Someone recently bought our

students are currently browsing our notes.


Yeoman’s Row v Cobbe

[2008] 1 WLR 1752

Case summary last updated at 09/01/2020 16:05 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Yeoman’s Row v Cobbe

The claimant had entered into an oral (unenforceable) agreement with defendants in connection with the redevelopment of their property. The defendants’ unconscionable behaviour in withdrawing from the agreement once planning permission for the redevelopment had been obtained did not result in a proprietary estoppel or a constructive trust in favour of the claimant. 
Lord Scott: Proprietary estoppel is just a species of the ordinary form of estoppel: It prevents A from denying that which he represented to be true. Therefore it cannot be a means of acquiring rights itself here, since all the defendant is estopped from denying is the existence of an unenforceable agreement. 

Lord Walker: The courts should be slow to introduce uncertainty into commercial transactions by overready use of equitable concepts such as fiduciary obligations and equitable estoppel. Proprietary estoppel can be a means of acquiring rights, but the claimant must have an actual ‘expectation’ of acquiring rights, rather than just a ‘mere hope’, as here. Hence the agreement had to have been ‘binding and irrevocable’. 

Have you seen Oxbridge Notes' best Land Law study materials?

Our law notes have been a popular underground sensation for 10 years:

  • Written by Oxford & Cambridge prize-winning graduates
  • Includes copious academic commentary in summary form
  • Concise structure relating cases and statutes into an easy-to-remember whole
  • Covers all major cases for LLB exams
  • Satisfaction guaranteed refund policy
  • Recently updated
Land Law Notes

Land Law Notes >>