Hewett v First Plus Financial Group Plc: CA 24 Mar 2010

The appellant appealed against a mortgage possession order, saying that she had been misled into signing the charge by a non-disclosure by her husband of an extra-marital affair he was conducting. The bank had not met the standards set in Etridge, and knew that the primary purpose of the loan was to repay the husband’s credit card debts.
Held: A finding of undue influence does not depend, as a necessary pre-requisite, upon a conclusion that the victim made no decision of her own, or that her will and intention was completely overborne. In this case the appellant had placed a sufficient level of trust and confidence in her husband or a duty to arise toward her, and the husband’s affair was a fact material to the wife’s decision. Briggs LJ said: ‘The right to set aside the transaction arises not because, on a but for causation analysis, it would otherwise have been avoided, but because of the equitable wrong constituted by the abuse of confidence was part of the process by which the victim’s consent to it was obtained.’ The appellant’s decision was vitiated by the abuse of her trust.

Jacob, Leveson, Briggs, LJJ
[2010] EWCA Civ 312
England and Wales
CitedHuguenin v Baseley 1807
When undue influence is alleged, the law will investigate the way the intention to enter into the transaction was secured. Lord Eldon LC said: ‘Take it that she (the plaintiff) intended to give it to him (the defendant): it is by no means out of the . .
CitedAllcard v Skinner CA 1887
The donor had parted with almost all her property. She now sought to have the transaction set aside for undue influence.
Held: Where a wife has entered into a gratuitous transaction with her husband, the burden was on the husband as donee to . .
CitedRoyal Bank of Scotland v Etridge (No 2); Barclays Bank plc v Harris; Midland Bank plc v Wallace, etc HL 11-Oct-2001
Wives had charged the family homes to secure their husband’s business borrowings, and now resisted possession orders, claiming undue influence.
Held: Undue influence is an equitable protection created to undo the effect of excess influence of . .
CitedDaniel v Drew CA 6-May-2005
The Aunt had succeeded in her claim that her retirement from a family trust of a farm had been procured by the undue influence of her nephew. The nephew now appealed. She had assigned her interest to her son, who then fell into disagreement about . .
CitedThompson v Foy ChD 20-May-2009
Lewison J discussed the decision in Etridge: ‘In the light of the arguments before me, there are some additional observations I should make. First, although in Etridge Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead described the paradigm case of a relationship where . .
CitedThe Royal Bank of Scotland Plc v Chandra and Another ChD 28-Jan-2010
The bank sought to enforce guarantees supported by a charge on the defendants home. They said that the bank had by its actions in supporting further development of a project, released them from obligations to it.
Held: David Richards J . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Undue Influence

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.406411