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Judicial discretion in proprietary estoppel claims

Date:24 JUN 2016
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Lord Justice Lewison's decision in Davies and Another v Davies [2016] EWCA Civ 463 involved an analysis of the broad judgmental discretion required to adjudicate a proprietary estoppel claim. The Court of Appeal was concerned only on this occasion with how the equity should be satisfied.

In his judgment Lewison LJ provided guidance for future cases that since the essence of proprietary estoppel is the combination of expectation and detriment if either is absent the claim must fail. If therefore the detriment can be fairly quantified and a claimant receives full compensation for that detriment that compensation ought in principle to remove the foundation of the claim. This is opposed to alternative approaches that either the essential aim of the discretion is to give effect to the claimant's expectation unless it would be disproportionate to do so or that the outcome will fall somewhere between reflecting both the expectation and discretion. On this instance on the facts of Davies however he did not have to resolve this controversy.

Additionally the impossibility of evaluating the extent of imponderable and speculative non-financial...

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