008 and one of the developer partners has been put into administration since then forcing another partner to take it over completely and according to them it will be restarted when the economic climate improves and they can get refinanced (not all apts have been sold). The developer is refusing to consider return of deposits quoting a 'force majeur' clause in the contract. Does force majeur cover the securing of finance for a big development? Shouldn't the developer have prepared for a worst case scenario in this case? Can they rely on the clause to effectively hold out paying back the deposits for as long as it suits them?

    I don't believe that force majeur can operate as an excuse for indefinite delay to the performance of a contract. Having said this, litigation would prove costly and you should consider a representative action brought by one of the purchasers but funded by all (or at least a group) of you.

    The solicitors that you select to act for you should be no strangers to Commercial Litigation of this type and should seek Counsel's Opinion as to Liability before commencing proceedings.

    Is the case as strong as it's going to get or will it get stronger closer to the initial expected completion date of 2012?

    Remember that a case such as this is not going to reach trial until well into next year, by which time the goal posts could have moved and any action compromised on the basis of work having commenced. I see no advantage to be gained by delay. On the contrary, faced with a representative action and its possible consequences, I take the view that immediate action can only work to your advantage.
  10. Minime

    Minime New Member


    The solicitor I have spoken with is interested in taking this further. He will need 5K to proceed further and says that if it goes to the high court it could cost 100k

    We need a purchaser or purchasers to act on behalf of all of us to organize the best solicitors in Litigation. These people should be paid also. If we can get 100 purchasers together and divide the costs it will make it viable.

    How do we organize this ?.

    I follow skyscrapercity also but the discussions on Lumiere is on and off the topic of Lumiere.

    Northern Muppet one of the users does post allot saying this development will not be built. Does he know something we don't.

    If we can find a leader I have at least 20 people that will join in the campaign to get our deposits back.
  11. Benny

    Benny New Member

    Count me in to support, hopefully initial action will scare developers before taking to High Court.
    We need as many purchasers as possible not only re cost but publicity. Can we get press involved to highlight campaign.
    Agree we need a leader/co-ordinator.
  12. Minime

    Minime New Member



    has anyone put anymore thought in getting their deposits back from the developers of Lumiere ?

    Another project they were involved in Manchester is gone bust, purchasers are also looking for their deposits back.

    Any info would be appreciated.
  13. Benny

    Benny New Member

    Yeah, its the manyoo project, I read that investors have been told that will get their deposits back as soon as liquidation goes thru.

    As far as Lumiere is concerned only thing I've heard is that the Council are pressing Fraser Properties to turn the site into something, but they are dragging their feet & are still saying no decision has been made re development.

    As its now been a year since it was put on hold & still no sign of starting, maybe we could all write to our (the developers nominated) solicitors as surely 'reasonable delay' can no longer be used.
  14. Minime

    Minime New Member


    Hi Benny.

    Have you done any research on resonable delay, I have been told this is hard to prove the length of time that would be aceptable as resonable delay due the current climate.

    I still think one good fighting point is we would never have entered a contract if we knew this was going to happen and should have been informed that this could happen.

    Here is a clip I got from property week

    John Hitchcox pays nominal £1 for Manor Mills and Manyoo, with help from Bank of Ireland

    Yoo, the residential design and development business run by entrepreneur John Hitchcox, has taken control of the landmark projects it had worked on as joint ventures with KW Linfoot, the Leeds-based developer that went into administration earlier this year.

    Hitchcox told Property Week that Yoo has completed the acquisition of the Linfoot stakes in the Manor Mills and Manyoo developments in Leeds and Manchester respectively.

    Yoo Capital, the group’s property investment arm, has paid a nominal £1 for the stakes but has agreed a three-year, £28.5m facility with Bank of Ireland to proceed with the projects. Under the terms of the bank arrangement, Yoo is also investing £3.5m of its own money.

    Completion of the transaction finally removes the uncertainty surrounding Manor Mills, although Linfoot indicated at the time it went into administration in February that it had ‘transferred’ its financial interest to Yoo.

    As lead developer, Linfoot had sold all 277 flats in Manor Mills off plan but the failure of many buyers to secure mortgage finance and complete their purchases speeded the collapse of the company.

    Construction has just been completed at Manor Mills and Hitchcox said that 100 sales have completed. However, with some purchasers still struggling to get finance, Yoo has arranged for Bank of Ireland to offer 75% mortgages. This would mean buyers need to find another 15% of the purchase price on top of their 10% deposits.

