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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

08 MAY 2012

COMMON INTENTION CONSTRUCTIVE TRUST: Geary v Rankine [2012] EWCA Civ 555

(Court of Appeal; Thorpe, Etherton, Lewison LJJ; 29 March 2012)

The couple were in a relationship for 19 years and had a 20-year-old son. The woman was still married to her husband for 12 years during the new relationship. The couple moved to Hastings to run a guesthouse the man had bought with his savings and when they separated the woman claimed to have acquired a beneficial interest in the guesthouse or that she and the man had been in partnership.

The claim of a common intention constructive trust was dismissed and the judge found that the man bought the property as an investment. There was no intention at the time of purchase that the woman should have an interest and no evidence that the intention changed or that the woman had taken steps to change her own position in reliance on any assertion that she should have an interest. The judge had not been plainly wrong in his conclusion and the woman's appeal was dismissed.

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