A more recent version of these Quitsclose Trusts notes – written by Oxford students – is available here.
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QUITSCLOSE TRUSTS Definition - in some circumstances where money has been lent to the borrower for particular purpose, he'll hold it on trust for the lender. This enables the lender to convert the debt into a trust & avoid becoming an unsecured creditor in case of borrower's insolvency.
? A makes a loan for particular purpose to B + B holds on it trust for A Parallel/Alternatives in Contract i. Romalpa clause - a contractual provision enabling the titleholder to retain common law rights in the property which remain his both common law & equity, unless it becomes mixed w/other property as to be indistinguishable, leaving only rights in equity for C. Retention of title under Romalpa clause would prevent another party to contract from passing good title to TP under nemodat principle. ii. A pledge - the owner of property parts w/ possession of the property by delivering it to a secured party w/out giving him the right to deal w/it as though he's the absolute owner. The secured party is prevented from doing so until its proprietary rights crystallise thus vesting almost absolute title in him, at which point he becomes entitled to sell the pledged asset to make good the counterparty's failure in performance of the principal contract. Nature of QuitscloseTrust
? It's unconscionable for a man to obtain money w/terms as to its application & then disregard them
- such conduct goes beyond mere breach of contract. Thus, duty isn't contractual but fiduciary: it may exist despite absence of contract b/w parties &binds them as in Quitsclose. It's fiduciary in character b/c a person who makes money available on terms that it's to be used for a particular purpose places his trust & confidence in the recipient to ensure it is properly applied. Since the relationship arises in respect of a specific fund, it gives rise to a trust. 1) General Principle o Barclays Bank v Quitsclose Investments - Rolls Razor was a company in serious financial difficulties whi had exceeded its overdraft w/Barclays; it declared a dividend on its shares but didn't have resources to pay this, so approached Quitsclose for a loan which it agreed to provide on condition that a separate bank acc is set up into which money would be paid + money to be used only to pay off the dividend. However, b/f dividend was paid, RR went into liquidation &Quitsclose sought to recover money lent. Barclays opposed it, claiming a right of set off, enabling them to apply the money in reduction of overdraft sum owed to them by RR. Held money was held on RT for Quitsclose thus couldn't use it to offset the debt of RR. Lord Wilberforce: the mutual intention of Quitsclose& RR and the essence of the bargain was that the sum shouldn't become part of general assets of RR but be used exclusively for payment of particular class of creditors. Necessary consequence of this must be that if, for any reason, dividend couldn't be paid, the money should be returned to Q (words "only" & "exclusively" can't have any other meaning). Arrangement of this character gives rise to a relationship of fiduciary character or an ordinary trust in favour, as a primary trust, of creditors, and, if the primary trust fails, of the third person. When the money is advanced, the lender acquires an equitable right to see that it's applied for primary designated purpose and, when it's carried out, lender has a remedy against the borrower in debt. If purpose can't be carried out, question arises as to whether secondary purpose (i.e. repayment to lender) has been agreed expressly or by implication - if it has, remedies of equity may be invoked to give effect to it. So ?2 questions a) Whether terms upon which the loan was made were such as to impress upon the money a trust in lender's favour, in the event the dividend wasn't paid?
b) Whether, in that event, the bank had such notice of the trust or circs giving rise to it as to make the trust binding upon it? (notice must be had when bank received the money)
? Webb: 3 issues a) Whilst secondary trust is clear (arose in favour of the lender), primary trust is more mysterious
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