Intention and resulting trusts

Chaudhary v Chaudhary (not on bailii yet but on lawtel) is something of a puzzle, which hopefully will be solved when we see the full transcript (hint, hint). It may be important, but it’s a little early to say.  The one thing about it that isn’t a puzzle is that it is yet another case in which there is a family breakdown; here the dispute is between a stepmother (it’s simpler to use the abbreviations in the lawtel report: “M”) and stepson (“S”).  S bought a property, which was registered in his sole name.  His Dad (“F”) and M put £5k towards the purchase.  After F’s death, M continued to … Read the full post

Express/Constructive trusts: Oh dearie me!

Maybe I’ve been doing this job too long but there are some things which just seem so obvious to me.  I know that the common intention constructive trust is really interesting – empirically as well as in law – but you can’t just jump straight in. 

Pankhania v Chandegra [2012] EWCA Civ 1438 is, I’m afraid, a pretty obvious case which should never have been resisted; that it got to the Court of Appeal is an object lesson to advocates and judges not to jump straight in with your fancy arguments about constructive trusts.  Why?  Because, although the judge proceeded to consider the case largely around the law on constructive … Read the full post

Estoppel and unconscionability

In Joyce v Epsom & Ewell BC [2012] EWCA Civ 1398, the Court of Appeal were faced with a not dissimilar case to the classic Crabb v Arun DC [1976] 1 Ch 179, at least in so far as it was a claim to an easement against a local authority by way of proprietary estoppel.

Mr Joyce’s predecessor in title, a Mr Holborn, lived next door to two properties which Sainsburys included in a planning application to build a store on land to the rear.  Although the essence of the application changed over time, there were some constants: Mr Holborn objected to the planning proposal but proposed the construction of … Read the full post

Equity Release Schemes: the CA view

Cook v The Mortgage Business PLC et al [2012] EWCA Civ 17

[note for law students: this is a really important case on land registration in which the principles in Abbey National BS v Cann are considered and applied.  Please note that we do not write essays for you or respond to queries which assist you in writing your essays - we get quite snippy about such enquiries so beware.  As an academic and property law teacher myself, I get quite irate with those enquiries.  However, if you want to engage with us and our writing, we would be really happy and will respond in kind.]

Every generation seems to … Read the full post

Estoppel and s.2 – will we find out?

In the Summer Dave and David Smith posted about the case of Kinnear v Whittaker in the High Court. Bean J allowed an appeal against the summary disposal of a possession claim where the defendant had raised proprietary estoppel as a defence. This interesting and important question about the interaction between estoppel and s.2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 was therefore put off until trial.

The claimants appear to have been too excited to wait until then (or, more likely, but less poetically, they wanted to avoid the expense of a trial) and so appealed to the Court of Appeal. On Wednesday Stanley Burnton LJ refused Read the full post

Land Registration and its circumvention


Chaudhary v Yavuz [2011] EWCA Civ 1314

It is a basic principle of land registration, reinforced by the Land Registration Act 2002, that the holder of an adverse interest to a title should protect that interest by entering a notice on the register (unless they are unable to do so, for example because their interest is excluded).  Failure to do so means that the holder of the adverse interest is forced to fall back on the capriciousness of overriding interests, which do not appear on the register but bind the buyer.  This category was much reduced by the 2002 Act (on the basis of that formal protection principle).  Or … Read the full post

Jones v Kernott: Ending the big debate?

One of the things I really don’t like about academics is the way they sit in their offices with their heads so full of doctrinal legal theory that they forget (if they ever knew) about the ways real people lead their lives.  What got me through land law as a student was Gray and Symes’ textbook, Real Property and Real People.  The great thing about the re-invention of the constructive trust in the 1960s was that it seemed to provide a sufficiently malleable tool to connect real property and real people.  So what if it was improper or that, properly, the approach should be the strict presumed resulting trust … Read the full post

Jones v Kernott: The Headline

I’ve got parental duty so can’t do a full note on Jones v Kernott [2011] UKSC 53 now.  The headlines, though, are:

(a) Ms Jones won the appeal so that her 90% share in the disputed property was re-instated;

(b) the UKSC agree on the outcome but there is disagreement on the principles (esp Lord Wilson with Lord Kerr somewhere between);

(c) the majority, in essence, follow Stack but, it might be said, with a slight change of emphasis or, more politely, with more explanation about inferring/imputing shares;

(d) Lord Walker and Baroness Hale, who gave a joint judgment, engage with academic commentary on Stack.  The key paragraph in … Read the full post