On appeal from: [2013] EWCA Civ 1960

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal concerning whether the Bank was entitled to an equitable charge over residential property by subrogation to an unpaid vendor’s lien, where the Bank’s involvement in the acquisition of the property amounted only to an agreement to release charges over a previous property.

In delivering the lead judgment Lord Clarke stated that the critical question in this case of unjust enrichment was whether the appellant was enriched by the banks expense. The answer is plainly yes because she became owner of the Property (subject to the charge) thanks to the Bank’s agreement to release a part of the debt in return for that charge. Since the charge was void, the value of the Property to the appellant was considerably greater, at the expense of the Bank which was left without the security that was central to the overall scheme.

He stated that the appropriate equitable remedy was that the Bank is subrogated to the unpaid seller’s lien as this will reinstate the appellant’s liability under the charge and allow the bank to enforce its equitable interest in the property by sale.


For judgment, please download: [2015] UKSC 66
For Court’s press summary, please download: Court’s Press Summary
For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watching the hearing please visit: Supreme Court website