- Mistaken gifts, invalid transfers and personal/proprietary remedies (Scott v Bridge)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Private Client analysis: The judgment sets out the requirements for a valid gift of money or land. The court held that a purported gift can be set aside if the ‘donor’ subjectively did not intend to make it—even if the ‘donee’ was unaware of that fact —in the absence of any defence of change of position. However the court then went on to hold that the mistaken donor is only entitled to a personal remedy (money judgment) against the donee. It followed the donor could not claim an interest in land which the donee acquired with the proceeds of the gift or in the bank account into which it was paid. The judgment reviews the relevant authorities in this difficult area of law. Written by John Sharples, barrister, St John’s Chambers, Bristol.
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