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Jones v Kernott

[2011] UKSC 53

Case summary last updated at 08/01/2020 15:13 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Jones v Kernott

 This was a dispute about the shares of parties in family property (it was agreed that they both had a share- question was how much). Strauss QC made a number of points: (1) To determine their respective shares, where the actual (express or inferred) intentions cannot be determined or are non-existent, the court can attribute an intention to the parties that they didn’t really have on the grounds of what would be fair and equitable. This involves imputing an intention that the courts didn’t really have or was at least ‘unexpressed’. NB he doesn’t say whether this also applies to finding a trust in the first place; (2) Common intentions (actual or imputed) can change over time and one should look at the intentions by the end of the relationship. This is wrong in principle: if a trust arises because of a common intention on day 1, it surely cannot be assessed by the intentions on day 100; (3) the presumption of a 50-50 split was overturned on the basis that the parties kept separate finances and there was an imbalance in contributions. This is problematic: if he is using ‘imputed’ intentions, there is no need to draw on evidence for actual intentions.

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