Couple settle legal battle with Lloyds

A couple who successfully sued Lloyds Bank for negligence after a failed property development lost them money claimed yesterday to have won the final round of a seven-year legal battle. Julia Verity and Richard Spindler, who made legal history when the High Court ruled against Lloyds two years ago, said yesterday they had settled out of court a counter-claim by the bank.

The couple, an acupuncturist and teacher who already owned two houses when they took out a mortgage at the height of the late 1980s property boom, were awarded pounds 77,500 damages in September 1995. The court ruled Lloyds had been negligent in advising them to buy a third property with a view to renovating it just before the housing market crashed.

They then faced bankruptcy six months later when, in a separate case, Lloyds was successful in a counter-claim against the couple to recover pounds 104,000, after they had failed to service the debt on the investment property. The award included the outstanding loan on the property and other business and personal loans they had taken out with Lloyds.

The settlement announced yesterday followed an appeal by the couple against the counter-claim on the basis that the original pounds 77,500 award had been incorrectly calculated. Specifically, they said, it did not take into account a loss incurred by the couple when they sold one of their two existing properties to help pay their losses.

They said yesterday: "The overall effect of the two High Court judgments was that we owed the bank more money despite having proved that the bank's advice was negligent."

The settlement is understood to have drawn a line under the remaining debt owed by the couple to Lloyds. They said yesterday: "We are very glad and relieved that it is all over. It has been a long, arduous and perilous journey through the legal process."

Lloyds Bank, which admitted it was constrained in what it could say about the case because of client confidentiality agreements, said: "We are very glad Mr Spindler and Mrs Verity have dropped their appeal and agreed to an out-of-court settlement. The bank has always made strenuous efforts to reach an out-of-court settlement with the couple."

Mr Spindler, 38, and Mrs Verity, 57, are now understood to be living together in Henley-on-Thames but to have decided to separate. In a joint statement, they added: "It is nine years since the negligent advice and our lives have been totally disrupted by being in such insurmountable debt."

When the first award was made against Lloyds there was speculation it would open a floodgate of claims against banks from people who had taken a gamble on the housing market only to see their investments turn sour as prices fell.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
News
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the iWatch for you? Well, it depends if you want for the fitness tech, or the style
News
Astronauts could be kept asleep for days or even weeks
scienceScientists are looking for a way to keep astronauts in a sleeplike state for days or weeks
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own