Semantron 23 Summer 2023

Promises in law

University leads to an average increase in annual income of ~£10000 4 as of 2021, and advertising deals for influencers can be worth tens of thousands). 5

In all, therefore, it is clear that Freya would have a viable claim against her aunt.

Likely Court Orders and Outcomes in the event of Freya’s claim being successful

Under Section 3.2 of the new legislation, ‘ the purpose of granting relief under this act is to deal with the unconscionability of the Defendant’s actual or anticipated repud iation of this assurance ’. With this goal in mind, it would be reasonable for the court to order that Freya receives, at a minimum, financial compensation of at least £5000, to renumerate her for her expenditure on the cottage while she was under the impression that she would inherit the farm. This follows the precedent set in the overwhelming majority of successful claims in modern times, with the direct capital expenditure of the claimant being reimbursed in kind by the defendant. However, beyond this initial sum of £5000, the world of court orders and compensation in estoppel cases becomes more complex and opaque. While it may seem at first glance like Freya should be transferred ownership of the farm outright by the defendant, legal precedent and case law proves that this is an exceedingly unlikely outcome. The case of Anaghara vs Anaghara [2020] proves this: 6 a widow was assured by her husband that she could continue to live in the house they had shared after his death, but when she was widowed and claimed the deed to the property, she only received a lifetime interest in the property, rather than ownership outright. This demonstrates that even in the most compelling of cases, where a widow has been living in the same property for decades with her husband, who assured her that she would inherit it, outright property transfer is still often not the final outcome. Therefore, Section 3.3c ( ‘ the Defendant transfer ownership of land to the Claimant ’ ) is most likely ruled out as an outcome. Alternatively, under Section 3.3ai ( ‘ the Defendant pay compensation to the Claimant assessed by reference to the value of the assurance ’ ), one could also argue that the proceeds from the sale of the farm (£5.5 million) should be given to Freya, considering that that was the total value of Aparna’s assurance. However, this argument is also flawed, as Freya’s claim to the land is simply not strong enough: as proven by the cases Jennings v Rice [2002] and Cobbe v Yeoman’s Row Management [2008] , 7 it is the legal precedent for financial compensation to be partial in estoppel cases, with reimbursement accounting for only a segment of the total value of the assurance, despite Section 3.3ai. Even in Yaxley v Gotts [2000] , 8 a case which is exemplary of a successful estoppel claim, Yaxley only 5 Department of Education, earnings. 6 Anaghara v Anaghara [2020] EWHC 3091 (Ch), estoppel-claims-a-recent-case-round-up. 7 Cobbe v Yeoman's Row Management Ltd [2008] UKHL 55. 8 Yaxley v Gotts [2000] 32 HLR 547.


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