Case Law Update: The "Deceptively Simple" Doctrine of Prorietary Estoppel
13 December 2022

Case Law Update: The "Deceptively Simple" Doctrine of Prorietary Estoppel


Tuesday 13 December 2022, 5.00pm to 7.00pm
Refreshments are available from 4.45pm


Jacksons Law, 17 Falcon Court, Short Close, Preston Farm Industrial Estate, Stockton on Tees, TS18 3TU

Seminar Overview

We are all familiar with the three ingredients of proprietary estoppel: inducement/representation, detrimental reliance, and unconscionable denial. This classical formulation was rightly described as “deceptively simple” in the recent case of Rojob v Deb [2022] EWHC 1572 (Ch), one of the latest in a steady stream of reported cases concerning this often controversial area of law.

Join James Reckitt of Dere Street Barristers on 13 December for a refresher on the nuts and bolts of proprietary estoppel, coupled with an update on the latest case law developments.

The "lively controversy" between the claimant’s expectation and the appropriate remedy identified in Davies v Davies [2016] 2 P & C.R.10 and Guest v Guest [2020] EWCA Civ 387 was also explored in Rojob, and that case provides a useful illustration of how the court will approach the issue of remedy in this type of claim. It is clear that remedy is a fact sensitive issue, and that a successful claimant will not necessarily get the remedy they are expecting where the detriment suffered is disproportionate to the remedy sought.

The tense relationship between proprietary estoppel and s2 Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 (which provides that contracts for the sale or other disposition of an interest in land must be made in writing) was considered in Howe v Gossop [2021] EWHC 637 (Ch), where Cobbe v Yeoman's Row Management Ltd [2008] UKHL 55 was distinguished on the facts and it was held that the claimant’s claim in proprietary estoppel should succeed notwithstanding s2 LP(MP)A 1989.

Furthermore, in Gordon v Havener [2021] UKPC 26 the interaction between contractual obligations and proprietary estoppel was explored by the Privy Council when considering a claim in which a contract breaker sought to invoke proprietary estoppel to effectively enforce terms of the contract that they had breached.


James Reckitt

James Reckitt is a specialist civil practitioner with particular interests in property disputes and commercial dispute resolution. He has a wide-ranging practice and regularly appears in the county courts in Middlesbrough and Newcastle, as well as the BPC. Prior to pupillage, James worked in the commercial property department of a solicitor’s firm where he gained experience in matters ranging from residential conveyancing to high value commercial transactions between landowners and property developers. Outside work James is a keen walker, photographer, and rarely misses a Formula 1 Grand Prix!

Further Information

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