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Chapter

Cover Equity & Trusts

19. Third Party Liability  

Paul S Davies and Graham Virgo

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter focuses its discussion on personal claims, where the claimant seeks a sum of money from the defendant but does not assert any right to any particular property. However, even where the defendant is solvent and could satisfy a personal claim, a proprietary claim might often be more desirable. If the property has risen in value, then that uplift in value will necessarily benefit the claimant if the claim is proprietary, but not if the claim is personal. A personal claim for the value of the property at the time of the third party’s wrong might be preferred where the property has fallen in value. Moreover, a personal claim will be the only possible type of claim available to the claimant if the property in question has been dissipated and no longer exists. In such circumstances, a proprietary claim is impossible and a personal claim alone can be pursued.

Chapter

Cover JC Smith's The Law of Contract

10. Third parties  

This chapter considers two principal questions: firstly, may a person who is not a party to a contract acquire rights under it? Secondly, can a contract impose duties on a person who is not a party to it? With some exceptions, the common law answered ‘No’ to both. A contract between A and B cannot be enforced by a third party, C, even if the contract is for the benefit of C. Nor can a contract between A and B impose burdens on C. Following the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 there is now a statutory exception to the principle that C acquires no rights under a contract between A and B. Under this Act, a third party might be able to enforce a term of the contract if the contract expressly provides that they may, or if the relevant term purports to confer a benefit on them.

Chapter

Cover Commercial Law

12. The transfer of title by a non-owner  

This chapter considers the various circumstances in which a buyer may become the owner of the goods, notwithstanding that the seller is neither the owner of them, nor sold them with the owner’s consent. In the chapter, disputes concern not the seller but the owner of the goods and the buyer. The chapter presents a case that provides an example of the sort of problems which can arise in such disputes. A common theme in these types of cases is dishonesty, whereby the court will have to decide which of two innocent parties should suffer due to the dishonesty of another. This can arise in many different situations, such as where an innocent buyer buys goods from a seller who turns out to have stolen them or where a person obtains goods on hire purchase and dishonestly sells them before they have been paid for.

Chapter

Cover Street on Torts

25. Capacity and parties  

This chapter examines the issues of capacity and parties in tort law. It explains that capacity refers to the status of legal persons and their ability to sue or be sued in tort and that a claimant’s injury might be caused by more than one person. Examples are given of the capacity to sue and be sued of companies and children. This chapter discusses also the point that any person successfully sued in tort can seek contribution from other joint or concurrent tortfeasors and this can be done in the course of the original action commenced by the claimant, or in separate proceedings between tortfeasors.

Chapter

Cover Anson's Law of Contract

23. Agency  

Jack Beatson, Andrew Burrows, and John Cartwright

Agency is the relationship that exists where one person (the principal) authorizes another (the agent) to act on its behalf and the agent agrees to do so. This Chapter discusses the modes of agency creation and the different kinds of agency, and the effect of agency: (a) the relations between the principal and third parties; and (b) the relations between the agent and third parties.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

18. Privity and third parties  

Protecting the rights of non-parties

This chapter examines how English law, through a doctrine known as privity of contract, deals with the problem posed by contracts whose performance involves third parties. According to the doctrine of privity, a contract ordinarily only affects persons who are party to it. Third parties are neither bound by the contract nor entitled to claim rights under the contract. However, the courts and Parliament developed a number of exceptions to the strict rule of privity, each of which gives third parties a right to sue under the contract in a certain type of situation. For example, the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 gives third party beneficiaries a right to enforce contract terms. This chapter first considers the problem of third party rights in contracting before discussing the effects of privity and the provisions of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 in more detail.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

4. Privity  

Can a contract alter the rights and liabilities of a third party who is not privy to the contract? This chapter addresses the following questions: (1) Why is the general rule that only contract parties can sue on a contract? (2) What rights of enforcement does the Contract (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 confer on a third party? (3) What is the impact of the 1999 Act on the requirement that a contract claimant must have given consideration? (4) To what extent can a promisee enforce a contract for the benefit of a third party? (5) Aside from the 1999 Act, what legal avenues exist for third parties to enforce promises made for their benefit? (6) When and how does a contract bind third parties?

