Next Stop: The Supreme Court in Highly Anticipated Trust Law Dispute

9th August 2023

We have had success for one of our clients as they have been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, in the long-running dispute in LA Micro Group Inc & Others v LA Micro Group (UK) Limited & Others.

This is the latest development in a complex, trans-Atlantic dispute which was initially issued in London’s High Court in 2020. The case has been before the Court of Appeal twice already (the judgment in which can be found here).

The proceedings concern a dispute over the beneficial ownership of shares in a UK company and demonstrate the importance of complying with formal and legal requirements throughout any commercial relationship.

The case has dealt with numerous complex legal issues throughout the proceedings to date, including contractual surrender, judicial estoppel, proprietary estoppel and internally irreconcilable judgments.

The proceedings have narrowed significantly, now concentrating on a fundamental point of Trust Law. The final step in the proceedings will now focus on whether a constructive trust came into existence in the context of a disposal of an equitable interest where the formality requirements under s.53(1)(c) of the Law of Property Act 1925 – which, ordinarily, requires such transfers to be in writing – had not been met.

The case is therefore expected to sit alongside the landmark House of Lords case of Oughtred v IRC [1960] AC 206 in which the Court opted not to decide the point to be resolved in the forthcoming LA Micro appeal.

A panel of three Supreme Court justices have now granted permission to appeal. The Court is expected to hear the case in early 2024.

Leo Jones-Rowe, assisted by Jonathan Exall and Jessica Brain, acted for the Second Appellant in the proceedings.

If you need to speak to us about a commercial dispute, we’re here to help, get in touch.

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