Keech v Sandford (1726) Sel Cas T King 61

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  • A child (the future Mr Keech) inherited a property.  Mr Sandford was entrusted to look after this property until the child was of age. However, the lease expired before Mr Keech had grown up.
  • The landlord had told Mr Sandford that he did not want the child to have the renewed lease.
  • There was clear evidence of the refusal to renew the lease for the benefit of the infant.
  • Yet the landlord was happy to give Mr Sandford the opportunity of the lease instead. Mr Sandford entered into the lease.
  • When Mr Keech grew up, he sued Mr Sandford for the profit that he had been making by getting the lease.


  • Was Mr Sandford, as trustee, in breach of the no conflict rule?


  • Lord King LC held that by entering into the lease for the property, Mr Sandford had breached his duty as trustee.


“…I very well see, if a trustee, on the refusal to renew, might have a lease to himself, few trust-estates would be renewed to cestui que use; this may seem hard, that the trustee is the only person of all mankind who might not have the lease; but it is very proper that rule should be strictly pursued and not in the lease relaxed; for it is very obvious what would be the consequences of letting trustees have the lease, on refusal to renew to cestui que use.”

(Lord King LC at page 175)

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