Wright v Carter: CA 1903

The plaintiff sought to set aside a gift that he had made to his solicitor asserting undue influence.
Vaughan Williams LJ said: ‘. . whenever you have these fiduciary relations (and in the present case we have to deal with the particular fiduciary relation of solicitor and client), the moment the relation is established, there arises a presumption of influence, which presumption will continue as long as the relation, such as that of solicitor and client, continues, or at all events until it can be clearly inferred that the influence had come to an end.’ and ‘It is perfectly plain that in the case of a gift the rule applied by the Court of Equity is much more stringent . . than the rule that is applied in the case of a bargain or a contract’
Stirling LJ said: ‘The rules of the Court require this to be proved in a transaction of sale in which the solicitor is a purchaser-first, the client must be fully informed; secondly, he must have competent independent advice; and, thirdly, the price which is given must be a. fair one. The onus of proving all this lies on the solicitor.’
Cozens Hardy LJ said: ‘Assuming that the transaction is to be treated as a sale by the plaintiff to his solicitor, Mr. Carter .. I am clearly of opinion that it rests upon Mr. Carter to justify the sale and to shew that ‘the transaction was perfectly fair, that the client knew what he was doing, and that a fair price was given’.

Vaughan Williams, Stirling, Cozens Hardy LJJ
[1903] 1 Ch 27
England and Wales
ApprovedPowell v Powell 1900
Strong moral pressure was applied by a stepmother to a girl who was only just twenty one.
Held: She was regarded as not really capable of dealing irrevocably with her parent or guardian in the matter of a substantial settlement. Where a . .
CitedTomson v Judge 25-Jun-1855
A, who was proved to have entertained feelings of peculiar personal regard for B, his solicitor, conveyed to him certain rea1 estate by a deed, on the face of it a purchase deed the consideration was andpound;1000, the real value upwards of . .

Cited by:
CitedRoyal Bank of Scotland v Etridge, Loftus and Another v Etridge and Another, Etridge v Pritchard Englefield (Merged With Robert Gore and Co ) Midland Bank Plc v Wallace and Another (No 2) CA 31-Jul-1998
Detailed guidance was given on the quality of independent legal advice, which would be required to be given to wives signing charges to secure their husbands’ business etc accounts on the matrimonial home. The interaction of legal advice and . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Undue Influence, Legal Professions

Updated: 06 December 2021; Ref: scu.224820