Daily Archives: November 24, 2013

Proprietary estoppel continued


it is uncertain    whether a  contracual licensee     could additonally rely    on restoplle

thimpson 1983 thinks so     but brigss   1981 does not

recent cases have changed     or developed a  number of ossies in relation   to interesrs   created by estoppel

you should    make notes on the relevant         facts, decisoons     and reasoning on each of the cases     and note what was gfiven to the successful claimants    in order to give effect to equitry

sledmore v  dalby      1996    the court odf eappeal     held that    though an eqauity       had arisen in favour     of the respondent it was not ;onger ine quaitable to deafeat it due    to the ebnefirst  wjch  eh had enhouyed over the eyar AND THE PARTOES SOTUATIONS AT THE TIME OF THE ACTION

thus        though dalby      could have had an estppel inters   he was given nothing


gillett v holt         2000

the defendant   had promised   to leavethe bulk of his estate to mr gillet           and had made a will doing so

subsequentyhe changed  his  will exclduing mr gillet     whose claim in properotry estopple     succeeeded

the court of appeal rejected       the idea thatr there had to be ”diuble aqssurance”

a second promise     that the defendant     would in noncirysmatcnes    chabnge his wil\ it was ernough    that the defdedant     had behaved unconsciobaly       by withdraweing    his promise adfter the claimant   had to know knowledg relied   on it to his detriment


yaxley v gotts      1999         court of appeal    held that    even wen an agreement    relating    to lane was vpid    for want fmorality      the doctinre     of properiotraytr    estoppel    could still operate     to cpmped on of the parties   to give   effect      to a promise     made under the agreement

banner group v    luff agreements    2000


hunt      v soady     court of appeal 2007              where there  had been a  provisional            agreement    that one beneficial      tenant     in common    H    would    transfer    her beneficial interest       to the other S               proprietary  estoppel                could not operate        since a that agreement    had not been       acted on by the other party          either in good time     or ot his detriment     ; it was    not unconscionable      for H          to go back     on her  representation     , particularly     given the substantial     change   in circumstances    since the time       of the provisional agreement


holman   v howes    2007

a divorced      couple bought property       together      being optimistic     about reconciliation and occupation

they both    contributed to the purchase price             but the legal title      was put into      the sole name    of the ex husband

he then   left    the house    but the     ex-wife     continued    to live there

on application      for an order    to determine      their beneficial      shares        with the ex husband         also seeking    an order for sale   , the court       held that the assurances   had been made     that the ex-wife     could occupy      the property    for as long as she wanted

since there    was detrimental       reliance  y the    woman the requirements     of proprietary estoppel       were satisfied   and thus un order to satisfy      this equity   there should be no order   for sale without the woman’s consent


james      v thomas 2007

where there was insufficient evidence  of a common intention that j should       have a beneficial interest   in the property    and assurances made   by T to J     were vague as to the extent of any beneficial interest    which J   might expect neither        a constructive     trust interest   nor one via    proprietary   estoppel could arise

the parties had lived   together   for  15 years  in a property   held  in T s sole   name – J     had helped    T with hus business      and together    they had conducted      extensive    renovations  of the property  . the assurances   which were found    to be too vague    were that the renovations would be for the benefit of both parties    and that J would be provided   for on T ;s death


powell and benney  2007

the appellants    P       had looked     after B;s couins    H   and had improved       his properties        for their own   use    after H   became unable   to look after himself       properly      and gave them the keys          to the premises

H  had promised   the      properties          to P upon his death       but he died     intestate     due to his will being invalid

the court       held that there was not strong         enough casual    link between    the promise     and the work    carried out for   P to receive        the entire     properties   as satisfaction for the equity          while P     had incurred             some expense     in improving    the premises   they had not been required   to do so by H

thus the case was a non bargain    proprietary   estoppel claim   Jennings   v rice     applied

to transfer   the properties       to P   would be out of all proportion   to the detriment   P had suffered   and so the trial judges award   of GBP 20 000    was upheld


yeoman’s row management    lrd   v cobb   2008

the house of lord   has shownt hat the esceptions to the law of preoperty   miscellaneoyus  provions   1989

are narrower   than previously thiought

a property  developer   reached    an oral agreement in principle   with an owner to buy its property   and then spent considerable sums   in obtaining    planning permission

the owner     then refused   to   proceed      on the agreed   terms and enter   into a binding contract

the house of lords   re\versed the decision    of the court of appeal   and held that the developer    was not entitled    to a remedy    based on proprietary    estoppel or a constructive trust  byut only   to a quantum meruit    payment  for his services    in pursuing  and obtaining planning    permission

since neither party   had thought that the agreement   between them had been enforceable

Y could not be estopped from relying upon      section 2 to show    that the agreement      was unenforceable

the agreement between the parties was a gentleman’s agreement   was too uncertain  as too its terms to constitute   a contract

the lower courts   had pushed   properitry  estoppel too far


thorner   v majors   2009

rather taciturn    farmer,   called pter, died    intestate   after revoking   a prevoous   will which ahd elft   the resideu   of his estate to david the son of his cousin.

this would  have given   peter’s farm  to david   .   the wil had been revoked      apparently     because pter   had falle out with one of the legatees    to whom he had givena sum of money, and wished      to exclude him.

