Jones v Lock (1865) 1 Ch App 25

Key point

  • Equity cannot perfect an imperfect gift by implying a trust


  • A father put a cheque into the hand of his son of nine months old, saying, “I give this to baby for himself,” and then took back the cheque and put it away
  • He also expressed his intention of giving the amount of the cheque to the son
  • Shortly afterwards the father died, and the cheque was found amongst his effects

Held (Court of Appeal in Chancery)

  • No trust was created in favour of the child due to lack of intention to create a trust

Lord Cranworth LC

  • Where there is an imperfect gift and no consideration given, the court will not aid volunteers
  • But where there is a declaration of trust, the transfer is enforced without consideration
  • “I think it would be of very dangerous example if loose conversations of this sort, in important transactions of this kind, should have the effect of declarations of trust.”