Defending Director liability and conversion of a motor vehicle

Dean represented the Director of a company which had leased an Aston Martin DB9 under an unregulated lease purchase agreement. The vehicle had effectively been used as a company car for the Director, which he also used outside work, had registered in his own name, and to which he had applied a personalised number plate.

The Director subsequently returned the vehicle to the dealer, to be sold and the outstanding finance repaid. Unfortunately the dealer was a rogue, who simply resold the vehicle to a third party without settling the outstanding finance, disappeared and could not be traced.

The third party purchaser was deemed to be a purchaser in good faith who had acquired good title. The finance company therefore issued proceedings against Dean’s client for conversion of the vehicle, seeking payment of the remainder of the outstanding finance owed under the lease purchase agreement.

The matter proceeded to trial. With Dean’s expert representation the claim was defeated and the finance company ordered to pay the Director’s costs.