Published on Sep 04, 2013 7:24 AM | By Melissa Tan | The Straits Times

The High Court has halted the $590 million collective sale of Thomson View Condominium and slammed the behaviour of marketing agent HSR, in a landmark judgment released yesterday.

Experts say the ruling by Justice Andrew Ang could have a chilling effect on the collective sales market as it means that developers will face the difficult task of keeping a much closer eye on the behaviour of sales committees and marketing agents.

Justice Ang said HSR had “egregiously breached” its duty to avoid conflict of interest during the sale process by paying some owners to back the deal. He noted that by offering incentive payments to select owners, HSR in effect was reducing its own commission from the sale, but to the benefit of only those owners.

The ultimate outcome was that HSR was acting in “bad faith” regarding the distribution of the collective sales proceeds by HSR to unit owners, he said.