Gillett v Holt [2001]

297 words (1 pages) Case Summary in Cases

12/10/18 Cases Reference this

Last modified: 12/10/18 Author: In-house law team

Disclaimer: This work was produced by one of our professional writers as a learning aid to help you with your studies.

If you would like to view other samples of the academic work produced by our writers, please click here.

Gillett v Holt [2001] Ch 210; [2000] 3 WLR 815

Proprietary estoppel – assurances and detriment.


The claimant, Gillett, worked on Holt’s farm. Holt persuaded Gillett to abandon plans for college and to work for him instead. Holt stated several times that on his death the farm would be left to the claimant. The relationship between them subsequently soured and Holt executed a will in which the claimant did not receive the farm. After an investigation into how they were running the farm, the claimant was dismissed and subsequently claimed a proprietary estoppel. The trial judge found against the claimant, who appealed. 


Proprietary estoppel allows the claimant to claim an interest in land if the landowner makes a promise that the claimant will acquire an interest and the claimant acts to his detriment in reliance upon this. It was argued that there had been no irrevocable promise made by Holt who was free to change his mind if his circumstances changed. It was also alleged there was insufficient evidence of any detriment to the claimant.


The court found in favour of the claimant. There was no need for the defendant to do anything additional to make his promise irrevocable. In view of the promises made, reliance was presumed. The court pointed out that the three elements of the doctrine are often intertwined and are not separate. Whether there is a mutual understanding depends on all the factors. Detriment is not a narrow or technical concept and need not be financial.Gillett had been denied the opportunity of bettering himself by leaving school. Therefore, he had suffered a detriment in reliance upon Holt’s promise.

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please:

Current Offers