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Jones v Kernott: Supreme Court judgment to be delivered on Wednesday, 9 November

FLW will email subscribers on Wednesday with full judgment, summary and responses

The Supreme Court will deliver its judgment in Kernott v Jones on Wednesday, 9 November. The case was  heard in May 2011 by Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lady Hale of Richmond, Lord Collins of Mapesbury, Lord Kerr of Tonaghmore and Lord Wilson of Culworth.

The issue which the Supreme Court will decide is "whether a court can properly infer an agreement by an unmarried couple, who hold a property in equal shares at the date of their separation, to the effect that thereafter their respective beneficial interests should alter." In determining the outcome, the Supreme Court will review the decision by the House of Lords in Stack v Dowden [2007] UKHL 17.

The judgment and Supreme Court's summary will be published on the Family Law Week website as soon as they are available on Wednesday. Family Law Week will alert all of its email subscribers by email as soon as that has been done.

Family Law Week is delighted to announce that an article setting out initial thoughts and possible implications  of the judgment, written by leading barristers Rebecca Bailey-Harris and John Wilson QC, both of 1 Hare Court, will be published on the Family Law Week website very soon after the judgment has been released. 

Alison Hawes, a partner with irwin Mitchell, empahasised the importance of the forthcoming judgment.

"In the context of the government saying they will not act on the Law Commission report, the decision will provide clarity for countless couples who buy property together about whether and, if so, how their original agreements can be reinterpreted by a court months or years later on the basis of what might be considered fair. Depending on the judgment, it may be that family lawyers who specialise in this complex area will be advising clients that living together agreements and declarations of trust are essential if they are not to be prejudiced if the relationship breaks down."

The judgment in the Court of Appeal can be read here.

An article by Rebecca Bailey-Harris and John Wilson (Hang on a Minute! (Or is Kernott the new White?)), can be read here.