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HMLR – fraud is not ‘mistake’

A court can order rectification of an HMLR register of title if a mistake has been made. 

However, in a recent case, the CA held that if an entry was made on a register pursuant to a court order which itself was obtained using forged documents, there was no ‘mistake’ and thus, no basis to rectify the register.

A court order was obtained in 2007 on the basis of what turned out to be forged documents. The register was altered on the basis of the court order. The CA held that the point in time to consider whether a ‘mistake’ had been made was at the time the registration is made.

The facts of the case are complex and are unlikely to arise often in practice. See analysis by Eversheds Sutherland, which reminds us that the registration in this case was based on a vesting order. If a registration is based, for example, on a forged transfer, the registration in such a case is likely to be a ‘mistake’. See Antoine v Barclays Bank UK Plc [2018] EWCA Civ 2846.

 

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