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Chambers and PartnersLegal 500
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Leeds 0113 228 5000
Newcastle 0191 221 2121

Elizabeth Darlington

Called 1998

Elizabeth specialises in property and family finance cases. 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 recognized as an expert in applications under the Trusts and Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996.  The third edition of the leading practitioner text, "Cohabitation and Trusts of Land" which Elizabeth co-authored was published late 2016.  She 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 Garden Court, Temple, London, Chambers of Janet Bazley QC and Charles Geekie QC.

She is an approved Pupil Supervisor.

She accepts instructions on a Direct Access basis and also as an Early Neutral Evaluator ("ENE").

"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
Areas of Expertise
Family: Property & Finance
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Elizabeth undertakes a wide range of contentious and non-contentious work including:

Real Property;

Co-ownership disputes, including applications under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 based on constructive trust/proprietary estoppels;

Schedule 1 claims;

Inheritance Act claims;

Ancillary relief work, particularly in cases involving interveners and issues concerning ownership of property;

Boundary disputes;

Commercial disputes;

Professional negligence in these areas.

Probate, Inheritance & Trusts
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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 2018/2019 - "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 2017- "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 2016

“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 2015

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

Legal 500 2014

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

Legal 500 2013

“First choice for cohabitation disputes.” 

Legal 500 2011


Legal 500 2010

“… 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

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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A door of opportunity, 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.

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Elizabeth is regularly invited to speak at seminars throughout the country on her areas of expertise.

Examples include:

North Eastern Circuit FLBA annual conference 2017 (cohabitation)

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

Matrimonial Finance Conference, Manchester (organised by The White Paper Conference Company) Chair: Marilyn Stowe, May 2016 (Schedule 1 applications)

1 Garden Court seminar, Middle Temple, London (2015): Costs in civil proceedings

Personal Details

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.

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