Cases by Area of Law

Gee v Gee [2018] EWHC 1393 Ch

Barrister: Leslie Blohm QC
Area of Law: Wills, Trusts & Tax 
Summary: Leslie has recently been instructed in the latest farming case to consider a claim by a farmer’s child to the family farm. The Claimant, now sixty years old, sought to succeed to the farm he was promised over decades. His father had recently given his interest in the family farm and the family farming company to his other son, a property developer. The case was complicated by the total denial by both father and other son of any promises being made to the Claimant; the nature of the promises that were claimed (relating to the ‘lion’s share’ of the farm), and the fact that the mother had already given her share of the farm and company to the Claimant son to try to remedy what she saw as unjust behaviour. Mr Justice Birss heard evidence over five days and awarded the Claimant son his expectation interest, but with the detailed order to await a subsequent hearing.

Download judgment: Gee v Gee [2018] EWHC 1393 Ch

Habberfield v Habberfield

Barrister: Leslie Blohm QC
Area of Law: Agriculture & Rural AffairsProperty and Real Estate and Wills, Trusts & Tax 
Summary: Leslie was instructed by Stephens Scown LLP, who represented Lucy Habberfield in her claim in the Chancery Division in Bristol against her mother for a share of her mother and father’s farm, relying on many promises said to have been made to her whilst she worked on the farm for low wages and for long hours.  After a five day trial, Mr. Justice Birss has awarded Ms. Habberfield a lump sum of £1,170,000 in respect of her claim.

View Court of Appeal judgment here: Habberfield v Habberfield [2018] EWHC 317 (Ch)

Grimes v The Trustees of the Essex Farmers And Union Hunt

Barristers: Leslie Blohm QC & Christopher Jones

Date: 19 May 2017

Area of Law: Agriculture & Rural Affairs &  Property and Real Estate

View judgment here: Grimes v The Trustees of the Essex Farmers And Union Hunt [2017] EWCA Civ 361 

Richards v Richards (2015)

Barrister: Richard Stead
Area of Law: Agriculture and Rural Affairs
Summary: Richard is defending a claim by a widow following the death of her husband who was kicked by a bullock: sections 2(2), 5(1) and (2) of the Animals Act 1971.

Davies v Davies

[2014] EWCA Civ 568

Barrister: Leslie Blohm QC
Area of Law: Wills, Trusts and Probate
Summary: Leslie was instructed by Wiljo Salen of Hugh James, Cardiff to represent Eirian Davies both at trial and on appeal, in her £7 million farm battle. The Court of Appeal has upheld the claim of Carmarthenshire farmers’ daughter, Eirian Davies, to an interest in her parents’ £7 million farm and pedigree Holstein/Friesian milking herd. The claim is the latest in a line of actions brought by relatives who have  worked on farms, often for many years, for long hours and at low or no pay, on the basis that they would succeed to the farm in due course. Eirian Davies’ parents who have owned and run the farm since 1961 disputed all of her daughter’s allegations that promises had been made to her, and that she had relied on those promises to her detriment – all matters that had to be proved for her to succeed.  The Court of Appeal approved the judgment of HHJ Milwyn Jarman QC who heard evidence over three days in Cardiff last June, in favour of Ms Davies. The case illustrates the complex factual findings that a Court must make in respect of matters that often arose informally, in private and many years ago. After a further three-day hearing before HHJ Jarman QC it was determined that Miss Davies should properly receive £1.3 million and a charge over the farm to secure payment,  together with her costs.  Miss Davies had sought the transfer of all or a substantial part of the farm worth in the region on £4 million. Her parents argued that she should receive £350,00, being a generous assessment of the detriment that she had suffered whilst relying on her parents’ promises. It was the Judge’s view that £1.3 was a proportionate award in all of the circumstances. Mr & Mrs Davies have obtained permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal from the Court of Appeal, and unless it settles beforehand the appeal is due to be heard in April 2016.


Download detailed discussion about this case: Estoppel and detrimental reliance
View full judgment here: Davies v Davies [2015] EWHC 015 (Ch)
View Court of Appeal judgment here: Davies v Davies [2014] EWCA Civ 658
View press coverage here: The TimesThe Daily Mail, The Daily Telegraph, BBC news

Oatley & Ors v Oatley & Powney

[2014] EWHC 1956 (Ch)

Barrister: Christopher Jones
Area of Law: Wills, Trusts and Probate / Agricultural and Rural Affairs
Summary: Christopher was instructed by Thrings LLP to act on behalf of the minor and unborn beneficiaries of a settlement, where the claimant trustees sought rectification.  The case was heard over three days in the Chancery Division in London. Read more here.

Wolfe v Davies

ChD, Cardiff

Barrister: Christopher Jones
Area of Law: Agriculture & Rural Affairs
Summary: Acting for the defendant in connection with disputed fishing rights over her farm, through which ran the River Towy; proceedings settled (2013).

Hopkins v Bowden

ChD, Cardiff

Barrister: Christopher Jones
Area of Law: Agriculture & Rural Affairs
Summary: Acting for the claimant who sought declarations and injunctive relief in connection with a right of way to a farm, which he purchased at auction (2013); proceedings settled successfully at trial.

Countrywide Farms PLC v Goldstone Eggs


Barrister: Christopher Jones
Area of Law: Agriculture & Rural Affairs
Summary: Christopher successfully represented a national feed supplier in defence to a claim for the supply of defective poultry feed.

Vernon Knight Associates v Cornwall Council


Barrister: Richard Stead
Area of Law: Property Insurance Litigation 
Summary: Richard is defending a claim by a holiday park owner in respect of damage caused by flooding of run off water from highway and higher adjoining land – awaiting hearing in the Court of Appeal.