Constructive trusts: Keeping up with the Jones

Naveed Ali outlines the development of the constructive trust principle to aid cohabitees ‘The court should establish the intentions of the parties with evidence; where intention cannot be inferred, the court may impute an intention which the parties may never have founded.’ The regulation of proprietary rights after a breakdown of marriage is extensive: the …
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Legg v Burton [2017] EWHC 2088 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2017 #169

The testatrix had two daughters, the first and second claimants. In July 2000, the testatrix and her husband made wills in favour of the survivor, and subject to that, in favour of the claimants in equal shares.

The husband died in May 2001. Between 2001 and 2004, the testatrix made 13 further wills. These progressively favoured the defendants (who were two of the grandsons of the testatrix and the partner of one of them), at the expense of the claimants. The last of these wills was made on 12 December 2014, when she made a further will under which the claimants took a legacy of £...

Constructive Trusts: More than words?

The courts will sometimes give effect to oral agreements for the transfer of land. David Sawtell examines recent case law ‘The courts have afforded some considerable protection to trustees and beneficiaries of land from the inadvertent creation of informal rights over property. The unanimity principle has achieved some prominence as a consequence.’ In order to …
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Curran v Collins [2015] EWCA Civ 404

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | March 2016 #157

This was an appeal against a decision that Ms Curran, the appellant, had not acquired a beneficial interest in property in the sole name of Mr Collins, the respondent. Mr Collins and Ms Curran were in a relationship from about 1978 until 2010. However, she did not move in to live with Mr Collins until 2002, having maintained a close relationship with her own family.

From about 1994 onwards, the couple bred Airedale terriers. Over the course of the relationship, Mr Collins owned three properties in his sole name, referred to as the Bendfont flat, the Feltham house and The Haven. He...

Herbert v Doyle & anr [2010] EWCA Civ 1095

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | November 2015 #154

The appellant (Mr Herbert) owned the freehold of a house and a large garden. The respondents (Mr Doyle and Mr Talati) owned the freehold of an adjacent property comprising a dental surgery with nine parking spaces. They also leased part of the ground floor in the main house from Mr Herbert. They carried on a practice as dental practitioners from the freehold and leasehold premises and they and their clients used the parking spaces. Mr Herbert wished to develop the former walled garden of Mansfield House and to build mews houses, but to do so he needed Mr Doyle and Mr Talati to exchange s...

Southwell v Blackburn [2014] EWCA Civ 1347

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | January/February 2015 #146

In 2002, the appellant and the respondent set up home together in a house in Droitwich. They remained unmarried. The property was purchased in the appellant’s sole name with his money alone, and he took on sole responsibility for the mortgage. On the breakdown of their relationship, the respondent claimed that the appellant held the property was held by him on constructive trust for both parties in equal shares. That claim failed before His Honour Judge Pearce-Higgins QC, but her alternative proprietary estoppel claim succeeded. The respondent was awarded £28,500 in satisfaction of the e...

Constructive Trusts: The Pallant v Morgan equity

Nitej Davda looks at the enforceability of informal agreements relating to land A key feature of a Pallant v Morgan equity is the presence of either detriment suffered or an advantage gained by one of the parties as a result of an act or omission by the other party. The Pallant v Morgan equity is …
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Constructive Trusts: House rules

Amin v Amin is an interesting application of the test in Stack v Dowden, as Sofie Hoffman discusses ‘This article considers only a discrete part of the judgment relating to the determination of the beneficial interests in Kingswood Manor, particularly given the complex family relations, both business and domestic, which were governed by a mixture …
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