This case update from our Property, Chancery & Commercial team looks at the issues raised in the recent cases of Dhillion v Barclays Bank, Peter Singh Sangha v Amicus Finance, O v O and Others, and Duval v 11-13 Randolph Crescent.
When will the court refuse to grant rectification of the Land Register for mistake?
In Dhillion v Barclays Bank plc  EWCA Civ 619, Mrs Dhillon sought rectification of the Land Register to remove a charge granted following a fraudulent transfer. The property was now worth over a million-pounds. The sum secured by the charge was over £600,000. The case was unusual as there had been an escheat of the freehold title and Mrs Dhillon had been granted a vesting order under s.181 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (although the Court of Appeal noted that it remained “unclear precisely how or why Mrs Dhillon was entitled to make the application or obtain the order in the first place” [para 41]).
The Importance of Finality
This judgment of Mr Justice Zacaroli in Peter Singh Sangha v Amicus Finance Plc (In Administration)  EWHC 1074 (Ch) is a helpful reminder of the importance of finality and that a party will rarely be allowed to subsequently rely on points which could and should have been relied upon initially.
The matter arose from possession proceedings brought by Amicus Finance Limited (“Amicus”) against Mr Sangha in respect of a property in Edgbaston, Birmingham after he failed to repay a loan of some £550,000 which was secured against the property. The loan had been taken out to fund the refurbishment of other premises for use as a nightclub.
Injunction to restrain burial – Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic
Maurice Rifat successfully resists an injunction application to prevent a burial.
In O -v- O & others Mr Justice Fancourt on 12th May 2020 refused to grant an interim injunction to prevent the burial of the parties’ mother in London in order for her body to be taken to Nigeria for burial in accordance with her alleged expressed wishes.
Leaving aside the lack of cogency in the evidence of the deceased’s expressed wish of location for her burial (she had died intestate), it was successfully argued by Maurice Rifat of 1 Chancery Lane, that the Court’s inherent jurisdiction as explained by Vos J in Oldham MBC -v- Makin  EWHC 2543 at  or the Court’s powers to make a limited grant of representation pursuant to s.116 Senior Courts Act 1984 for a party to arrange for the disposal of the body (Buchanan v Milton  2 FLR 844), should not be used in circumstances where a proper and lawful burial had already been arranged and was set to take place the next day.
Covenants to enforce covenants: when the landlord becomes piggy in the middle
In Duval v 11-13 Randolph Crescent Ltd  UKSC 18 (6 May 2020) the Supreme Court turned its attention to a staple covenant of long leases in blocks of flats, namely the covenant by which the landlord promises, at the behest of the tenant, to enforce against another tenant some prohibition in that other tenant’s lease which is common to all the leases in the block. Such covenants, usually relating to alterations, are often subject to a condition that the tenant who seeks enforcement must first undertake to indemnify the landlord against the costs it may incur in enforcing the provision against her or his neighbour. The question the Supreme Court addresses in Duval is whether the landlord is permitted to relax such a prohibition in favour of one tenant, without first giving all the other tenants an opportunity to object and to require enforcement.