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Partnership

Co-ownership

Relationship with partnership law.

Bathurst v Scarborow
[2004] EWCA Civ 411

The general rule is that property bought with partnership money belongs to the partnership. The burden is on the partner who claims otherwise to prove it. There is a presumption that partnership property is held in common. However, if the partners agree that the property is to be held by them as joint beneficial owners then that agreement is binding and the right of survivorship will apply.

Rix LJ at para 44:
    "In my judgment it is necessary to disentangle two separate concepts, even if they bear upon one another. One is whether the property was partnership property. If it was, then there is a strong presumption that the right of survivorship was not intended to apply. The maxim is .. the right of survivorship has no place among merchants. The other however is whether the partners nevertheless agreed to vary the normal rule of partnership property, in favour of their own autonomous consent to their being beneficial joint tenants with the standard consequence of that arrangement. After all, every one of the texts relied on by Mr Ayres or Master Bowman says that the general rule of partnership in favour of a tenancy in common and against joint tenancy is nevertheless subject to contrary agreement."


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