Gillett v Holt 
302 words (1 pages) Case Summary
17th Jun 2019 Case Summary Reference this In-house law team
Jurisdiction / Tag(s): UK Law
Gillett v Holt  Ch 210;  3 WLR 815
Proprietary estoppel – assurances and detriment.
The claimant, Gillett, worked on Holt’s farm. Holt persuaded Gillett to abandon plans for college and to work for him instead. Holt stated several times that on his death the farm would be left to the claimant. The relationship between them subsequently soured and Holt executed a will in which the claimant did not receive the farm. After an investigation into how they were running the farm, the claimant was dismissed and subsequently claimed a proprietary estoppel. The trial judge found against the claimant, who appealed.
Proprietary estoppel allows the claimant to claim an interest in land if the landowner makes a promise that the claimant will acquire an interest and the claimant acts to his detriment in reliance upon this. It was argued that there had been no irrevocable promise made by Holt who was free to change his mind if his circumstances changed. It was also alleged there was insufficient evidence of any detriment to the claimant.
The court found in favour of the claimant. There was no need for the defendant to do anything additional to make his promise irrevocable. In view of the promises made, reliance was presumed. The court pointed out that the three elements of the doctrine are often intertwined and are not separate. Whether there is a mutual understanding depends on all the factors. Detriment is not a narrow or technical concept and need not be financial.Gillett had been denied the opportunity of bettering himself by leaving school. Therefore, he had suffered a detriment in reliance upon Holt’s promise.
Cite This Work
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:
Related ServicesView all
Related ContentJurisdictions / Tags
Content relating to: "UK Law"
UK law covers the laws and legislation of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Essays, case summaries, problem questions and dissertations here are relevant to law students from the United Kingdom and Great Britain, as well as students wishing to learn more about the UK legal system from overseas.
R v Griffiths
The defendant was a seller of limes who entered into a conspiracy with seven lime farmers to defraud the Ministry of Agriculture......
Pre-Action Protocols Menu | LPC Help
Legal Practice Course revision notes on the pre action protocols including information on the personal injury pre action protocol. Free LPC study guide on Civil Litigation....