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Victorious eco-crusader sued for millions
The Star - South Africa
A Gauteng woman whose action halted the construction of a petrol station on an eco-sensitive wetland has been threatened with a multi million-rand lawsuit.

Developer Andre du Plessis, of Petro-Props, and his attorney, Shane van Graan, have served notice on Nicole Barlow, 37, to stop making public all the problems surrounding the development in Libradene, Boksburg.

Du Plessis is suing Barlow, who is chairperson of the Libradene Wetland Association, for the costs he has incurred, estimated at R6,2-million, as well as legal costs, which could amount to about R300 000.
The Star

B.C. law society approves $32.5 million in real estate fraud payouts
Canadaeast.com - Canada
The Law Society of British Columbia has approved $32.5 million in payments to cover a multi million dollar real estate fraud case involving a Vancouver lawyer.

At a society disciplinary hearing in 2002, Martin Wirick acknowledged he had received funds to discharge titles on real estate transactions he was involved in with real estate developer Tarsem Singh Gill.

The scheme allegedly involved homeowners buying property from Gill on the understanding that Wirick would discharge their previous mortgages and register them as the new owners of the property.

EAAB welcomes DTI decision
Property24.co.za - South Africa
Those who have been following the Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) saga will be interested to hear that Mandisi Mpahlwa, the Minister of Trade and Industry, has decided to request the resignations of the remaining seven board members.

Nomonde Mapetla, the CEO of the EAAB, has welcomed the decision, which follows the departure of five board members who resigned in 2005.

"I am pleased that steps are being taken to address the irregular activities that took place at the EAAB, and which were uncovered by a forensic investigation that was commissioned last year," says Mapetla.

Ethics gibe curries a prickly response from furious estate agents
Herald Sun - Australia
A battle of ethics has erupted between real estate agents, lawyers and accountants. Estate agents have questioned a proposal to allow solicitors and accountants to sell property, arguing it would put consumers at risk.

However, accountants, solicitors and industry watchers say that opening up the industry would lift ethical standards. This has infuriated the REIV. Its chief executive, Enzo Raimondo, says only estate agents have the skills to do the job properly.

"How many lawyers or accountants are in jail for defrauding clients, as opposed to estate agents?" he said.
Herald Sun

MDA launches Information Solution to expedite property conveyancing in BC
Newswire - Canada
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.(TSX: MDA), a provider of essential information solutions, announced today that it has launched Tax Certificates Online, a new property information service that increases the efficiency of legally closing real estate transactions in BC.

The legal, business, and government professionals of British Columbia use BC OnLine to electronically retrieve or register authoritative information related to land titles, property assessments, BC company registrations, and personal property liens. MDA operates BC OnLine in partnership with the Government of British Columbia.

House buyers spoilt for choice
Moneyweb - South Africa
Buying a home is a crucial investment decision that prospective homeowners have to grapple with, hence the need for buyers to tread carefully before taking the plunge.

South Africa now has three property-transacting models that buyers and sellers can choose from: estate agency, private selling and the new Help-U-Sell model imported from the US.

Marno Nel, a proponent of the Help-U-Sell, argues that the model offers consumers a full range of property services when buying or selling a property, but costs less and provides more than a traditional estate agency.

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