Elizabeth advises both banks and building societies on lending and savings issues, particularly on matters of fairness. A particular area of work has been the repeated changes in documentation required for consumer credit loans from 2005 onwards. Much of the work has arisen from the introduction of MCOB, the changes in regulations under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and the enactment of the Consumer Credit Act 2006 and the continuing impact of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, coupled with the FSA’s Treating Customers Fairly initiative.
In terms of litigation, Elizabeth has been involved in a number of complex mortgage possession actions, including actions which reached the Court of Appeal. She has also been instructed on cases involving compliance with Consumer Credit Act requirements and the recovery of bank charges, although to date such litigation has settled.
Elizabeth is instructed in professional negligence proceedings relating to unsuccessful attempts by clients of a claims management company to challenge the validity of consumer credit agreements. She has also recently advised on a number of points relating to receivers appointed by a mortgagee and assured shorthold tenancies and on the taking of charges by solicitors to secure their costs. Her general background in property law has also been of use recently in acting for a lending institution faced with a challenge to its security arising out of disputes as to the propriety of an executor’s dealings under his mother’s Will, and in acting on a claim by an occupier to have priority for a beneficial interest in the property which raises issues of imputed consent and subrogation.
Reported cases include Cheltenham & Gloucester Plc v Booker  1 FLR 311 (exercise of court’s residual discretion to permit mortgagor to stay in possession pending sale by mortgagee).
Elizabeth Ovey is ranked as a leading junior by Chambers UK and/or The Legal 500 in six commercial and Chancery fields: banking and financial, consumer credit, commercial chancery, traditional chancery, pensions, and professional negligence. She is commended by those directories for her consumer credit and banking expertise in the following terms:
Elizabeth is the co-author (with Malcolm Waters and Mark Fell) of Retail Mortgages: Law, Regulation and Procedure, published by Sweet and Maxwell in September 2013. She is also joint editor (again with Malcolm and Mark) of Wurtzburg and Mills on Building Society Law (Sweet & Maxwell) (l5th (looseleaf) edition 1989 and annual updates). Elizabeth and Malcolm are co-editors of the 2nd edition of the Law of Investor Protection (Sweet & Maxwell); Elizabeth contributed chapters including Insurance, Pensions and Collective Investment Schemes as well as an Overview chapter. She is a co-author of Current Law Statutes Annotated edition of the Building Societies Act 1986 and acted as a consultant editor for the Mutual Societies section of the new vol. 18(1) (Financial Services and Institutions) which forms part of the latest edition of Halsbury’s Laws. She has also written a number of articles for the Journal of International Banking and Finance Law.
Elizabeth has given talks on topics related to her work at conferences and as part of chambers’ own seminar programme.