High Court judgment handed down for Henwood vs Copeland case


Judgment has today been handed down in three significant consolidated High Court claims which were principally concerned with whether the claimant had acquired possessory title by adverse possession to four parcels of land.

Three of the four parcels of land claimed were of significant value owing to their large size and the location of the land in an extremely desirable area of Cornwall that abuts part of the Trelissick Estate. In addition to the possessory claims, there were a number of further claims including claims to rights of way, ‘ordinary’ boundary disputes and claims in trespass and nuisance.

The hearing of the trial took place over 9 days in October 2022 and involved 25 witnesses. The claims were largely dismissed, including the possessory claims in respect of the three most valuable parcels of land.

The judgment contains a useful summary of the law and principles applicable to possessory claims under the LA 1980 and the LRA 2002 (and, insofar as the latter is concerned, the narrow breadth of the commonly relied upon third exception, applying the decision of Fancourt J in Dowse v Bradford MBC), and to informal boundary agreements. It is also a reminder of the benefits of protecting land ownership by registration because of the much more restrictive approach to possessory claims under the LRA 2002.

Jay Jagasia acted on behalf of the largely successful defendants and was instructed by Ashfords LLP, and worked closely alongside James Hemsley, Sophie Michaelides, Elizabeth Schulz and Ria Hattam.

You can read the full judgement here.


Jay Jagasia

Call: 2012 | Sol 2010

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