Our client instructed us in a proprietary estoppel claim against his uncle in relation to a farm. Our client’s parents had died when he was young and he was raised by his uncle who owed and ran a large farm. Our client left school at 16 to run the farm with his uncle and continued to work on the farm well into his 40s for very little pay. Our client’s uncle regularly promised him that he would inherit the farm when his uncle retired and dissuaded our client from pursuing other employment opportunities.
Despite the promises, our client’s uncle tried to transfer the farm and assets to his daughter who had lived in New Zealand for 20 years but recently returned to England. Our client was ready to issue proceedings against his uncle, with his claim that the farm should be transferred to him based on his uncle’s promises and his reliance on those promises. Shortly before we issued the claim our client’s uncle sought mediation and settled our client’s claim, agreeing to transfer the farm to him in its entirety in return for a small payment.