Rochefoucalt v Boustead

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[1897] 1 Ch 196 (CA). In order to help the plaintiff in a period of financial difficulty, the defendant offered to buy the plaintiff's mortgaged land from the Mortgagee, and hold them on Trust for her until she could afford to buy them back. However, this agreement was made orally and, the defendant did not allow the plaintiff to buy back the land. He claimed that the trust agreement was unenforceable for lack of writing. The Court of Appeal held that, while there was a statutory provision making an oral declaration of trust unenforceable, it was intended to prevent fraud, not assist it. So the defendant could not use these provisions in his defence. See also trust formalities, SecretTrust, HalfSecretTrust.

Trust Law