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Elizabeth
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Leeds 0113 228 5000
Newcastle 0191 221 2121
clerks@parklaneplowden.co.uk

Elizabeth Darlington

Called 1998

Elizabeth specialises in family finance and property cases and is Head of the Finance and Property Group. Her practice focuses on the financial consequences of relationship breakdown (whether marriage or cohabitation) and property disputes between family members generally. Elizabeth practices in both the chancery and family jurisdictions. She is recognised as an expert in applications involving cohabitees (including under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 and Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989). She regularly appears in both the Family Court and Business and Property Court. 

In addition, Elizabeth is a trained mediator and regularly instructed to represent clients at all forms of ADR, including private FDRs, mediation and arbitration. 

She is the author of a number of highly regarded practioner texts including Cohabitation and Trusts of Land with Laura Heaton and edited by His Honour Judge Wildblood QC, published by Sweet and Maxwell, now in its 3rd edition (2016). It will be available on Westlaw in summer 202. She is the General Editor of Cohabitation: Law and Precedents, published by Sweet and Maxwell. This publication is up-dated twice a year and includes a number of expert contributors.

Elizabeth regularly publishes articles in leading journals on her areas of expertise. Her article: "Challenging a TR1 express declaration of trust: Setting the record straight" co-authored with Chris Bevan, Associate Professor of Property Law at Nottingham University, was published in the Family Law Journal in April 2019. She has also recently collaborated with Chris Bevan on article published in the October 2019 edition of the Law Quarterly Review.

She is regularly invited to speak at both national and regional conferences including the Family Law Bar Association, Resolution, WhitePaper and in-house for top-tier solicitors' firms.

Elizabeth has been consistently recommended in both Chambers and Partners as a leading individual and the Legal 500.

Elizabeth is also a Door Tenant at 1 GC Family Law, 10 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, Chambers of Janet Bazley QC and Charles Geekie QC. Elizabeth accepts instructions through either Parklane Plowden Chambers or 1 GC Family Law (see 1GC.com).

She is an approved Pupil Supervisor. Her previous pupils include Elliot Kay and Kelly Cronin.

She accepts instructions on a Direct Access basis.

 

"Easy to work with, clever and insightful. She is thorough, engaging and good at presenting information to clients and in court." "An extremely capable advocate who has an excellent bedside manner with clients."

Chambers & Partners 2019
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Areas Of Expertise

Areas of Expertise
Family: Property & Finance
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Elizabeth specialises in family finance and property cases. Her work in the Family Courts includes:

-       Applications under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (“ToLATA”) including claims based on constructive trust and proprietary estoppel

-       Applications under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989

-       Matrimonial finances, including cases involving intervenors and trust issues

-       Applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Elizabeth’s practice encompasses: advising in conference; advising in writing; drafting pleadings for Court; appearing in Court at all levels and throughout the country; representing clients in non-court settings (Alternative Dispute Resolution) including mediation (civil and family); private FDR/private Chancery FDR; arbitration. 

Elizabeth has appeared in a number of significant cases, including Aspden v Elvy (dispute between a couple who had been separated for several years and where the male partner had transferred the property into the female partner’s sole name) and Curran v Collins (application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court on behalf of an unmarried female claimant where she had been found to have no beneficial interest in property at first instance).

Elizabeth has written a number of leading articles and practitioner text books. She is a door tenant of 1GC Family Law, Chambers of Janet Bazley QC and Charles Geekie QC and can also be instructed through 1 GC Family Law.

  

 

Family: Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”)
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Elizabeth represents clients at Private Financial Dispute Resolutions (Private FDRs) and Private Chancery FDRs. She also provides representation at Civil Mediations and Arbitration in both Family Finance and Property matters.

Property
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Elizabeth specialises in property disputes between family members, for example, between former cohabitees; parents and adult children and other family members. Her work in the Business and Property Courts includes:

-       Applications under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (“ToLATA”) including claims based on constructive trust and proprietary estoppel

-       Applications to set aside transfers of property on vitiating grounds such as undue influence and mistake

-       Equitable accounting

-       Applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Elizabeth’s practice encompasses: advising in conference; advising in writing; drafting pleadings for Court; appearing in Court at all levels and throughout the country; representing clients in non-court settings (Alternative Dispute Resolution) including mediation; private Chancery FDR; arbitration. Elizabeth also provides opinions on an Early Neutral Evaluation basis.

Elizabeth has appeared in a number of significant cases, including Aspden v Elvy (dispute between a couple who had been separated for several years and where the male partner had transferred the property into the female partner’s sole name) and Curran v Collins (application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court on behalf of an unmarried female claimant where she had been found to have no beneficial interest in property at first instance).

Elizabeth has written a number of leading articles and practitioner text books. She is a member of the Leeds Business and Property Court Users Committee and is author of an article in the Leeds and Yorkshire Lawyer regarding the launch of the Business and Property Courts. 

Recommendations
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Chambers and Partners 2021 - Band 2

"She is absolutely excellent at cohabitation disputes. She wrote the book and knows all there is to know." "Her knowledge about cohabitation is excellent, but the real strength is the ability to apply that and come to a pragmatic and sensible outcome."

Legal 500 2021

Family Tier 1 - ‘Beth's legal expertise in relation to TOLATA cases is second to none in our region. Beth is quickly able to get to the crux of the issues involved and build a rapport with the client. She works tirelessly to assist the client to achieve a settlement and avoid lengthy and expensive court proceedings and provides pragmatic advice.

