The presumption of advancement is a well-established equitable principle in English law, which operates to presume that a purchaser or transferor of property intended to transfer the beneficial interest to the recipient in certain relationships. However, its future is far from certain. While it appeared that the presumption would be abolished by the Equality Act 2010 (UK) c 15 section 199, that section has never been brought into force. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the enduring impact of the presumption of advancement, and what its future might be. This article considers the operation of the presumption of advancement in English law and attempts to abolish the presumption via legislative reform. It details a survey of UK case law, to ascertain how the presumption is operating in practice, and canvasses alternative approaches to dealing with the presumption, drawing on comparative perspectives and academic critiques. This article argues that the law around the presumption remains unclear and in turmoil. Therefore, while it is not necessary to abolish the presumption, reform is necessary.
Alysia Blackham, The presumption of advancement: a lingering shadow in UK Law?. Trusts and Trustees (2015), doi: 10.1093/tandt/ttv048. First published online: May 20, 2015.