Stack v Dowden

05 JUN 2007

Alexander Chandler, Barrister, 1 Garden Court, Temple. The final Law Commission report on the law relating to cohabitee disputes is not due until August 2007, and any legislative reform will follow some time after that. In the meantime, the House of Lords ruling in Stack v Dowden [2007] UKHL 17, [2007] FLR (forthcoming) provides some assistance to those navigating this potentially complex territory, setting out a number of important guidelines for all cohabitee disputes. This includes the applicable starting points and a revision of the Oxley v Hiscock [2004] EWCA Civ 546, [2004] 2 FLR 669 approach to be taken as to quantification in constructive trust cases. This article extracts the core reasoning applied by the House of Lords to reach the result in Stack v Dowden, including the contrasting approach of Lord Neuberger, who preferred the long established principles of the resulting trust. The guidance offered by the Lords is summarised here in a useful digest for practitioners. For the full article see June [2007] Fam Law.

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