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Rochefoucauld v Boustead

[1897] 1 Ch 196

Case summary last updated at 24/02/2020 15:40 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Rochefoucauld v Boustead

P owned lands subject to a mortgage. The mortgagee sold them to D as trustee for the P, but failed to put the trusts part in writing, as the statute of frauds required. As a result D tried to claim outright ownership and that he was not a trustee, relying on the requirement of written evidence. The CA admitted parol evidence (i.e. not a written agreement) on the equitable principle that equity will not allow a staute to be used as an instrument of fraud. NB The court held that this was an express trust (if they had found a CT it could not have helped P as rules on limitations would have applied.
Lindley LJ: “notwithstanding the statute, it is competent for a person claiming land conveyed to another to prove by parol evidence that it was so conveyed upon trust for the claimant, and that the grantee, knowing the facts, is denying the trust and relying upon the form of conveyance and the statute in order to keep the land himself.”

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