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Butts Park Ventures (Coventry) Ltd v Bryant Homes Central Ltd

Chancery Division
29 October 2003
Case Analysis
Where Reported
[2003] EWHC 2487 (Ch); [2004] B.C.C. 207; (2003)
147 S.J.L.B. 1278; [2003] N.P.C. 128; [2004] 1 P. &
C.R. DG10; Official Transcript;
Case Digest
Subject: Real property
Keywords: Agreements; Contract for sale of land;
Pre-emption rights; Priorities; Signatures
Summary: Claimant claimed entitlement to freehold
of ground of Coventry football club - Provisions of
Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989
s 2 were satisfied - Pre-emption agreement was valid
and binding on club and its trustees.
The claimant company (BP) claimed entitlement to
the freehold of a rugby ground belonging to a club
(C). In 1996 C had agreed to grant a member of the
same corporate group (L) a right of pre-emption to
purchase the freehold if it came up for sale. L
subsequently assigned the benefit of the right to BP,
and in 2002 C's liquidators transferred the freehold
to BP. However, in 1998 C had agreed a contract for
sale with the defendant company (BH). BH
contended that (1) L's 1996 pre-emption agreement
did not comply with the Law of Property
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 s.2 so was
ineffective as a contract for the disposition of an
interest in land, and (2) L's 1996 agreement was
ousted by the 1998 contract for sale when L failed to
respond to C's notice of its intention to sell to BH.
Held, giving judgment for BP, that (1) on the balance
of probabilities the 1996 pre-emption agreement was
valid as it bore the signatures of both parties rather
than a photocopied signature of one party, and (2)
under its terms, the pre- emption agreement did not
end at the time of the contract for sale but would
only expire when the sale of the land was completed.
The sale of the land to BH had not completed so BH
had no interest in the ground.

Judge: Sir Andrew Morritt VC


Counsel: For BP: Guy Fetherstonhaugh Q.C. For BH:
Jeremy Cousins Q.C and Patrick Darby.
Solicitor: For BP: Mishcon de Reya. For BH: Wood
Glaister Partnership (Solihull).
Key Cases Citing
Applied
Baker v West Reading Social Club
[2014] EWHC 3033 (Ch); [2014] B.C.C. 575; Official
Transcript; Ch D; 31 July 2014
Stewart v Attorney General for Northern Ireland
[2013] NICh 10; Official Transcript; Ch D (NI); 20
June 2013
All Cases Citing
Sort by:
Applied
Baker v West Reading Social Club
[2014] EWHC 3033 (Ch); [2014] B.C.C. 575; Official
Transcript; Ch D; 31 July 2014
Applied
Stewart v Attorney General for Northern Ireland
[2013] NICh 10; Official Transcript; Ch D (NI); 20
June 2013
Mentioned by
Tiffany Investments Ltd v Bircham & Co Nominees
(No.2) Ltd
[2003] EWCA Civ 1759; [2004] 2 P. & C.R. 10;
[2004] L. & T.R. 22; [2004] 2 E.G.L.R. 31; [2004] 21
E.G. 152; Official Transcript; CA (Civ Div); 04
December 2003
Significant Legislation Cited
Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989
(c.34) s.2
Legislation Cited
Insolvency Act 1986 (c.45)
Insolvency Act 1986 (c.45) Sch.1
Insolvency Act 1986 (c.45) Sch.4
Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989
(c.34) s.2
Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989
(c.34) s.2(1)
Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989
(c.34) s.2(3)
Journal Articles
Options: priorities
Development; Pre emption rights; Sale of land;
Sports facilities.
P.L.B. 2003, 24(6), 43-44
Books
Barnsley's Land Options 6th Ed.
Chapter: Chapter 6 - Rights of Pre-Emption
Documents: Section 3. - Rights of pre-emption and
section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous
Provisions) Act 1989
Barnsley's Land Options 6th Ed.
Chapter: Chapter 6 - Rights of Pre-Emption
Documents: Section 10. - Rights of pre-emption:
drafting considerations
Emmet & Farrand on Title
Chapter: Chapter 2 - The Contract
Documents: 2.041 Signature of writing
Formation and Variation of Contract 1st Ed.
Chapter: Chapter 5 - Specific Formalities:
Substantive Conditions of a Binding Contract
Documents: (2) - Contracts Within the Scope of
Section 2
Formation and Variation of Contract 1st Ed.
Chapter: Chapter 5 - Specific Formalities:
Substantive Conditions of a Binding Contract
Documents: (3) - The Requirements of Section 2
Lewin on Trusts 19th Ed.
Chapter: Chapter 22 - Trusts and Insolvency
Documents: Section 8. - Winding up a Trust
Sealy & Milman: Annotated Guide to Insolvency
Legislation 20th Ed. - 2017
Chapter: Insolvency Act 1986
Documents: 220: Meaning of unregistered
company
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