A Gift for the Inland Revenue


by Jessica Brown.

This comic representation of the leading English trusts law case, drawn by our Legal Design Sprint winner, shows the titles as coloured presents and wraps everything up in just one page!

Jessica was part of the winning team in a Legal Design Sprint I ran in partnership with Justis in July/September 2018. If you missed this event, there is plenty of coverage online:

It's worth taking the time to look at #TeamSocial’s winning submission via the Justis website as well.

Here Jessica applies similar style of representation to a single case — everyone’s favourite, Vandervell v IRC (No. 1). Ignore the errant gavel (see @InappropriateGavels on this!)


In the words of Jessica, the creator...

One of the main things that I find difficult about equity is understanding how the legal and equitable titles can move separately. To help me overcome this I usually use diagrams or flow charts, however, the complex nature of Vandervell v IRC meant that the diagram was very confusing. By making it into a comic representing the legal and equitable titles by different coloured gift boxes and creating characters for the people involved I find it much easier to understand what was going on.

Furthermore it is a good means of remembering that the parties to a case are real people, which is often forgotten in legal education.


I like working with paper because I can move the pieces around. I’ll often start by determining the characters and making several sketches of each one, cutting them out and then moving them across the page to ‘act out’ the case as I read it. It’s a bit like playing with dolls really!

Created by

Jessica Brown

Jessica Brown

GDL Graduate & Designer
Aspiring lawyer, designer, lover of all things colourful, who's never without a 2B pencil. 

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