Episode 2, Season 2: Howe v Gossop  EWHC 637 (Ch)
22nd Sep 2021
Sam Laughton discusses the latest authority on the interface between the equitable doctrine of proprietary estoppel and the statutory requirement that agreements for the sale of land must be in signed writing. In Howe v Gossop, Snowden J considered the question of whether a proprietary estoppel asserted in defence of a claim of possession of land allegedly transferred by oral contract can be defeated by the failure to comply with the requirements of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 s.2 for a contract for the sale of land. He held that the defendants had not asserted the estoppel in order to enforce an agreement rendered unenforceable by s.2, but had argued that the estoppel should be satisfied by an irrevocable licence in their favour: and thus their defence was not barred by s.2. The judgment also contains a useful review and discussion of the leading authorities on this issue.
Samuel Laughton Call 1993