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MORRIS v MORRIS & ORS

There had been no evidence before a judge upon which he could properly have found a common intention constructive trust to exist in favour of a wife in relation to a property belonging to her ex-husband and his mother.

4 March 2008

The appellant (H) appealed against the decision of a judge awarding the respondent (W) a beneficial share in a property. Under the disposition of a will, H’s mother (M) became the sole legal owner of the family farm. Consequently, H and M entered into a joint partnership for the purposes of running the farm and a joint tenancy in respect of the farmhouse that stood upon it. Later, H met and married W and began living with her in the farmhouse. At the beginning of their relationship, W provided substantial assistance to the farming business without any remuneration and was involved in most of the business decision making. She also funded the purchase of an enclosure that added value to the property as a whole. Later, W wanted to open a riding school on the farm. She obtained a grant from a local authority and secured a loan from a company owned and managed by H. Both H and W agreed that no repayments on this loan would be necessary. W’s riding business became very successful, and...

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