Law lecturer wins case against brother over sale of jointly held flat in Hampstead

Filip Saranovic, a lecturer in maritime law at the University of Southampton, has won a case against his brother, Nikola, over the sale of a flat they jointly owned in Hampstead. Nikola claimed that he had entered into an agreement between them without realising that Filip was able to force through a sale of the flat on his own.

The two bought the flat in 2014 with money given to them by their mother. The brothers discussed the property deal at Costa Coffee, before Filip drew up papers which stipulated that Nikola could live in the flat rent-free, according to an article in the Evening Standard.

However, it was alleged in court that Filip did not tell Nikola about a clause in the contract that allowed either sibling to force through the sale of the flat. Nikola argued that his brother had taken advantage of his trust, challenged the legality of the contract at the Central London County Court.

Judge Michael Berkley acknowledged that Nikola “had no express knowledge” of the sale clause, and had “relied on” Filip “to explain that important part of the transaction to him.” However, he went on to rule that Filip had “done nothing wrong”, and that it was up to Nikola to seek independent legal advice before putting pen to paper.

Continuing, he said: “It is very unfair and inequitable to say that Filip asserted undue influence in anything that he did.”

Property & Housing Barrister - myBarrister