Can you sue for a broken promise?

We specialise in claims involving broken promises. If you have lost more than £10,000 and would like to know if you have grounds to sue for a broken promise, then call our free legal helpline on 0333 888 0404 or email brief details to us at [email protected]

Can you sue for a broken promise? We look at the legal doctrine of proprietary estoppel

You can sue for a broken promise by using the legal doctrine of proprietary estoppel.

Proprietary estoppel claims can involve complicated law, so it is always best to seek specialist legal advice before embarking on a case. However, to give you a broad idea of the principle, a classic proprietary estoppel scenario involves these three essential components:

  1. a promise;
  2. reliance on that promise; and
  3. detriment suffered as a result.

The classic scenario that often goes to court involves a farming family where someone has been assured that if they work on the farm for little or no pay, then one day it will be left to them. That person, often a son or daughter, spends many years working hard on the expectation that they will inherit, sometimes giving up opportunities to earn a good living elsewhere. However, when the time comes they discover that they have been overlooked and another person inherits the farm.

Similar situations occur in relation to other types of family business.

So, going back to the three components for a successful proprietary estoppel claim, we have:

  1. The promise: You will inherit the farm if you work for little or no pay;
  2. The reliance: I therefore work hard on the farm for little or no pay ;
  3. The detriment: The farm is ultimately left to someone else and I miss out.

In these circumstance you can sue for a broken promise. By making a proprietary estoppel claim the court can force the promise to be upheld if it would be unfair for nothing to be done.

The courts have the power to resolve the dispute in a number of ways. It can for instance order that property or assets are transferred or award monetary compensation.

How we can help

So, if would like to know if you can sue for a broken promise then call our free legal helpline on 0333 888 0404 or email us at [email protected].

If you satisfy the three components and your financial loss exceeds £10,000 then we may be able to fund your case on a No Win, No Fee basis.

 

Lee Dawkins

Lee Dawkins

Over the past 30 years Lee has overseen the expansion of the firm’s litigation department. He developed our personal injury and clinical negligence teams, creating various niche areas that now enjoy a national profile. He pioneered contentious probate, setting up one of the UK's leading inheritance dispute teams and established Slee Blackwell as a force within claimant professional negligence. He now works as the firm's marketing partner.
Lee Dawkins

Lee Dawkins

Over the past 30 years Lee has overseen the expansion of the firm’s litigation department. He developed our personal injury and clinical negligence teams, creating various niche areas that now enjoy a national profile. He pioneered contentious probate, setting up one of the UK's leading inheritance dispute teams and established Slee Blackwell as a force within claimant professional negligence. He now works as the firm's marketing partner.

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Call the Slee Blackwell helpline on 0333 888 0404