Is a lawyer responsible for a lender's failure to disclose recognized red flags to a lender or to make adequate inquiries about such red flags?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Law Society of Upper Canada v. Nguyen, 2018 ONLSTH 45 (CanLII):

The repeated failure to disclose recognized red flags to a lender or to make adequate inquiries about such red flags may support the conclusion that a lawyer knows or suspects that the transactions in question are not or may not be genuine. As held in Law Society of Upper Canada v. Osborne:[16] … Bona fide purchasers would normally not be expected to make deposits in excess of industry norms, pay such deposits directly to the vendor (affording them little or no protection) or make unexplained additional deposits not contemplated in the original agreement of purchase and sale. The repeated failure of a lawyer to make any inquiries about the features of these deposits may be compelling evidence that the lawyer knows, suspects or is aware of the risk that these deposits (and hence the transactions themselves) are shams. This represents a high level of culpability. [emphasis added]

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