Elizabeth Darlington MCIArb

Called 1998

She is very knowledgeable about the law in cohabitation and TOLATA and is pragmatic, approachable and user-friendly.

Chambers & Partners 2022

About

Elizabeth specialises in matrimonial finance and property disputes.

She is joint head of Family: Property and Finance.

Her practice focuses on the financial consequences of relationship breakdown (whether marriage or cohabitation) and property disputes between family members generally. 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 also advises in matters brought under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. As many cases involve both family and property issues, she regularly appears in the Family Court and Business and Property Court at all levels.

Elizabeth is a Civil and Commercial Mediator (ADR Group accredited) and is an Arbitrator and Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb). She accepts instructions as an Arbitrator in financial remedy disputes; TOLATA disputes and Inheritance Act disputes. She also accepts instructions as a Mediator in property disputes and also to act as Evaluator in private FDRs including cohabitation disputes. She is regularly instructed to represent clients at all forms of ADR.

Elizabeth is the author of a number of highly regarded practitioner texts including Cohabitation and Trusts of Land (co-authored with Laura Heaton) available on Westlaw, now in its 3rd edition (2016). She is the General Editor of Cohabitation: Law and Precedents, also available on Westlaw. This publication is up-dated twice a year and includes a number of expert contributors.

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 and the Legal 500 as a leading individual.

Elizabeth also practises through 1 GC Family Law, 10 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, Chambers of Nkumbe Ekaney Q.C. and Andrew Norton Q.C. where she has a door tenancy. Elizabeth accepts instructions through either Parklane Plowden Chambers or 1 GC Family Law (see 1GC.com).

She is an approved Pupil Supervisor and Advocacy Trainer (North Eastern Circuit).

Elizabeth is an elected member of the Family Law Bar Association National Committee.

She accepts instructions on a Direct Access basis.

Further details can be found at elizabethdarlington.co.uk.

 

 

Areas of Expertise

Contact Elizabeth Darlington MCIArb

Accolades

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.

She accepts instructions to act as an Arbitrator, Civil Mediator or Evaluator (Private FDRs/Early Neutral Evaluation).

Elizabeth is an accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator (ADR Group) and also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb). She accepts instructions to act as a Mediator in cases involving property disputes; cohabitation disputes; claims based on implied trusts and proprietary estoppel and disputes under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. She also accepts instructions to act as Arbitrator in matters covered by the IFLA scheme (TOLATA and Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act disputes). She is also happy to act as Evaluator by way of Early Neutral Evaluation/private FDR.  Elizabeth also provides representation at arbitration; mediation and private FDRs including Chancery FDRs.

Elizabeth is an accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator (ADR Group) and also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (MCIArb). She accepts instructions to act as a Mediator in cases involving property disputes; cohabitation disputes; claims based on implied trusts and proprietary estoppel and disputes under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975. She also accepts instructions to act as Arbitrator in matters covered by the IFLA scheme (TOLATA and Inheritance Act disputes). She is also happy to act as Evaluator by way of Early Neutral Evaluation/private FDR.

Elizabeth also provides representation at Arbitration; Mediation and private FDRs including chancery FDRs.

Elizabeth is an accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator (ADR Group) and qualified Arbitrator and Member of the Institute of Chartered Arbitrators (MCIArb). She accepts instructions to act as a Mediator in cases involving property disputes; cohabitation disputes; claims based on implied trusts and proprietary estoppel and disputes under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Elizabeth accepts instructions to act as an Arbitrator in cases covered by the IFLA scheme (family finance disputes; TOLATA claims and Inheritance Act disputes). She also accepts instructions to act as an Evaluator, whether by way of Early Neutral Evaluation or Private FR. Elizabeth also provides representation at arbitration; mediation and private FDRs.

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

She is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and also an accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator.

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 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 on the law in relation to property disputes and cohabitees and is the General Editor of Cohabitation: Law and Precedents (published by Sweet and Maxwell) which includes a number of leading pracitioners from across the country.

She is a member of the Chancery Bar Association and Leeds Business and Property Court Users Committee.

Elizabeth accepts instructions to act as a Civil and Commercial Mediator. Elizabeth is also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and accepts instructions in matters covered by the IFLA scheme, including TOLATA disputes and Inheritance Act disputes. She also accepts instructions to act as an Evaluator in Early Neutral Evaluation/private Chancery FDR.

Legal 500 2022 Tier 1 - Divorce & Remedy  "Elizabeth has phenomenal knowledge of the area of cohabitee and property interests. She has a calm approach and first rate client handling skills, which mixed with her superb intellect and preparation make her a real asset to a case."

Chambers & Partners 2022 - Band 2 Matrimonial Finance "She gives clients the options, looking at the scenarios, and really gets a grip early on. She is able to deliver advice without it being crushing if it is not the answer that clients want to hear and makes sure that clients are informed." "She is calm, measured and composed." "She is very knowledgeable about the law in cohabitation and TOLATA and is pragmatic, approachable and user-friendly."

Legal 500 2021 Divorce and Financial Remedy: Tier 1 - ‘[her] legal expertise in relation to TOLATA cases is second to none in our region. [She] 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: Tier 2 - ‘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.’

Chambers and Partners 2021 Family: Matrmonial Finance 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 strengh is the ability to apply that and come to a pragmatic and sensible outcome."

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”

Elizabeth is a member of the National Committee of the Family Law Bar Association and member of the FLBA, Resolution; the Chancery Bar Association and Northern Chancery Bar Association. She is also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

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.

Joint head of Family: Property and Finance 

Elected member of the Family Law Bar Association National Committee October 2021

Family Law May and June 2021: Quantification in Proprietary Estoppel Part 1 and Part 2

Family Law February 2021: ADR for Unmarried Couples: Mediation; private FDRs and Arbitration

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 and Contributor to Cohabitation: Law and Precedents (looseleaf) Sweet and Maxwell.

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: Cohabitation: TOLATA Property Disputes and the Dispute Resolution Toolkit with Graeme Fraser, Chair of Resolution's Cohabitation Committee Simon Gore Cohabitation Law Conference - Webinar 20 May 2020 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 

Studied Law at Cambridge University (Selwyn College) BA 1997; MA 2000