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Civil Procedure

19. Parties and Joinder  

This chapter first looks at the rules relating to different classes of party and then considers the rules governing multi-party litigation. Topics discussed include description of parties; particular classes of party; vexatious litigants; joinder; representative proceedings; representation of unascertained persons; intervention; consolidation; stakeholder claims; assignment; and group litigation.

Chapter

Cover Cross & Tapper on Evidence

VII. Character in general  

This chapter examines the evidence of the character of parties, witnesses, and third parties. Evidence of character has never been a model of coherence or clarity either at common law or under statute. It is complex, both in the connotation and means of proof of the concept of character, and in the variety of contexts in which it arises. The concept embraces both disposition, commonly described as propensity, to act in a relevant way, and sometimes the means of proof of such relevant disposition, either through reputation, the expressed belief of others of the subject's disposition, or of acts of the subject from which such disposition may be inferred. It may be relevant in any form of proceedings, and at any stage of a trial.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law

25. Third Parties  

This chapter examines the impact of a contract on third parties. It addresses two main questions: whether or not a third party can acquire any rights under the contract, and whether or not the contract can impose upon him obligations or liabilities. The general rule adopted by English law is that the contract creates rights and imposes obligations only between the parties to the contract: the third party thus neither acquires rights under the contract nor is he subject to liabilities. This general rule is known as the doctrine of privity of contract. The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999, however, provides a relatively simple mechanism by which contracting parties can confer upon a third party a right to enforce a term of their contract. The dominant philosophy that underpins the 1999 Act is one of freedom of contract and, this being the case, the success of the Act in practice will depend upon contracting parties themselves. The chapter examines the individual sections of the 1999 Act, the exceptions to the doctrine of privity that existed at common law and under various statutes prior to the enactment of the 1999 Act. The chapter concludes by considering the extent to which a third party can be subject to an obligation by a contract to which he is not a party.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Directions

13. Privity and the interests of third parties  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. This chapter examines the privity rule, which states that only a party to the contract can sue upon it. It discusses the development of the privity rule, distinguishing the privity rule from the consideration rule, evading the privity rule, techniques for giving a right directly to a third party or apparent third party, specific performance in favour of a third party and damages for a third party’s loss, and the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Directions

13. Privity and the interests of third parties  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of law and legal debate. Questions, diagrams and exercises help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress. This chapter examines the privity rule, which states that only a party to the contract can sue upon it. It discusses the development of the privity rule, distinguishing the privity rule from the consideration rule, evading the privity rule, techniques for giving a right directly to a third party or apparent third party, specific performance in favour of a third party and damages for a third party’s loss, and the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.

Chapter

Cover Smith, Hogan, and Ormerod's Criminal Law

7. Assistance after the offence  

David Ormerod and Karl Laird

This chapter examines the statutory offences under the Criminal Law Act 1967 of assisting an offender. Examples include hiding a principal offender, helping a principal offender to avoid arrest or to abscond from bail, lying to the police to protect the principal offender from investigation and prosecution, hiding the weapon used by the principal offender in committing the assault/robbery and washing clothes worn by the principal offender to obstruct any potential forensic examination. In addition to the fact that the offender must have committed a relevant offence, another element in the actus reus where an offender is charged with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of the offender is that the accused must have done ‘any act’ with the appropriate intent. An attempt to commit this offence does not amount to criminal liability.

Chapter

Cover Markesinis & Deakin's Tort Law

3. Establishing Liability in Principle: Duty of Care  

This chapter discusses the following: the duty concept and the elements of the tort of negligence; formulating the duty of care; kinds of damage; the manner of infliction; and the way in which the notion of duty confines liability by reference to the nature of the parties involved.

