Son Successful In Farm Dispute Case

The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal from David and Josephine Guest, following a High Court judgment in favour of their son Andrew.

Andrew brought a case against his parents, who he claims back tracked on promises they had made. One of these promises is said to have included the fact Andrew would inherit a substantial share of the family farm, which he had worked on for over three decades.

In 2012, the Guest family decided to create two separate farming partnerships. One of these was between Andrew and David and Josephine at Tump Farm. The other was between Ross (Andrew’s younger brother) and his parents.

In 2015, following a breakdown in the familial relationship between parents and son, Andrew was asked to leave the family home, find a new job and disinherited completely by David and Josephine.

It came to light that Ross alongside his parents secretly recorded conversations with Andrew.

It was as a result of all of this that Andrew found himself taking his parents to court.

Presiding over the trial, Judge Russen QC accepted evidence that David and Josephine repeatedly led Andrew to believe he would inherit a significant share of Tump Farm.

The High Court found that it would be unconscionable to allow Andrew’s parents to go back on their promises and the Court of Appeal upheld that decision.

Judge Russen QC, ordered David and Josephine to pay Andrew a sum of money which is calculated by reference to: 50% of the post-tax market value of the farming business carried on at Tump Farm; and 40% of the post-tax market value of Tump Farm.

This is said to have come to the inheritance Andrew would have been set to receive. The Judge recognised that this would almost certainly mean that the farm would have to be sold in order to satisfy the judgment.

Polly Ridgway, from Clarke Willmott LLP, who acted for Andrew, said:

“Andrew’s parents put in place a series of measures which were designed to leave Andrew, in his fifties, with no home, no job, no savings, and no pension, despite a lifetime’s worth of work.

“Thankfully, the Court was prepared to use its powers to prevent this clear injustice and, as a result, Andrew will now, in effect, receive his inheritance during his parents’ lifetimes.”

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