Chancery, Probate and Tax Tier 2 - ‘Beth is an extremely knowledgeable, capable and assured advocate. She is always calm in a crisis and able to think on her feet. She is personable and can relate well to clients. Her advice is clear and concise. I rate her very highly.

Property Tier 1 - ‘An extremely knowledgeable, capable and assured advocate.

Legal 500 2020

Family Tier 1 "... a leader in her field."

Property Tier 1 “Clear, down-to-earth and knowledgable.”

Chambers and Partners 2020

"A gem at cohabitation disputes, she is very competent in her advice and very client-focused." "Elizabeth is simply brilliant in TOLATA cases. Her knowledge is second to none." "Her knowledge and intellect are outstanding."

Chambers & Partners 2019

"Easy to work with, clever and insightful. She is thorough, engaging and good at presenting information to clients and in court." "An extremely capable advocate who has an excellent bedside manner with clients."

Legal 500 2019

"An authority in TOLATA cases."

Chambers & Partners 2018

Highly regarded for her expertise in property and chancery law, she is frequently the top choice for solicitors handling TOLATA and cohabitation disputes arising from separations. She also handles inheritance claims.


Strengths: "Elizabeth is approachable and very good with professionals and clients. She is technically very competent." "A genuine authority in TOLATA cases who provides clear, well-prepared advice and representation."
Recent work: Acted in a matrimonial property dispute that hinged on whether the claimant acquired a beneficial interest in two properties.

Legal 500 2018

"Intelligent and sympathetic, yet steely when required."

Chambers & Partners 2017

“[Elizabeth] has an excellent knowledge in the complex area of trusts of land work, has a good client manner, and is calm, thorough and well prepared.”

Legal 500 2017

“Extremely good with clients, putting them at ease.”  

Chambers & Partners 2016

"She has a gentle manner with clients, but is a tough advocate with great depth of knowledge."

Legal 500 2016

"Commands trust and confidence in lay and professional clients."

Legal 500 2015

“Extremely adept at getting to the crux of issues.”

Legal 500 2014

“First choice for cohabitation disputes.” 

Legal 500 2012

“Meticulous”

Legal 500 2011

“… an expert in trusts of land and cohabitation”

Legal 500 2009

"Known for her expertise in trusts of land and financial provision”

Notable Cases
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Reported Cases

Ladwa v Chapman (2018) - application by Claimant for an order for sale and 50% of the proceeds. Property had been transferred into the joint names of the Defendant and Claimant after purchase. Counterclaim to set aside the transfer on the grounds of undue influence. Received press coverage in The Times and other newspapers.

Curran v Collins (2015) - application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Elizabeth was instructed to apply for permission to appeal the decision of Curran v Collins [2015] EWCA ch 404 to the Supreme Court. This case concerned the test to be applied by the Courts in cases in which a property is owned in one partner's sole name.

Begum v Issa and ors [2014] EW Misc B51 - case concerning an un-registered Islamic marriage and therefore governed by property law principles. The case included allegations of fraud; priorities of mortgages and whether an order for sale should be deferred.

Aspden v Elvy [2012] EWHC 1387 (Ch) - dispute between an unmarried couple as to the beneficial ownership of a farm. The High Court found that Elizabeth's client, the defendant, had a 75% beneficial interest in the property. A costs order was made in the Defendant's favour as she had consistently offered to settle on a 50/50 basis and had therefore beaten her offer.

Kay v Mills [2005] EWCA Civ 1537 - property dispute between father and daughter. Father sought possession of a property purchased on trust by himself and his daughter for father's sole benefit. Daughter defended the claim on the basis of proprietary estoppel. Successful appeal to the Court of Appeal against the decision to strike out the defence.

Articles & Publications
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Law Quarterly Review, October 2019: The search for common intention: the status of an executed express declaration of trust post-Stack and Jones (with Chris Bevan, Associate Professor of Property Law, University of Nottingham)

Family Law, March/April 2019: Challenging a TR1 epress declaration of trust: setting the record straight (with Chris Bevan, Associate Professor of Property Law, University of Nottingham)

A door of opportunity: launch of the Business and Property Courts, Article in the Leeds & Yorkshire Lawyer Issue 147, September 7th 2017.

Cohabitation and Trusts of Land, 3rd edition (2016) Sweet and Maxwell.

In his Foreword, Ryder LJ says "I commend this work to both specialist practitioners and court users. I encourage its citation in court and I join with its authors in hoping that its extensive use in providing consistent and reliable advice will help further the just settlement of claims without recourse to contested hearings."

Elizabeth also co-authored the 1st and 2nd editions of Cohabitation and Trusts of Land.

General Editor of Cohabitation: Law and Precedents (looseleaf) Sweet and Maxwell.

Lectures
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Elizabeth is regularly invited to speak at conferences both at a national and local level and to speak in-house at solicitors’ firms.

Recent examples include:

Simon Gore Cohabitation Law Conference - Webinar 20 May 2020 (forthcoming)

White Paper Matrimonial Finance Conference, Manchester. Chair: Ros Bever March 2020

Resolution seminars: Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and London: November 2019

North Eastern Circuit FLBA and North and West Yorkshire Resolution October 2018

Bristol Family Court, chaired by HHJ Stephen Wildblood QC, February 2017

 

Personal Details
Education

Studied Law at Cambridge University (Selwyn College) BA 1997 and MA 2000. She is an elected Scholar of Selwyn College.

Professional Associations

Elizabeth is a member of both the Family Law Bar Association and the Chancery Law Bar Association.

Elizabeth's Latest News
Awards &
Accreditations

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