(Court of Appeal, Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury MR, McFarlane, Lewison LJJ, 27 March 2012)
The son claimed ownership of a farm pursuant to proprietary estoppel or constructive trust. The father owned the farm but had run it with the son as a partnership. The son based his case on assertions by the father that the farm ‘would come to him' and that he relied on those assertions by taking on tasks in excess of that expected of an employee and for little money.
The judge rejected the son's claims and the son appealed. The judge's conclusion was one that had been open to him and his reasoning was a proper basis for that conclusion.
The judge gave an oral reserved judgment after the conclusion of trial. Upon receiving the transcript he made a number of amplifications. There was nothing objectionable in a judge making his reasoning clearer and more full but making new or contradictory points was another matter. In this case no injustice had been caused. Appeal dismissed.