Gascoigne v Gascoigne – Case Summary

Gascoigne v Gascoigne

High Court

Citations: [1918] 1 KB 223.


The parties were a married couple. The husband entered a lease in his wife’s name and used his own money to build a house on that land. He did not use his own name because he had poor credit and wanted to keep property from his creditors. The wife was aware of what he was doing. After the couple separated, the husband then sought a declaration from the court that his wife held the lease on trust for him.

  1. Did the wife hold the property on trust for her husband?

The High Court held in favour of the wife. The husband could not use his fraudulent intentions to rebut the counter-presumption of advancement that he intended to gift the lease and house to her. It did not matter that she was a party to the fraudulent scheme.

This Case is Authority For…

This case is an example of the counter-presumption of advancement operating to rebut the presumption of resulting trust. Since the husband used his own money to buy the lease, there would normally be a presumption that he intended the land to be held on resulting trust. The counter-presumption of advancement, however, meant that he was instead presumed to be making a gift to his wife.

A counter-presumption of advancement applies when a husband contributes purchase money towards property for his wife.