Pallant v Morgan: ChD 1952

The agents of two neighbouring landowners orally agreed in the auction room that the plaintiff’s agent would refrain from bidding at auction and that the defendant, if his agent’s bid was successful, would divide the land according to an agreed formula, the details of which were to be agreed later. The defendant’s agent was successful, but when the parties failed to agree on the details of division the defendant retained the whole of the land for himself.
Held: Although the agreement was incomplete in its detail and too uncertain to be specifically enforceable, the defendant held the land on trust for himself and the plaintiff jointly, since his agent had made the bid on behalf of himself and the plaintiff’s agent on the basis of an agreement for division and it would amount to sanctioning a fraud on the defendant’s part to allow him to retain it.
Harman J said: ‘The plaintiff and the defendant have failed to agree on a division, and the court cannot compel them to agree. The best it can do is to decree that the property is held by the defendant for himself and the plaintiff jointly, and if they still fail to agree on a division the property must be resold, either party being at liberty to bid, and the proceeds of sale divided equally after repaying to the defendant the andpound;1,000 which he paid.’


Harman J


[1953] Ch 43, [1952] 2 All ER 951


England and Wales

Cited by:

ExaminedBanner Homes Group Plc v Luff Developments and Another CA 10-Feb-2000
Competing building companies agreed not to bid against each other for the purchase of land. One proceeded and the other asserted that the land was then held on trust for the two parties as a joint venture.
Held: Although there was no formal . .
CitedThames Cruises Limited v George Wheeler Launches Limited, Kingwood Launches Limited ChD 16-Dec-2003
The parties had previously worked to gether to provide ferry services on the Thames. A new tender to operate the services was not submitted. It was alleged that the Defendants had inequitably seized for themselves a business opportunity which the . .
CitedLondon and Regional Investments Ltd v TBI Plc and Others CA 22-Mar-2002
TBI was a property investor and developer with several subsidiaries. It agreed to sell some to London and Regional. The agreement provided for the vendor and the purchaser to use reasonable endeavours to agree the terms of a joint venture agreement . .
CitedKilcarne Holdings Ltd v Targetfollow (Birmingham) Ltd, Targetfollow Group Ltd ChD 9-Nov-2004
The defendant entered into an agreement for lease, incurring substantial obligations. When it could not meet them it sought assistance from the claimant, who now claimed to have an interest in a joint venture. The draft documentation originally . .
CitedParagon Finance Plc (Formerly Known As National Home Loans Corporation Plc v D B Thakerar and Co (a Firm); Ranga and Co (a Firm) and Sterling Financial Services Limited CA 21-Jul-1998
Where an action had been begun on basis of allegations of negligence and breach of trust, new allegations of fraud where quite separate new causes of claim, and went beyond amendments and were disallowed outside the relevant limitation period. . .
CitedSainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd v Olympia Homes Limited, Hughes etc ChD 17-Jun-2005
The claimant sought rectification of the land register. In a development deal, an option agreement had not been registered, and the land sold on. The land was required to allow the building of a roundabout necessary for the intended store. An . .
CitedYeoman’s Row Management Ltd and Another v Cobbe HL 30-Jul-2008
The parties agreed in principle for the sale of land with potential development value. Considerable sums were spent, and permission achieved, but the owner then sought to renegotiate the deal.
Held: The appeal succeeded in part. The finding . .
CitedKilcarne Holdings Ltd v Targetfollow (Birmingham) Ltd and Another CA 16-Nov-2005
The defendant had brought in the claimant in order to assist in satisfying its own obligations under a lease. The joint venture was not recorded in a formal agreement. The appellant asserted that a constructive trust had been created. The judge had . .
CitedClarke and Another v Corless and Another ChD 8-Jul-2009
The parties disputed whether one could retain for his own benefit land on an estate reserved for an estate road. A trust was claimed under Pallant saying that the parties had made an informal agreement before the property was purchased.
Held: . .
CitedClarke and Another v Corless and Another CA 31-Mar-2010
The claimants appealed against refusal of a declaration that a neighbouring access road and land was held on a constructive trust. They said that an agreement bewteeen the parties should have been effective to impose a trust on the defendants. The . .
CitedBenedetti v Sawiris and Others SC 17-Jul-2013
The claimant appealed against reduction of the sum awarded on his claim for a quantum meruit after helping to facilitate a very substantial business deal for the defendants.
Held: The correct approach to the amount to be paid by way of a . .
CitedBenedetti and Another v Sawiris and Others ChD 15-Jun-2009
The claimant sought payment for his services to the defendants for his work in facilitating a substantial buy out of an Italian energy company.
Held: The claim succeeded on a quantum meruit basis to the extent of 75m euros but not otherwise. . .
CitedGenerator Developments Ltd v Lidl UK Gmbh CA 8-Mar-2018
Generator appealed from a refusal of an equitable interest in land acquired by the responent . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Trusts, Equity

Updated: 13 May 2022; Ref: scu.195993