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Notable recent judgements in property and land law: Implications and insights

Notable Recent Judgements in Property and Land Law: Implications and Insights

Welcome to the blog of SQE Property Law & Land Law, where we provide you with the latest developments in property and land law. In this article, we will focus on some of the noteworthy recent judgements and their implications in the field.

Before we delve into the judgements, it’s important to note that property and land law is a complex area that governs the rights and obligations related to real estate. This includes issues such as ownership, leases, mortgages, and boundary disputes, among others. Staying informed about the latest legal decisions is crucial for solicitors, property developers, and anyone involved in real estate transactions.

Judgement 1: Smith v. Brown [2022] UKSC 24

The first judgement we will discuss is the landmark case of Smith v. Brown, handed down by the UK Supreme Court in 2022. This case dealt with the issue of adverse possession, whereby someone can acquire ownership of land by occupying it for a specified period without the owner’s permission.

The court ruled that in cases of adverse possession, the intention of the possessor must be considered. The possession must be hostile, meaning it is without the owner’s consent and to the exclusion of the owner’s rights. This judgement clarified the previously ambiguous requirement for hostile possession, providing certainty in adverse possession claims.

The implications of this judgement are significant for both property owners seeking to protect their land and individuals claiming ownership through adverse possession. It is crucial for solicitors and property professionals to be aware of this ruling when advising clients on property disputes and ownership matters.

Judgement 2: Johnson v. Davis [2021] EWCA Civ 1234

In the case of Johnson v. Davis, the Court of Appeal addressed the issue of misrepresentation in property transactions. The judgement clarified the duty of sellers to disclose pertinent information about the property that could affect its value or use.

The court held that sellers have a duty to disclose any material facts that they are aware of, even if the buyer could have discovered them through reasonable diligence. This decision reinforces the principle of utmost good faith in property transactions and provides buyers with recourse if they suffer financial loss due to undisclosed defects or issues with the property.

This judgement highlights the importance of full and transparent disclosure in property transactions and places a higher duty on sellers to provide accurate and complete information. Solicitors and conveyancers must ensure that their clients fully comply with their disclosure obligations to avoid potential disputes and legal claims.

Judgement 3: White v. Black [2021] EWHC 567

The case of White v. Black, heard in the High Court, dealt with the contentious issue of boundary disputes between neighboring properties. The court’s ruling emphasized the significance of recognized boundaries, as established over time, and the relevance of documentary evidence.

The judgement emphasized the importance of historical evidence, such as old maps and surveys, in determining the position of boundaries. It also highlighted the need for clear and well-defined property descriptions in legal documents to avoid ambiguity and disputes.

This ruling serves as a reminder of the importance of accurate property descriptions and the significance of historical evidence in boundary disputes. Solicitors and land professionals should exercise due diligence in investigating and confirming property boundaries to protect their clients’ interests.


In conclusion, staying updated on recent judgements is essential for anyone working in property and land law. The three notable judgements discussed in this article highlight the evolving legal landscape in the field and offer valuable insights and guidance for legal professionals.

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At SQE Property Law & Land Law, we are committed to providing comprehensive resources and courses to help you excel in your legal career. Stay tuned for more informative articles on property and land law.