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Limitation Notes

BPTC Law Notes > BPTC Civil Ligitation Notes

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A more recent version of these Limitation notes – written by City Law School students – is available here.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our BPTC Civil Ligitation Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

LIMITATION Procedural Defence - must be set out by Defendant in Statement of Case (not Court of its own motion)


Apply to strike out as abuse of process

Claimant still has a cause-of-action, but it cannot be enforced.


Except limitation-barred claims for adverse possession or conversion - expiry of limitation extinguishes Claimant's right.

Limitation does not apply to claims for equitable remedies - though court may apply by analogy. 4 Questions:

1. What category of claim? - defines which limitation period applies

2. What is the date of accrual? - starts time running

3. Has claim been brought within limitation?

4. If not - can limitation be disapplied?
1: Categorizing the Claim Fraudulent Breach of Trust (unlimited) "Trustee" - including constructive and resulting trusts


eg. third party now in possession of trust property as a result of breach

"Fraudulent breach" - dishonest


"Trustee" (Defendant) must be party/privy to the breach


If innocent - non-fraudulent breach of trust.

Constructive Trustees:


Fraudulent - if Defendant was a trustee before the breach


Non-fraudulent - if Defendant became a trustee at/after the breach (trust is a construction of the court)

Personal Injury (3 years) All claims where remedy includes damages for Personal Injury


including: damages for anxiety, stress, failure to treat a condition 2: Date of Accrual

Date substantive elements of claim present


Claim for costs (debt) by solicitor against client - accrual: one month from bill (date payment due)

Part-days ignored - time starts running day after Breach of Contract (6 years) Contract: breach - claims established without proof of loss


Elements: Offer, acceptance, consideration, breach etc.



Claim for non-payment for goods: contractual date payment due


Claim for non-payment for work: completion of work


Claim for defective goods: date of delivery


Claim for defective work: substantial completion of work


Claim for late delivery: contractual date delivery due


Claim against surety/guarantor: date of default by debtor


Anticipatory repudiatory breach: date of acceptance (termination)

Repeated breach - Claimant can claim for all breaches within 6 years before the claim brought Mistake (of fact or law) Accrual: date mistake could, with reasonable diligence, have been discovered Claim based on Fraud Date Claimant has actual/constructive knowledge of the fraud Negligence (Tort) (6 years) Tort: date damage sustained - damage is element of claim Claims against Solicitors


Negligent advice: Date advice acted upon
* document executed, conveyance completed, contracts exchanged
* on that date - damage: Claimant loses right to negotiate better agreement


Negligently allowing claim to be struck out: date Claimant has no arguable basis for avoiding SO


Negligent property valuation: date transaction entered
* unless no loss at this point - date value of property less than amt of loan

Conversion (tort: 6 years) Date goods first "converted"


Defendant deals with goods in a way inconsistent with the rights of the owner (Claimant)

At end of 6 years from first conversion - Claimant's title is extinguished.

Fatal Accidents Act Claims (3 years) Date of death Recovery of Land (12 years) Accrual: date from which there is "adverse possession"


occupation of land by someone, inconsistent with rights of owner
* actual possession without lawful title

Unless Claimant has future title - time runs from gaining title Expiry of 12 years - no longer "adverse possession" - Defendant gains legal title if:


Actual possession of land - apt degree of physical control, and


Intention to possess - intention to exclude world-at-large (including legal owner)

If registered land - Defendant may apply for registration after 10 years possession


notification sent to registered owner and chargees


If no counter-notice - Defendant registered as legal owner free from all charges


If counter-notice - Claimant has 2 years to evict
* fail to evict - Defendant may reapply for registration - automatically registered if still in possession.

Consumer Protection Act Defective Products (3 years) Accrual: date of damage (damage to property or Personal Injury) Claim upon a Judgement (6 years) Accrual: date judgment became enforceable Enforcement of Judgment (no limit) Interest limited to 6 year-period after judgment

Category of Claim


Limitation Period

Judicial Review

Date when grounds for application arose (eg. date of order, judgment, refusal of licence etc)

3 months

Claims under HRA

As above

1 year


Date of wrongful act (actionable per se)

1 year

Contribution under CL(Claimant)A

When liability of Claimant is established:
- Judgment on liability
- Date of settlement (if requires consent order to take effect - date of order)

2 years

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