On Monday, the High Court (Deputy Judge George Bompas QC) handed down judgment in Downey v Stevens  EWHC 752 (Ch). The case was contested between two property developers and the trustees of Magdalen Park Bowling Club (the “Club”) located in Wandsworth, London.
In the proceedings, the Club had been threatened by the loss of its only playable green and its clubhouse. The claimants claimed that they were entitled to purchase the land on which the green and clubhouse are sited for £1, pursuant to an option contract purportedly entered into by the trustees in 2015. However, the court found the 2015 contract to be invalid pursuant to s 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 and that, even if it were valid, it would be unconscionable for the claimants to rely on its terms.
The judge also held that even if the option had been enforceable, he would nevertheless have refused specific performance and it was doubtful, due to the terms of the contract, that the claimants had correctly quantified their loss by reference to the market value of the property.
David Hopkins successfully represented the defendants. Please click here to read the judgment.