The descendants of an Oxford benefactor who donated land to a school in 1914 and 1928 have failed in their bid to force Oxfordshire County Council to pay them £1.2m.

The case hinges on the interpretation of the 1841 School Site Act, which made it easy for landowners to donate up to one acre of land for schools for poor children, but stipulated that if the land ceased to be used for the school, it would be given back to the landowner or their heirs.

Russell-Cooke partner Jason Hunter comments in Estates Gazette that the courts should strike a balance between the grantor's interest and the public interest. 

Heirs of 1920s benefactor lose out in £1.2m Supreme Court battle is available to read on the Estates Gazette website via subscription.

Jason is a partner and head of the property and housing litigation team, specialising in the avoidance or resolution of property disputes (using Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) or litigation).

He advises on all areas of property litigation, including landlord and tenant law (residential, mixed use and commercial) and property disputes about boundaries, party walls, restrictive covenants, trespass, rights of way and rights of light.