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Louisa Gothard
Louisa Gothard
Senior Solicitor, Head of Family Law
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PROPERTY: James v Thomas [2007] EWCA Civ 1212
Date:23 NOV 2007

(Court of Appeal; Smith and Wilson LJJ and Sir John Chadwick; 23 November 2007)

The judge had been entitled to hold that the assurances on which the woman relied had been insufficient to found a claim based on constructive trust or proprietary estoppel. The true position had been that the woman had worked with the man in the business, and contributed her labour to the improvements to the mans property, because she and the man were making their life together. The woman would be entitled, as a partner in the business, to a share in the partnership assets after taking accounts. Her interest in the property (if any) had to be determined by applying principles of law and equity that (however inadequate to meet the circumstances in which parties live together in the twenty-first century) must now be taken as well established.