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Smith & Ors v Molyneux [2016] UKPC 35


Catherine Newman QC acted for the successful Appellants in the Privy Council, overturning the decision of the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal

In Smith and Others v Molyneux [2016] UKPC 35 the Privy Council, overturning the decision of the Easter Caribbean Court of Appeal and applying BP Properties Limited v Buckler (1987) 55 P&CR 337,

Held that it was sufficient for the paper owner of land to give unilateral permission to a squatter to preserve his title, and that it was sufficient evidence of such permission having been given to prove that the paper owner had made clear to the squatter the circumstances in which he would have to leave the land even if nothing was said expressly about permission in the meantime. Such communication amounted to an inference of permission which did not contravene the principles laid down in JA Pye  (Oxford) Limited v Graham [2003] AC 419, and was comparable to the writing of a letter in Colin Dawson Windows Limited v Kings Lynn, West Norfolk Borough Council [2005] P&CR 19.

Moreover it was sufficient for a first instance judge to give at least one adequate reason for his material conclusions on the evidence, that i.e., a reason why one party lost and the other won. He did not have to set out every reason that weighed with him especially if the reason for his conclusion was his evaluation of the oral evidence.

Catherine Newman QC acted for the successful Appellants pro bono.

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