Category: Equity

Unsuccessful invocation of equitable principles to deflect a tax liability

The HCA disallowed a joint venturer’s claim to have derived a lump sum as constructive trustee. Alleged fiduciary duties owed to a non-venturer were not accepted. Alternatively, the venturer’s purported equitable assignment of his rights to the lump sum was not tax-effective.

Change of position – ‘Disenrichment’ principle not accepted

On 7 May 2014, the High Court unanimously held that Hills Industries Ltd (Hills) and Bosch Security Systems Pty Ltd (Bosch) established the defence of change of position. Hills and Bosch were not required to repay monies to Australian Financial Services and Leasing Pty Limited (“AFSL”), the party who had paid them monies as a result of a third party’s fraud. AFSL appealed from the decision of the NSW Supreme Court of Appeal. The appeal was unanimously dismissed.

High Court Lets Liens for Litigating Liquidators Lie

The High Court held unanimously that a liquidator is entitled to an equitable lien over settlement monies for litigation expenses which the liquidator incurred for the purpose of impugning a secured creditor’s charge, applying and confirming the principle in Universal Distributing in the process.

Intention to create a trust

In Korda v Australian Executor Trustees (SA) Ltd, the VSCA may have assisted the investors in a radiata pine managed investment scheme at the expense of trusts law orthodoxy.