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Taylor V. Plumer Notes

BCL Law Notes > Restitution of Unjust Enrichment BCL Notes

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TAYLOR V. PLUMER FACTS Walsh was a stock-broker, who had occasionally been employed by the defendant for some time before 181l. In August of that year the defendant, expecting to have occasion for a large sum of money at Michaelmas to pay for an estate which he had contracted to purchase, consulted Walsh on the propriety of selling out stock to provide for such payment, and desired him to inform him when he, Walsh, thought it would be most expedient to do so. In November, the title to the estate not having been then completed, Walsh, thinking the funds likely to fall, recommended to the defendant to sell out stock, being principally in a fund which is regularly shut from the beginning of December till about the 7th of January; and the defendant having considered the matter, on the 28th of November sent Walsh orders to sell. Sales were accordingly effected by Walsh as broker on the 29th to the amount of 21,7741. 5s. sterling, the transfers to be made and the money to be paid on the 4th of *722 December. On the 4th the stock was transferred by the defendant, and the price was received by Walsh, who on the same day paid 21,5001., part of the said price, into the hands of Messrs. Goslings and Co., the defendant's bankers, to the defendant's account, and saw the defendant and informed him of it. The defendant proposed to Walsh to invest the money in Exchequer bills until it should be wanted to pay for the estate, and in the evening desired him to call the following day for a draft in order that he, as broker, might buy Exchequer bills for the defendant. The defendant him a draft upon Goslings for 22,200l. The defendant did not authorize Walsh, nor was Walsh in any manner authorized to apply the draft or money to be received for it, to any other purpose, nor had the defendant any reason to expect or apprehend that it would be applied to any other purpose. Walsh went to Goslings, received the amount of the draft from them in 22 Bank of England notes of 10001. each, and one for 2001., but purchased Exchequer bills to the amount of 6500l only. But the fact was not so; on the contrary, Walsh being ruined in his circumstances, and completely insolvent, had, between the time of the sale of the defendant's stock and the time when he received the price of it, conceived an intention of absconding with the money when it should come to his hands, and with that view, on the 2d of December, had given orders for the purchase of the American shares, stock, and bullion in question, in order to take them with him abroad, having no means of paying for the American shares and stock but out of the money he expected to receive belonging to the defendant, nor any money of his own to pay for the bullion, though he might have acquired money for that, but intending to pay for that also out of the defendant's money.

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