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   Home      Richards v Delbridge
 
 
Richards v Delbridge (1874) LR 18 Eq 11 Court of Appeal
 
Mr Richards employed a member of his family, Edward, in his business. He wished to hand over the business to Edward and evidenced his intention to make this gift by endorsing on the lease of the business premises a short memorandum: "This deed" -- that is the deed of leasehold -- "and all thereto belonging I give to Edward from this time forth with all the stock in trade." However, the gift failed because it was imperfect.
 
Held:
 
 
There was no express declaration of trust it was intended as an outright gift and not to be held on trust.
 
 
Sir George Jessel MR:
 
"If it is intended to take effect by transfer, the court will not hold the intended transfer to operate as a declaration of trust, for then every imperfect instrument would be made effectual by being converted into a perfect trust.....It is true he need not use the words 'I declare myself a trustee,' but he must do something which is equivalent to it, and use expressions which have that meaning, for, however anxious the court may be to carry out a man's intentions, it is not at liberty to construe words otherwise than according to their proper meaning." 

 

Back to lecture outline on Express trusts in Land Law