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Unjust enrichment


Unjust enrichment – estoppel by acquiesence

V sold land in Jamaica to P1, which P1 intended to develop as a coffee plantation. A dispute arose between V and P1 and V purported to terminate the contract. P1 obtained an injunction preventing V from selling to anyone else but before the order was made V agreed to sell the land to P2. P2 entered into possession and spent large sums of money on developing the land into a coffee plantation. P1 eventually obtained possession of the land from P2 – which he took with the benefit of the development that P2 had carried out. P2 therefore suffered a substantial loss and P1 obtained a valuable benefit. The money he would have spent on developing the estate into a coffee plantation was spent P2. P2 therefore sought to recover these sums. V was insolvent and there was no practical possibility of obtaining damages from her. P2 therefore claimed money from P1 under the principles of unjust enrichment.

The Privy Council considered the earlier authorities on this topic, in particular Ramsden v Dyson (1866), Willmott v Barber (1880) and Tayor Fashions Ltd v Liverpool Victoria Trustees Co Ltd(1982). In Willmott Fry J “famously stated the five so-called probanda that a claimant should endeavour to establish”. They were as follows:
    "A man is not to be deprived of his legal rights unless he has acted in such a way that would make it fraudulent for him to set up those rights. What then are the elements or requisites necessary to constitute fra ... THIS IS AN EXTRACT OF THE FULL TEXT. TO GET THE FULL TEXT, SEE BELOW

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