the only way   in which david    could now succeed      in establishing    title   to the farm    was claiming     proprietary estoppel   because  on intestacy    the farmw ould now go to pter’s close er   relatives

david assisted    peter on the farm   for almost a 30 year oeriod   woithout    being paid an income.     at no point did pter             state to david             tyhat eh would leave       any property to him        after hi death. instead    david    had tio make out his case   frm inferecnes    , this was a watershed moment  turning david’s  hope of ingerting    the   famr into epxcetion   , following       this there were a number        of other comments made by peter   which david alleged   would ony have been made to a perdson who was spected             t inherit the farm

ewith lloyd LJ    giving the leading judgement        the court of appeal   reversed   the decision   of the court        below on the basius   that fir estopopel        to succeed    in these cases     the representation        had to be clear     and unequivocal     and not drawn from   inferences

but the case   was then appealed to the house of lords  who resvered the court of appeal decison     findind tat it had been  wroing to overutn the first instabce    judge decison    the trial  judge was best     placed to assess all thr parties dealing    and all the videncve before    him

for proprietary         estoppel to succeed          ot os indeed tj case that an assurance       must be clear enough   and must relate    to identified property

both the deceased       and the claimant   understood    that the property was to be a farm in the sate as it existed at the deceased death             whatever that might be,. the precise scope  of    the       property did not need to be agree din advance .        the house of lords disntibgusiebnd      cobbe v yeoman;s row            ont he gound that in cobbe                  there had bere  no doubt as to the phsycla identity of the property           bnut there had been compete uncertainty as to the                nature of the benefit given         to cobbe

in cobbe the relationship      between teh aprties was a commercial one at arms  length                 where the parties shAS CHOSEN NOT TO ENTER INTO A CONtract AND knew THat Were not  LEGALLY BOUND T O  EACH OTHER/

YOU would be advised tor ead this case    as the jdyeg considered preperty estoppel in detail.


henry v henry                     2010

the privy council   an appeal   from st lucia   in proprietary estoppel   case.  T   bought    the land    from an elderyly   relative G     just befotre the latter’s death.    G promised     to leave the land   in her will      to C    who had    lived on it and cultivated it for eyars.     the trail jduge      hgad dismissed C’s      cliam     on the basis that her had not suffered detrriment       he had recieved          a benefit     from the land         for ovr 30 yars        and T weas registered  proprietor   who had been given        value for  thje and and so took free    of C s claim

the court of appeal   howver    did find    that C had suffered    detriment     and hence          had an equity    which bound        T as an overriding       interest,. st lucia has a similar         land registration sysrem to england and wales

on appeal T argued      that since her purchase     of the land had not been unconsciobna;e      she should not be bound by any equity     which had arisen    in favour of C

the privy     conuncil        held that the trial judfe       had misdirected      himsefl    as to detriment    by failing   to weight up C ‘s advantage     s and disadvantages   resulting   from the promise –  kennings     v rice  applied –

the court of appeal    had also been mistaken        in tis ppaorach     to detriment

hence the PC had to consdier      tyhy issue afrsh     and gound that c    HAD Deprived        himself    of better life   elsehwere       bey remaining     ont he lad

that detriment    had not been       outweighed    by the advantages    he took       from his hard life   in which he has had tos struggle to make ends meet occupying the land

the resulting      estoppel  equity       was satisfied       by awarding         C half    of T ;s share   of the plot if land

i e quarter of the total

proportionality      is at heart   of proprietary estoppel

the privy council       looked at the effect   of an estoppel         equity           on third parties

the privy council    looked at an effect    of an estoppel    equity     on third   parties    and noted    obiter    that there may   be cases   in which circumstances   of a third party   purchase   might requite    a claimant’s    equity   to be reassessed even thought     the claimant  has an overriding interest

——————— the land registration act 2020    provides   that an equity     by estoppel  ”has effect   from time the equity arises   as an interest  capable of binding   successors in title”

thus it is confirmed     that a uncystrallised   estoppel   ”equity”   can bind a transferee  if protected   as required   by normal  rules of registered   or unregistered   land

in registered land  it can be protected   by an entry    on the register    or coupled with actual   occupation  is capable    of overriding   a disposition

but once the court has granted    a remedy then whether    a transferee   i sbund   will depend   on the nature of the remedy

if a remedy is a freehold or an easement  then it will bind a trasnferee    but it it is a licence   or financial compensation   then it will not



A dream of boats and my family.


I was on a small white yacht. The weather was fairly good. There were a few other people aboard. We were on a lake in a European country. We slowly sailed into a marina. Scores of other similar craft were moored there. There was scarcely any room. I do not remember what the town was like. I got off the boat and walked along the wooden jetty. Somehow I knew that this was a place for people having a baby. This is bizarre since I saw no pregnant women. I saw no one on the jetty but this did not seem incongruous to me. There was so little room that the boats were all reorganised and packed in in a new formation. 


There was something about speaking to my second cousin once removed there – Kevin. I had tried to call him on skype. He had not answered last night. Kevin was not in this town.

Later I sailed across the long lake. There was verdure on either shore. We sailed into a small town with buildings fashioned of stone. It looked a little like Bonicifacio which I visited this summer. I got off the yacht I did not see anyone but this was not eerie. 

I sat on the clean and polished stone. It did not feel cold which one would have expected. I saw members of my family coming. i had not expexted to see them. My mother, my brother in law and my eldest niece. I tried to avert my face so they would not spot me. Then My brother in law caught sight of me. I came out and greeted them.

Later I was seated at a table with my family. There was a clash with my mother. She said something about why I should buy some espedrils because they are reasonably priced there.I was irritated at her telling me what to do all the time.

I thought about how I disliked the place in Ireland where they lived. There may have been other chapters to this dream.

What can it all signify – the boats, the family and the towns?