Kevin Wigley has secured a settlement sum of £275,000 for his client Mrs W in a constructive trust claim.
Mrs W began a relationship with Mr A over 25 years ago. At the time the relationship began, Mr A owned a small property in his own name. They jointly ran a design company together the success of that company that allowed Mr A to sell his small property and upgrade to larger properties on two occasions. Each time, Mrs W undertook strenuous manual labour, together with Mr A, in renovating the properties. Each property was held in Mr A’s name only. The couple had and brought up their son together but the relationship broke down in 2010. As the property (valued at £675,000) was in Mr A’s name only and because the couple never married, Mrs W was left with nothing to show for her hard work and devotion following a 25 year relationship.
Mrs W brought a claim for a beneficial interest in the property via a constructive trust. She successfully argued that, although the property was held in Mr A’s name only, she should receive a share in the proceeds of sale as there was a common intention between herself and Mr A that she would receive such a share. This common intention was based on the fact they had a successful 25 year relationship, she had contributed to the purchase through the success of the company and by reason of the hard work she put into renovating the properties.
The Judge at first instance agreed and awarded Mrs W a 50% beneficial share in the property. In so doing, he described Mr A’s evidence as “untrustworthy, partial and self-serving”. Mr A appealed and the matter was referred to the Court of Appeal. Half way through the Court of Appeal hearing, Mr A agreed to make a payment to Mrs W of £275,000 to settle the dispute.
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