(M6) (Live Presentation and Webinar) Are Legal Co-owners of Land, Bank Accounts, Safe Deposit Boxes and Chattels also Beneficial Owners?

Date:  22 March 2023 (Wednesday)   Time: 9:30am–12:45pm   Language: English  Level: Elementary

Speaker:          Stephen Gallagher, Professor of Practice in Law, Associate Dean (Academic & Student Affairs), the  Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Lawyer CPD / ACCA CPD / SFC CPT / Insurers’ CPD Pts:  3 points                 Fee: HK$1,790


Although people often hold property in joint names, this does not always mean both have a
beneficial interest in that property. Many disputes arise with regard to co-ownership and
whether the legal owners of property are the owners in equity. In particular, disputes often arise
upon the death of one of the joint owners. The surviving joint owner may claim the property is
theirs absolutely by way of survivorship or intervivos gift, or the deceased’s family may claim it
is held on an express or implied trust. The latter claim is often based upon the fact that the
deceased owned the property alone and then transferred it into joint names, or contributed all of
the purchase price of the property. This three-hour course will consider the disputes which arise
over the ownership of joint name property, whether it is held on trust for both in equal shares, in
differing shares for both, or for one co-owner alone. The seminar will consider the approach
courts may take to questions about jointly owned property – for jointly owned land and personal
property, and, in particular for the latter, joint name bank accounts and safe deposit boxes rented
in joint names. The seminar will conclude by considering whether there is a single unified
approach to questions of joint ownership, or whether the common law maintains its traditional
Course Outline
Some of the topics which will be covered in this course include:
Co-ownership of land after Stack v Dowden [2007] UKHL 17, and Jones v Kernott
[2011] UKSC 53;
The cautionary approach to disputes involving the estate of the deceased after Yung Shu
Wu v Vivienne Sung Wu (2011) 14 HKCFAR 39;
The unified approach to disputes involving property in Leung Wing Yi Asther v Kwok Yu
Wah (2015) 18 HKCFAR 605;
The resurrection of the presumption of resulting trust by the Privy Council in Marr v
Collie [2017] UKPC 17;
Ownership of joint name bank accounts after the majority of the Privy Council’s
guidance in Whitlock v Moree (Bahamas) [2017] UKPC 44;
Ownership of safe deposit boxes in Hong Kong after Wing Lung Bank Ltd v King
Arnold Theo [2020] HKCFI 911;
Is there a unified approach to solving property disputes among legal owners of property?


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Stephen Gallagher
Stephen Gallagher, Professor of Practice in Law, Associate Dean (Academic & Student Affairs), the Faculty of Law, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Steven Gallagher was awarded a first class LL.B. He was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2006. Steven teaches the equity and trusts courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Steven also teaches a course on art, antiquities, cultural heritage and the law on the LLM programme. Steven has presented continuing professional development courses for solicitors in Hong Kong on many topics associated with equity. Steven’s research interests include equity and the law of trusts, cultural heritage law and legal history. In September 2021, Steven published the book, “Protecting Built Heritage in Hong Kong: what heritage and what protection?”

There is no review for this course