Undue Influence in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Royal Bank of Scotland Plc v Etridge (No 2); Kenyon-Brown v Desmond Banks & Company (Undue Influence) (No 2); Bank of Scotland v Bennett; UCB Home Loans Corporation Ltd v Moore; National Westminster Bank Plc v Gill; Midland Bank Plc v Wallace; Barclays Bank Plc v Harris; Barclays Bank Plc v Coleman
    • House of Lords
    • 11 October 2001

    The burden of proving an allegation of undue influence rests upon the person who claims to have been wronged. The evidence required to discharge the burden of proof depends on the nature of the alleged undue influence, the personality of the parties, their relationship, the extent to which the transaction cannot readily be accounted for by the ordinary motives of ordinary persons in that relationship, and all the circumstances of the case.

    Proof that the complainant placed trust and confidence in the other party in relation to the management of the complainant's financial affairs, coupled with a transaction which calls for explanation, will normally be sufficient, failing satisfactory evidence to the contrary, to discharge the burden of proof. In other words, proof of these two facts is prima facie evidence that the defendant abused the influence he acquired in the parties' relationship.

    This evidential presumption shifts the onus to the dominant party and requires the dominant party, if he is to avoid a finding of undue influence, to adduce some sufficient additional evidence to rebut the presumption.

  • Barclays Bank Plc v O'Brien
    • House of Lords
    • 21 October 1993

    In particular, if the party asserting that he takes free of the earlier rights of another knows of certain facts which put him on inquiry as to the possible existence of the rights of that other and he fails to make such inquiry or take such other steps as are reasonable to verify whether such earlier right does or does not exist, he will have constructive notice of the earlier right and take subject to it.

  • Bank of Credit and Commerce International SA v Aboody
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 10 November 1988

    What notice will be requisite will depend upon the nature of the undue influence alleged. Thus, in a Class 1 case (actual undue influence), the creditor must have notice of the circumstances alleged to constitute the actual exercise of the undue influence; In a Class 2 case it must have notice of the circumstances from which the presumption of undue influence is alleged to arise.

  • National Westminster Bank Plc v Morgan
    • House of Lords
    • 07 March 1985

  • CIBC Mortgages Plc v Pitt and Another
    • House of Lords
    • 21 October 1993

    The abuse of confidence principle is founded on considerations of general public policy viz. that in order to protect those to whom fiduciaries owe duties as a class from exploitation by fiduciaries as a class, the law imposes a heavy duty on fiduciaries to show the righteousness of the transactions they enter into with those to whom they owe such duties.

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Legislation
  • Representation of the People Act 1949
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1949
    ....... (1) No person shall, with intent to influence persons to. give or refrain from giving their votes at a parliamentary ... Bribery, treating and undue influence . Bribery, treating and undue influence. . S-99 . Bribery. 99 ......
  • The Tobacco Products (Traceability and Security Features) Regulations 2019
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 2019
    ...... about any occurrence of threats, or other attempts at exercising undue influence, that may actually or potentially undermine the independence of ......
  • Corrupt Practices Prevention Act 1854
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1854
    ...... to consolidate and amend the Laws relating to Bribery, Treating, and undue Influence at Elections of Members of Parliament. (17 & 18 Vict.) C A P. ......
  • Corrupt Practices Act 1858
    • UK Non-devolved
    • January 01, 1858
    ......undue Influence at Elections of Members of Parliament;’ and by an Act of the ......
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Undue influence?
    • Nbr. 5-1, February 2003
    • The Journal of Adult Protection
    • 40-42
    This legal column includes discussion of a recently decided Court of Appeal case relevant to vulnerable adults and a review of Fair Access to Care Services, the guidance on eligibility criteria for...
  • Undue Influence and Coercion
    • Nbr. 3-2, October 1939
    • The Modern Law Review
  • The Limits of Undue Influence
    • Nbr. 48-5, September 1985
    • The Modern Law Review
  • The Relevance of Reverence; Undue Influence Civilian Style
    • Nbr. 10-4, December 2003
    • Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law
    Persons in positions of authority are able to engender feelings of reverence in others. Such reverence, unfortunately, can lead to exploitation. For many centuries, courts and legal writers have st...
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Law Firm Commentaries
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