Slicky
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Report Thread starter 8 years ago
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Hi everyone,

I'm relatively new to the site and I've got a question to those of you that can help - I would reallly appreciate it :-)

I have been given a problem to analyse and based on the facts,
the client has got a contract which although is not legally enforceable it gives rise to estoppel and constructive trust.

I am fairly aware of what my analysis should entail but I'm having a really hard time in structuring this answer.

For example case law has shown me that basically my client will probably not be awarded damages but is entitled to a constructive trust which will give him an interest in the property only if estoppel is established. Therefore where I get stuck on structuring the answer is this:

A. CLAIM AGAINST X IN CONTRACT

1. Write about the contract (analyse all the elements) - FYI the agremeent may not be actually legally enforceable due to lack of certainty
2. Talk about breach of contract - in the occassion that the court finds an enforceable agreement (although not really)
3. Remedies (common law - damages) - these would be unfair
4. Talk about specific performance (should this be under the equitable actions or under the remedies part of the contract action as equitable remedy???)


B. EQUITABLE ACTIONS AGAINST X???
- proprietary estoppel
- constructive trust


Basically my question is when we say 'equity comes to the resque' do you have to make a claim in equity as a complete new action by itself? and what do you call it ? (cause of action estoppel??)

Thank you and sorry if my question sound silly to those of you that the answer is obvoius :-)
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jjarvis
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(Original post by Slicky)
Hi everyone,

I'm relatively new to the site and I've got a question to those of you that can help - I would reallly appreciate it :-)

I have been given a problem to analyse and based on the facts,
the client has got a contract which although is not legally enforceable it gives rise to estoppel and constructive trust.

I am fairly aware of what my analysis should entail but I'm having a really hard time in structuring this answer.

For example case law has shown me that basically my client will probably not be awarded damages but is entitled to a constructive trust which will give him an interest in the property only if estoppel is established. Therefore where I get stuck on structuring the answer is this:

A. CLAIM AGAINST X IN CONTRACT

1. Write about the contract (analyse all the elements) - FYI the agremeent may not be actually legally enforceable due to lack of certainty
2. Talk about breach of contract - in the occassion that the court finds an enforceable agreement (although not really)
3. Remedies (common law - damages) - these would be unfair
4. Talk about specific performance (should this be under the equitable actions or under the remedies part of the contract action as equitable remedy???)


B. EQUITABLE ACTIONS AGAINST X???
- proprietary estoppel
- constructive trust


Basically my question is when we say 'equity comes to the resque' do you have to make a claim in equity as a complete new action by itself? and what do you call it ? (cause of action estoppel??)

Thank you and sorry if my question sound silly to those of you that the answer is obvoius :-)
Could you give us a bit more about the facts you're dealing with? All of this stuff is fairly fact sensitive. Proprietary estoppel won't by any means necessarily lead to a constructive trust, though this is one way to give effect to an interest arising under proprietary estoppel.
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Slicky
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Hi jjarvis - thanks for replying :-)

Well this is a problem question based on:
1. an oral agreement made between 2 businessmen under which
2. One of the 2 would not bid at an auction to buy a property but the other would bid
3. If successful then they would form a joint venture to co-develop the property
4. The C, based on that promise refrained from the auction (which was a unique opportunity).
5. The person that acquired the property refused to continue with the jv.

In case law I read that the court under specific circumstances which apply here, they
will allow a constructive trust, so this means than when the D was bidding he was actually bidiing for both. What I am unsure is that does he have to claim for a constructive trust if the circumstances are present?

Or will he first request (do you request or is it up to the discretion of the court) estoppel as the venture concerned land?

I am confusing the two meanings.......

Thank you :-)
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jacketpotato
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You can request alternative remedies, that's fine.

Legal pleadings often take the form "I claim X, if I can't get that I claim Y, if I can't get that I claim Z". Similarly, a claimant might be able to either claim damages or claim specific performance for breach of contract. If you wanted SP you would ask for that in the pleadings, but you would also claim damages in case you don't get SP.
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Slicky
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Hi Jacketpotato :-) and thank you for your reply.

''Legal pleadings often take the form "I claim X, if I can't get that I claim Y, if I can't get that I claim Z". Similarly, a claimant might be able to either claim damages or claim specific performance for breach of contract. If you wanted SP you would ask for that in the pleadings, but you would also claim damages in case you don't get SP. ''

Thank you for this - quite helpful. I agree with you on the SP claim, however I'm trying to see all possible claims with this case as I believe he has a strong possibility to have a constructive trust.

So would other claims be under?
1. Claim proprietary estoppel
2. Claim for constructive trust
Are these areas claims all by themselves or are they possible remedies for my client? If I am supposed to claim under these - are they to be kept separate as 2 claims? or merged in one?

Thank you again :-)
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jacketpotato
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Think about what you need to get to the remedy.

Proprietary estoppel is a claim all by itself.

At the risk of angering traditional lawyers I see constructive trust as a remedy, but you've have to show a fiduciary relationship was present, so re: CT I'd start by considering whether there was a fiduciary relationship.
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Slicky
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(Original post by jacketpotato)
Think about what you need to get to the remedy.

Proprietary estoppel is a claim all by itself.

At the risk of angering traditional lawyers I see constructive trust as a remedy, but you've have to show a fiduciary relationship was present, so re: CT I'd start by considering whether there was a fiduciary relationship.
Thank you both for your help :-)

I think the major difficulty I have is separating claims for estopel and consructive trust ones...

Any advise on the distinction will be much appreciated;
however will take the points discussed so far and try to apply them:-)

Take care:-)
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jjarvis
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(Original post by jacketpotato)
You can request alternative remedies, that's fine.

Legal pleadings often take the form "I claim X, if I can't get that I claim Y, if I can't get that I claim Z". Similarly, a claimant might be able to either claim damages or claim specific performance for breach of contract. If you wanted SP you would ask for that in the pleadings, but you would also claim damages in case you don't get SP.
I don't think the claimant would get specific performance to run a joint venture--surely you can't get specific performance to make someone run a business?

As far as the PE claim goes, I think it would be worthwhile for the OP to take a look at Cobbe v Yeoman's Row. The auction/JV problem question seems fairly common.
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lawboffin228
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hello!

I'm currently looking at a similar problem! just wondering whether misrepresentation (contract) /the tort of deceit would apply?

i've been having a look at proprietary estoppel however have decided against it on the basis that the contract is for an interest in land but instead agreeing to not bid at auction [please advice me on this if you disagree]

thanks
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LexiswasmyNexis
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#10
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If this is for the CoL GDL, do not talk about fraud and deceit.


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lawboffin228
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thanks! I'm currently looking at constructive trusts and contract but i cant think what other area i should look to?

Have you any suggestions? [I am COL GDL btw] :confused:
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jess_x112
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how do you know? are you sure?
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