Proprietary estoppel in contract-like settings

I have just posted a brief note on SSRN on the operation of proprietary estoppel in contract-like (or bargain) cases. It is available here. In Yaxley v Gotts and Kinane v Alimamy Mackie-Conteh, the English Court of Appeal had to consider agreements for the grant of an interest in land that did not comply with the need for a written contract (or the exchange of written contracts) bearing the signatures of both parties (section 2(1) of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989). The claimant in each case relied on proprietary estoppel. In each case, the court held that section 2(1) was engaged but that the arrangement also constituted a constructive trust and so fell within section 2(5). In the rather earlier case of E.R. Ives Investment Ltd v Highhowever, estoppel operated on similar facts even though this seemed to give effect to a contract that ought to have been registered in accordance with the Land Charges Act 1925 but had not been. The note considers these contrasting approaches.

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