Chapter

Cover Pearce & Stevens' Trusts and Equitable Obligations

38. Tracing  

This chapter considers the process of tracing. Tracing describes the process by which the law allows the original owner of property to identify and claim as his or her assets in the hands of a third party. Since tracing and following are proprietary concepts, they can only be used if there was initially, and there remains (in its original or any substituted form), an asset or a property to which claim can be made. Tracing is resorted to most frequently when the trustee is insolvent, so that a personal claim is of limited value. It is easy to forget that in most, if not all, cases of tracing or following, the trustee will have acted in breach of trust and will personally be liable.

Book

Cover Street on Torts

Christian Witting

Street on Torts provides a wide-ranging overview, and a clear and accurate explanation of tort law. The book consists of nine parts. Part I provides an introduction to the subject, including examination of protected interests in tort and the history of this branch of law beginning with the ancient trespass torts. Part II looks at negligent infringements of the person, property and financial interests, as well as examining the liability in negligence of public authorities. Part III looks at intentional invasions of interests in the person and property. Part IV looks at misrepresentation-based and general economic torts. Part V is about torts of strict or stricter liability (that is, where fault plays either no part or a lesser part in liability decisions) and includes consideration of nuisance and product liability. Part VI considers interests in reputation (ie defamation). Part VII is about actions in privacy. Part VIII looks at the misuse of process and public powers. The final part, Part IX, is about vicarious liability, parties, and remedies.

Chapter

Cover Complete Equity and Trusts

15. Constructive trusts and fiduciary duty  

Titles in the Complete series combine extracts from a wide range of primary materials with clear explanatory text to provide readers with a complete introductory resource. The chapter looks at the nature of fiduciary duty and how someone becomes a fiduciary. The liability of fiduciaries for breach of trust is considered. Bribery and secret profits are explained, the meaning, nature, and approaches to constructive trusts are studied, and the various circumstances in which constructive trust might emerge are discussed. These include remedial and institutional constructive trusts. The liability of third parties (strangers) in constructive trusts as trustees de son tort, dishonest assisters, and those in knowing receipt are considered. The meanings of ‘knowledge’ and ‘dishonesty’ in this area of the law are explained, as is the level of liability of constructive trustees.

Chapter

Cover Commercial Law

6. Relations between principal and agent  

This chapter discusses the legal relationships that exist between the principal and agent, and, in particular, focuses on the duties that each party owes to the other. The precise scope and content of these duties will depend upon a number of factors, including whether the agency is contractual or gratuitous, whether the agent is acting within the scope of his authority, whether the agent is a specific type of agent upon whom extra duties are placed, and whether the agent is a commercial agent or not. There are legal relationships that can exist between the three parties involved in a typical legal relationship, namely, the relationships between principal and agent, between principal and third party, and between agent and third party. The chapter begins by discussing the duties that an agent owes to his principal.

Chapter

Cover Commercial Law

7. Relations between principal and third party  

This chapter examines the relationship that exists between principal and third party, focusing in particular on the liability that exists between principal and third party, and those instances when they can sue, and be sued by, the other. Liability principally arises in contract and tort, and so these two areas of liability will be discussed, beginning with the contractual liability of the principal and third party. The contractual relationship between the principal and third party, and the extent to which one party can be liable to the other, can be complex and depends upon a number of variables, notably whether the principal is disclosed or undisclosed. In a typical agency relationship an agent will effect a contract between his principal and a third party, after which the agent will ‘drop out’ of the transaction.

Chapter

Cover A Practical Approach to Civil Procedure

20. Additional Claims under Part 20  

This chapter discusses the rules for additional claims under Part 20 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR). An additional claim typically will seek to pass any liability established against the defendant to a third party. This is achieved by seeking indemnities, contributions, or related remedies against the third party. A third party may in turn seek to pass on its liability to a fourth party, and so on. Permission to issue an additional claim is not required if the additional claim is issued before or at the same time as the defendant files its defence. An additional claim operates as a separate claim within the original claim.