LONDON, Sept. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hatfield Philips International ("HPI"), a leading NPL and debt advisory firm with best-in-class loan servicing capabilities, today announced it secured €32 million in damages for noteholders of Titan Europe 2006-3 plc (the "Issuer") in a landmark victory in its case against Colliers International ("Colliers") concerning the valuation of a German commercial property (the "Property") in 2005.
"We are very pleased with today's ruling. This was not an easy fight, but it was the right thing to do on behalf of noteholders and worth the considerable amount of time and effort put in by our team and our legal advisors," said Blair Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of Hatfield Philips.
HPI filed its initial claim, on behalf of the Issuer, at the High Court in London on 25 October 2012 alleging that Colliers negligently overvalued the Property, which was let to German mail order company Quelle AG, who subsequently became insolvent and vacated the Property. HPI and its legal team, consisting of Rosling King and 3 Verulam Buildings, had been seeking to recover losses to noteholders resulting from the disputed valuation.
In a judgment handed down today, Mr. Justice Blair concluded that the Property's true value in 2005 was €103 million compared to Colliers' valuation of €135 million at the time. In relation to the overvaluation, Mr. Justice Blair ruled that such a discrepancy constituted negligence on Colliers' behalf and awarded the Issuer damages in the amount of €32 million, reflecting the difference in valuations. Interest and other costs to be awarded to the Issuer have yet to be determined.
"This case sets a precedent for the industry in which we operate," said Richard Spooner, Deputy General Counsel at Hatfield Philips. "We went into court with very strong arguments, but also with the knowledge that nobody had ever sought in an English Court to recover losses due to an overstated valuation in the context of a securitised loan. We had a great team to assist us in achieving this favorable ruling in Rosling King and 3 Verulam Buildings."
HPI's case is the first time an English Court has been faced with a negligence claim brought against a property valuer where the loan advanced by the original lender has been securitised. Mr. Justice Blair's judgment has therefore set a precedent for future claims of this nature.
Rosling King Partner James Walton, who advised HPI throughout the case, said: "This was an extremely complex case that has taken five years to resolve and this landmark judgment has wide implications for other issuers and special servicers in the CMBS market; the decision will probably result in the pursuit of other claims. Hatfield Philips has demonstrated that it was very much in the interests of the noteholders to pursue this claim and the determination they have shown has achieved a landmark victory for our client."
About Hatfield Philips International Ltd.
Hatfield Philips International ("HPI"), together with LNR Europe, is a leading NPL and debt advisory firm with best-in-class loan servicing capabilities. From NPL underwriting to co-investing to helping lenders execute on debt strategies, HPI is uniquely positioned to deliver multiple layers of value to a wide range of debt market participants. HPI accomplishes this by leveraging a highly seasoned team of real estate finance, workout, debt servicing, and client service specialists. Founded in 1997 on the principles of trust, integrity and providing the highest levels of customer service, HPI has the experience and capabilities to partner with clients to achieve their business and investment objectives. HPI is a subsidiary of LNR Property, a United States-based real estate investment, finance, management and development firm, which was acquired by Starwood Property Trust in April 2013. For more information please visit us at http://www.hatfieldphilips.com/.
SOURCE Hatfield Philips International