Property Litigation Specialist Will Oakes acted for the successful Appellant in an Upper Tribunal case where extrinsic evidence displaced the general rule that a plan in a Conveyance, if clear, will prevail over the words of the Conveyance.

This case turned on the interpretation of a 1918 Conveyance in which part of a lane that provides access to a field was stated to be included in the land conveyed. The issue arose because the red line on the plan for the conveyance was drawn to exclude the lane.

The Conveyance plan was stated to “more particularly delineate” the land being conveyed and therefore, on the face of it, the land was excluded from our client’s title.

The Judge was asked to decide whether the plan or the written description of the land conveyed would prevail.

Where there is a conflict between the written description of the land in a Conveyance and the plan Judge Elizabeth Cooke held that there is a two-stage process to resolving that conflict: –

  1. The general rule is that the plan will normally prevail.
  2. In deciding whether a case falls outside the general rule, there are two principles: –
  3. where the Conveyance itself and the physical features of the land do not clearly indicate what has been conveyed, the Court can take into account extrinsic evidence; and
  4. if in doubt, the Judge should prefer the interpretation that makes business common sense.

Attwells’ client was represented at Court by Matthew Mills of Radcliffe Chambers who managed and presented the case superbly.  This is only the second reported case in this jurisdiction in which a clear plan that ‘more particularly delineates’ the land did not prevail.

You can find the judgment here: