An action for an account is a personal action against the defendant for the value of the property that he wrongfully dealt with. Unlike a constructive trust, the liability to account entitles the claimant to proceed against the person, rather than the property, that had been unjustifiably held by the defendant. The correct categorisation of this liability was not achieved until the late twentieth century when it became settled that the defendant is not a trustee and, in particular, not a constructive trustee. The defendant does not occupy the status of a fiduciary before the breach of trust but becomes a fiduciary only as a result of intermeddling with the trust property. The notion here is that the courts have recognised a cause of action for a personal claim to account, with the possible exception of a trustee de son tort. Accordingly, if the defendant is insolvent the claimant will enjoy no priority over other creditors.
The aims of this lecture are to examine the theoretical basis of liability and to analyse the circumstances when a stranger to a trust may become liable to account for his wrongdoing.
Lecturer: Mohamed Ramjohn
Duration: 1 hour 2 minutes (approx)
Order securely online and get immediate access to the lecture.
More lectures on the Law of Trusts
- Charitable Trusts
- Constitution of a trust Q&A
- Constitution of an express trust
- Constructive trusts
- Creation of express trusts
- Exceptions to the rule that equity will not assist a volunteer.
- Liability of third parties
- Private purpose trusts
- Resulting trusts
- Secret trusts
- Tracing Q&A
- Trusts of the family home
- Unincorporated associations