The Court of Appeal in this 'sole
name' case did not take the opportunity to review the Lloyds Bank vs Rosset
threshold test in sole name cases, despite recent indications in the Supreme
Court that it should be revisited. The trial judge had correctly applied the
law as it stands; the appeal was based on criticisms of the judge’s findings of
fact which the Court of Appeal held were without merit. Consequently the Court
was able to, and did, dismiss the appeal without reviewing the Rosset tests.
However the Court did consider
the principles applicable to establishing a beneficial interest by inference
from an excuse. Comparison of the judgments with the classic excuse cases of
Eves vs Eves  1 WLR 1338 and Grant vs Edwards  1 Ch 638 reveals a
possible distinction between an excuse containing an express representation –
'it would be in our joint names except for…' and one which does not – 'it is
not in joint names because ...'
The current status of the Rosset threshold test
is considered. It is suggested that the courts should now sanction imputation,
not just inference; and that if they did so the difficulties of the Rosset
tests would fade away. The full version of this article appears in the September 2015 issue of Family Law.
Online subscribers can access the full version of the article here.