14 March 2019 - Events
Harry Martin of 5 Stone Buildings represented Jacqueline who claimed a share of a farm purchased in the sole name of her former partner, Matthew.
For about five years of an eight year relationship the couple lived at Ball Hill Farm near Okehampton in Devon (although Matthew often worked away).
The purchase price was funded entirely by Matthew. However, Jacqueline claimed that she and Matthew had agreed that she would carry out and oversee substantial renovation works and that any profit or increase in value would be shared between them equally. Jacqueline then left her job in order to work full-time at the farm: setting up and running a livery yard and a holiday let (for which she drew no wage) and carrying out significant renovation work. By the end of the relationship and the time of the subsequent sale the value of the farm had increased substantially.
The legal argument therefore centred on proprietary estoppel and constructive trusts. Mr Martin will address the legal and practical considerations to be borne in mind when running a “sole name” constructive trust case based on an express or inferred agreement. How might the evidence as to the express agreement play out in court? When, if ever, is it possible to infer an intention to share in the absence of a direct contribution to the purchase price?