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Property Law Journal: 25 February 2013

Meeta Kaur sets out the latest developments in the government’s planning reform agenda

Although January is generally regarded as being one of the darkest and coldest months of the year, this does not appear to have dampened the government’s enthusiasm for pushing ahead with its planning reform agenda, as evidenced by various consultations and announcements that were issued throughout the month.

Nabarro LLP

Amanda Howard looks at the latest developments in funds and real estate and practical actions to consider

The following issues are relevant for all those working in the sector, whether general counsel, adviser, fund manager, investor or property company representative:

Mark Pawlowski and James Brown consider a recent ruling on proprietary relief for a secret commission acquired by an agent for securing the purchase of a property

It is trite law that a fiduciary is not entitled to profit from a breach of their fiduciary duty. If they do make an unauthorised profit by use of their position as a fiduciary, the beneficiary’s primary remedy is a personal one involving the fiduciary’s duty to account for the profit in equity (see Target Holdings Ltd v Redferns [1996]). Although an equitable account may suffice in most cases, the difference between a personal and proprietary remedy may be crucial where the fiduciary is insolvent, or where the secret profit has been invested by the fiduciary in an asset that has increased in value, or where the asset in question has been passed on to a third party. A proprietary remedy permits the beneficiary to follow the assets (or trace their value into identifiable substitutes), unless they pass into the hands of a bona fide purchaser for value without notice of the claimant’s proprietary interest (see Foskett v McKeown [2000]).

Brabners LLP

Landlords should not act too hastily when dealing with tenants in administration.Rachel Watkin explains why

The word ‘administration’ used to mean ‘paperwork’. If someone was an administrator, it would be assumed that they worked as a filing clerk or similar. However, over recent years, the country has become accustomed to companies going into administration, particularly as the latest retailer hits the press and announces that it is appointing administrators.

Forsters LLP

A recent case has demonstrated that the courts will not construe a contract so as to re-write an unfavourable bargain, as Nikolas Ireland finds out

The High Court judgment delivered on 3 December 2012, on appeal in the case of Arnold v Britton [2012], serves to demonstrate how the High Court these days goes about construing a badly drafted document and how important the background circumstances can be in deciding what was intended.