A High Court judge today ruled that Dunlop Haywards owes more than £20m to various parties in relation to fraud committed by its former employee Ian McGarry.

The property consultancy, which is now in liquidation, was ordered to pay the money as a part of damages awarded to Cheshire Building Society.

Cheshire had lent £11.5m to a company called Goldgrade to buy properties in Birmingham. The High Court ruled in January last year that McGarry had fraudulently overvalued the properties, which were worth as little as £1.3m.

Goldgrade failed to repay the loan.

In January the court ruled that Dunlop Haywards was liable for damages owed to Cheshire.

Cheshire also filed a claim against solicitors firm Cobbetts, which had provided advice on the loan, in relation to negligence. Cobbetts paid £5.6m to Cheshire in an out of court settlement.

At the High Court hearing today Mr Justice Christopher Clarke ruled that an, in total, Cheshire was entitled to £21m of damages.

The figure was made up of the £11.5m which was not recovered from Goldgrade, £2.4m of interest it would have received if it had lent the money to another party, £7.6m of profits from mortgage loans business it lost because of the fraud, as well as other business costs and the cost of staff time.

From this figure the judge subtracted the £5.6m settlement from Cobbetts, meaning Dunlop Haywards is liable to pay Cheshire £15.5m directly.

However, the judge also ruled that Cobbetts had paid too much in settlement to Cheshire, and that Dunlop Haywards should pay money to Cobbetts because of this.

He valued the amount owed by Dunlop Haywards to Cobbetts as £4.6m.

On top of this the judge also ordered just over £1m in costs payments to Cheshire and Cobbetts.

No criminal charges have yet been brought against McGarry, who is still on bail.