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Fry v Lane [1888] 40 Ch 312

By Oxbridge Law TeamUpdated 04/01/2024 07:00

Judgement for the case Fry v Lane

Table Of Contents

  • Plaintiffs were selling their interest in a property to Defendant and were being advised by Defendant’s solicitor.

  • Defendant then sold the property for vastly greater sum than he paid, and the court ordered that the release of Plaintiffs’ interest and that they be given the proportion of the proceed from the sale in proportion to their interests. 

Kay J

  • Plaintiffs were “poor and ignorant”, had “no independent advice” and the sale was at an “undervalue”. He bases on his judgment on:

    1. The vulnerability of Plaintiffs and

    2. The substantive unfairness of the contract.

  • He says that although normally deals cant be set aside “merely on the grounds of undervalue”, they can where there is an “undervalue so gross as to suggest fraud”.

  • In such cases (weakness of Plaintiff and usury, extortion, taking advantage etc. by Defendant) there is a presumption of fraud which Defendant can overturn by showing the transaction to be “fair, just and reasonable” as in Aylesford

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