Important agreements should be in writing!

Posted: 27th September 2017

KeysIt is good to be trusting, but, it makes sense to get agreements in writing. In one case, a woman’s claim that her ex-partner promised to give her half his property business failed due to a lack of documentary evidence that any such conversation took place.

The couple’s stormy relationship had lasted more than 15 years and they had a child together before their acrimonious separation. She claimed that she had put her life savings – about £200,000 – into buying a family home and that, in return, he had promised to transfer to her 50 per cent of the shares in his company.

In rejecting her claim, however, a judge noted that the absence of a single document to back up the woman’s claim was surprising. It was hard to believe that, in such an important matter, she would have relied on his word alone. There was, in truth, no imbalance between them so far as the property purchase was concerned as he had agreed to pay instalments on the £250,000 mortgage.

In finding on the balance of probabilities that the alleged promise had not been made, the Court noted that the driven and ambitious man treated his business as his top priority and it was inherently improbable that he would have agreed to part with half of it. The woman was ordered to pay the substantial legal costs of the case.