Andrew has been successful in obtaining a vesting order under Section 44(ii)(c) of the Trustee Acy 1925, in the Chancery Division of the High Court in favour of the claimant in respect of a long leasehold flat that constitutes her home. The defendant was His Majesty’s Attorney General who decided not to contest the claim.

When the Jersey based company that then owned the property was dissolved in 2004 without first transferring title to the claimant and her late husband, the property had  become bona vacantia. This had not been discovered for many years.  By that time it was too late to take action to revive the company.

Andrew was successful in demonstrating that the dissolved company had held the property under an implied resulting trust for the benefit of the claimant and her late husband, who had contributed their joint money to purchase their original family home, out of the proceeds of sale of which, their current home was bought. The property had also been purchased using her late husband’s name before the title was actually registered to the company.

The sole function of the company had been as a repository for the private home of the claimant and her late husband and to enable them to pay a dividend to their daughter, who was also a shareholder, to enable her to buy her own property out of the proceeds of sale of their previous home.

The Court also held there was also an arguable claim in proprietary estoppel. The claimant had believed the property to belong to her late husband and herself throughout. They lived in the property as their home, paid all utility bills and he purchased a share in the freehold.

The claimant had relied on her late husband to take all financial and administrative decisions, but he had acted on mistaken advice and information in dissolving the company. The claimant placed reliance on the contentions of her late husband that the main asset of the company had been correctly distributed to them and that the company could be dissolved.

The claimant’s reliance on her husband and through him the company led to her financial detriment in a number of respects. It was no bar to the equity arising that both the company in the person of her husband and the claimant acted under a mistaken assumption as to their respective rights giving rise to detriment ultimately to the claimant.

The proprietary estoppel bound the Crown as the successor in title to the company. On that basis, it would be unconscionable for the Crown, who was not a purchaser for value, to benefit from a windfall at the expense of the equitable interest of the claimant.

One of Andrew’s instructing solicitors Kaylee Moret of Dutton Gregory LLP was extremely complimentary about Andrew’s involvement following the decision:

“Andrew was very professional and provided clear succinct advice in relation to a complex matter.  Andrew was extremely well prepared for the hearing and was able to secure an extremely successful outcome for our mutual client.”

Our specialist Civil Law team excels at this type of case.  If you would like to discuss a particular case with one of our barristers, please contact us today.