Month: Mar 2017
SPG London Region Meetings
Oral Agreement ? Beware II
Saranovic v Saranovic (unreported)
I wrote an article of an interesting case mid last year of Ely v Robson – in which a former partner Ms Robson said that she was not really party to an agreement (and I use the term loosely for non lawyers) that was reached in car park orally between her and her estranged partner Mr Ely.
The courts found in Mr Ely’s favour and I warned against friends, families, couples and spouses from being reckless in coming to terms in an agreement.
This is a similar case but concerns two brothers; one a highly accomplished graduate law lecturer and his brother, a more humble security guard.
The lecturer brother provided in this case a written document to the security guard brother allowing for the sale of a jointly owned property that was left to them. The latter lived in that property with his wife and child.
The security guard brother was of the firm belief that his law lecturer brother had agreed to allow him to live in that property rent free as long as he wished.
We as lawyers know that that would be hard to prove in any event and with a written agreement to the contrary, the security guard was in difficulties. Just likes Ms Robson was in the earlier case mentioned.
Not surprisingly, the lecturer brother then sought to resile on the agreement to allow his security guard brother to remain living in the property rent free and relied on the written contract to seek sale. They ended up in court.
The lecturer brother won.
The security guard brother is now faced with a massive legal bill and being homeless together with his wife and child.
I therefore repeat, even if they are family and loved ones – do not enter into binding oral agreements or sign legal documentation with when side issues are present. Get a lawyer to check them out thoroughly.
If I got a pound every time I heard someone say “they are family etc …I can trust them, with my life” I would be a wealthy man if only the ones which then ended in tears paid up.
This information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and each relationship breakdown requires careful consideration in our view by a fully qualified Solicitor before decisions are made and before you embark on a certain course of action.
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