Sze To Chun Keung v Kung Kwok Wai David and Lam Chak Man Estate Limited: PC 27 Jun 1997

(Hong Kong) The respondents were registered owners of land occupied by the appellant who claim title by adverse possession after entry in 1955. Subsequently the claim resided with the Crown.
Held: ‘on the facts as pleaded, the land has been continuously in adverse possession since 1955 and that the plaintiffs’ title was extinguished in about 1975. To all outward appearances, there was no change in possession throughout the period and the licensing arrangements between the defendant and a third party, the Crown, did not affect the adverse nature of the possession as against the plaintiffs. At the time when proceedings were commenced, the defendant had been in possession on his own account for only two years. But this does not matter: the Limitation Ordinance is not concerned with whether the defendant has acquired a title but with whether the plaintiffs’ right of action has been barred. For this purpose, all that matters is that there should have been continuous adverse possession for the period of limitation. The rights inter se of the successive persons who may have been in possession adversely to the plaintiffs since they were dispossessed are for this purpose irrelevant.’


Lord Goff of Chieveley, Lord Slynn of Hadley, Lord Lloyd of Berwick, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Hutton


[1997] 1 WLR 1232, [1997] UKPC 35




CitedBuckinghamshire County Council v Moran CA 13-Feb-1989
The parties’ respective properties were separated by a fence or hedge and the true owner had no access to the disputed land. In 1967 the Defendants’ predecessors in title began to maintain the land by mowing the grass and trimming the hedges and . .

Cited by:

CitedRoberts v Swangrove Estates Ltd and Another ChD 14-Mar-2007
The court heard preliminary applications in a case asserting acquisition of land by adverse possession, the land being parts of the foreshore of the Severn Estuary.
Held: A person may acquire title to part of the bed of a tidal river by . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Land, Limitation

Updated: 01 June 2022; Ref: scu.159246