Gratuitous Alienations and the Implications of MacDonald v Carnbroe Estates Ltd

Alisdair Macpherson, Donna McKenzie Skene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In MacDonald v Carnbroe Estates Ltd1 the UK Supreme Court revisited an
important aspect of the law relating to gratuitous alienations in Scotland, namely
the remedies available where a purchaser has provided some, but inadequate,
consideration. The decision overturned controversial pre-existing authority on
this point and introduced a degree of flexibility on the available remedies which
was hitherto lacking. It has, however, also left a degree of uncertainty and some
unanswered questions.This article examinesthe facts and background of the case,
the outcome and its practical and policy implications, concluding that the time
may now be ripe for a more fundamental review of the law in this area with
corresponding legislative change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-79
Number of pages21
JournalJuridical Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

We are grateful to Professor George Gretton for his comments on an earlier draft of this article. Any errors or omissions are, however, the authors’ alone.


  • Corporate insolvency
  • Disposition of property
  • Gratuitous alienations
  • Remedies
  • Scotland
  • Transactions at an undervalue


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