    ‘We’re asking them to complete but we’re expecting a number of them not to and if they don’t, then what we’ve agreed [with Bank of Ireland] is a long-term rental facility, which strategically is exactly what we want to do because the demand for rental in Leeds is very good,’ Hitchcox said.

    The outlook at Manyoo remains unclear because the site is divided into two and Yoo’s deal with Bank of Ireland covers half the site. Linfoot had exchanged but not completed on the acquisition of the other half, which is owned by Peel Holdings. Each half has planning permission for 512 homes.

    Hitchcox claimed Manyoo is the ‘highest potential location in the country’ because of its proximity to the Media City development in Salford, where the BBC is due to relocate in 2011.

    ‘Our expectation is that we will start work on the site in the next three years. But it’s fair to say that today we’re reviewing the position in Manchester and what is the best way forward, and we’re attempting to bring Peel into these negotiations. Until development funding comes back into the market, I can’t imagine we’ll be starting the project that soon,’ he said.

    The refinancing also marks the end of any involvement of Kevin Linfoot, the founder of KW Linfoot.

    Following administration Linfoot told Property Week that he would still have a role in the management of Manor Mills. But Hitchcox said: ‘There is no current involvement although the relationship with Kevin still exists – the door is always open to any proposal.’
  15. Benny

    Benny New Member

    No research done into unreasonable delay O'Rouke solicitors ie developers advised me initially that they would have to wait until construction started before they could assess this, but they would would'nt they!

    I suppose there is no answer until a Court decision, which as we know will be costly, but still think we should pressure our solicitors to demand a decision from Frasers.
  16. Yoohoo

    Yoohoo New Member

    Mimi was there any action taken from the Lumiere action group to get deposits back? The same solicitors represented people for Manyoo - exactly the same problems. If you are interested please read the Manyoo forum group on moneyexpert.
    Between the two proposed developments an awful lot of deposits have been paid with the prospect of waiting years before repaid or indeed if we will ever see them again.
    Does anyone know the name of the litigation solicitor representing Ballymore or Lumiere?
  17. Sixgun

    Sixgun New Member


    I also paid a £5k deposit for this to Linfoot's.

    I have just returned to U.K from working in Russia, so hope to get something done now.

    What is the general consensus now? is it pretty obvious that this building will NEVER go up, or are there still those who have hope for it?

    Coming up to Dec/Jan is when they would expect another installment, is anyone here prepared to pay, if they have the gall to make such demands based on future construction?

    As a sidenote, I also had a lot of cash tied up in Dubai (Stadium Point) but was persistent/lucky enough to get my total funds re-imbursed, others are still stuck in a mire with that one. I now intend to concentrate on this, i believe it's reaching the point where they cannot continue to justify "reasonable delay"

    Any thoughts/facts appreciated
  18. Sixgun

    Sixgun New Member

    Just read through the whole thread more carefully.

    re: the firm now in charge, (Fraser property?) does anybody know more about them, do they have any other current projects under construction?

    I see there were some good ideas for group action, but obviously difficult to organise in reality.

    I would certainly be willing to travel somewhere for a meeting with like-minded people, and pay if I could be convinced we had access to a genuine, experienced lawyer.

    Could we perhaps start by obtaining the signatures of all investors wishing to receive their deposits back, and perhaps then present this to the developers.
    In business it's always wise to start proceeding on a "friendly" basis, explain that the 100, 200 people on this would like to end the matter quickly and amiably, but if not, the whole group are prepared to spend collective money to take it to court.

    that type of thing anyway, could be refined as we discuss it??
  19. Benny

    Benny New Member

    Collective action def the best way.

    Might be an idea to wait until the developers appointed solicitors (o'rourke are mine) to confirm what the outcome of the referral to 'counsel' is. They advised me this should be by the end of this month.

    They are obviously getting wind of the fact that delay is now unreasonable at last but whether they have the guts to do anything is another matter.

    Just as an aside I noted that Leeds Council after getting no reply from Frasers re the site have taken action to tidy the site up & charge them accordingly
  20. Benny

    Benny New Member

    I've now had a reply from O'rouke sols whose counsel in their opinion has determined that although 'force majuere' cannot be used for the delay they still feel that any court would not rule against the clause as unreasonable delay until the estimated completion date of 2011 has passed.

    So we're def on our own now if we want to do anything before then.

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