Elizabeth has particular experience and expertise in disputes between unmarried couples (cohabitees) and has written a number of leading texts in this area.

The law in relation to cohabitees is sometimes thought to be in need of reform and the Law Commission has made a number of proposals for new legislation in this area. Nevertheless, the law in relation to unmarried couples continues to be predominantly based on case law, together with applications under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (“TOLATA”) and potentially under the Children Act 1989, Schedule 1 where there are children of the relationship.

Examples of cases in which Elizabeth is regularly involved are:

  • Claims under TOLATA for a declaration of beneficial ownership and sale of property;
  • Applications under Schedule 1 on behalf of minor children of the relationship;
  • Claims based on constructive trust/proprietary estoppel and equitable accounting;
  • Claims where there has been an engagement to marry;
  • Cases involving unregistered religious marriages.