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Existence of Partnership Disputed

Business Law

In the case of Geary v Rankine [2012], The Court of Appeal upheld a decision that a business was not intended to be run as a partnership. 

The case revolved around a couple – the Claimant (G) and the defendant (R).

They had been together a number of years and had a child together.  They had never married as G had still been married to her former husband.

R purchased a guest house with the intention of having it run by a manager.  When this did not work out he moved to the guest house and ran it himself.  The business has been purchased and run in R’s sole name.  G subsequently moved to the guest house and assisted with cleaning and accounting.  R made it clear that he did not want G to be included in case the business failed.  He also excluded her from his Will as she was still married.

When the couple separated G claimed that the business had been run as a partnership and as such she should have a beneficial interest in it.  The judge, and indeed the subsequent appeal, ruled that the evidence supported that there had been no common intention for the business to be run as a partnership.  In particular there was no evidence of shared profits and no shared bank account and the business had been bought by R with his own money.

If you would like advice on partnerships and potential disputes please contact us.

Jacqueline Penfold
Jacqueline Penfold
Tina Ripley
Tina Ripley