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Module Co-ordinator: Dr Christine Beuermann
Aims and objectives of the module
The aims of this module are to enable students to develop knowledge and understanding of the
fundamental principles of Equity and the law of trusts, and to understand the dynamic role of
Equity in the historical and modern legal system. These aims will be achieved through directed
learning, class participation, individual study and formal assessment.
By the end of this module you should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge
a detailed understanding of the fundamental principles of Equity and the use and operation
of different types of trusts;

a critical appreciation of the historical, social, jural and commercial relevance of Equity;

a developing appreciation of how judges exercise judicial discretion when deciding

difficult cases.
During the course of this module you should develop and consolidate the following skills
Subject skills:
Legal problem-solving. Ability to identify relevant issues, apply relevant concepts,
principles and rules, identify evidence needed, identify potential counter-arguments, make
judgements and reach supported conclusions on the basis of sound and informed reasoning;
Ability to write and speak with care and precision in the analysis and synthesis of the law;
Ability to structure argument and analysis;
Ability to identify issues for research and to retrieve accurate and relevant legal and other
sources in primary and secondary form, both in paper and digital formats.
Cognitive skills:
Analysis. Identifying and ordering issues by relevance and importance;
Synthesis of materials from diverse sources;
Critical judgement. Discernment between the merits or otherwise of particular arguments
and counter-arguments;
Evaluation. Making a reasoned choice between competing solutions or arguments.

Teaching methods and teaching staff

This module runs across both semesters and will be taught by a combination of lectures and
seminars. All lectures are delivered by the Module Co-ordinator, Dr Christine Beuermann. The
seminars are led by Dr Jane Ball, Dr Christine Beuermann, Mr Ian Dawson and Mr Derek
There will be thirty lectures and five cycles of seminars. The lectures will introduce and discuss
the fundamental elements of each subject area. A synopsis will be provided setting out both the

essential and additional readings for each topic. Further handouts and materials will be provided
in class. The synopsis, handouts and any additional materials will be placed on Blackboard for
online access.
The seminars are intended to develop knowledge and understanding of the subject areas, and to
develop skills of legal analysis, problem solving and argument. Seminars will thus combine
problem solving with a discussion of wider issues related to the subject under consideration.



$Module Outline - Lectures


Introduction to equity historical development and place in the law of

obligations [2 lectures]
Broad history of Equity and the Court of Chancery; reasons for its emergence,
features and purposes, its development as a body of law; Equitable maxims;
fusion of administration under the Judicature Acts 1873-5.

Equitable remedies [5 lectures]

The significance of remedies to the ongoing use of Equity; the different ways in
which Equity can provide remedies (auxiliary and original jurisdictions); specific
remedies available in Equity.

Equitable wrongs [3 lectures]

The concept of wrongs, both proscriptive and prescriptive; specific wrongs
recognised by Equity.

Introduction to trusts (equitable property rights and the commercial

significance of trusts) [2 lectures]
Broad history of the development of the use and the trust (arguably Equitys
greatest contribution to English jurisprudence); the nature of the trust and its comparison
with other trust-like concepts; the significance of the trust in
commercial relationships.
Creation of express trusts [4 lectures]
The requirements of a valid trust: the three certainties of intention, subject matter,
objects, including an examination of the distinction between discretionary trusts
and fixed trusts, position of beneficiaries, powers of appointment and trust
powers; statutory formalities - sections 52 & 53 LPA 1925; constitution of the
trust, including declaration of self as trustee, transfer of property to trustees to be
held upon trust; an examination of the position re an incompletely constituted
trust; rule that Equity will not assist a volunteer and its exceptions.

Resulting trusts [2 lectures]

Resulting trusts and the situations in which they arise; rebutting the presumption
of a resulting trust.

Constructive trusts [2 lectures]

Constructive trusts and the situations in which they arise; institutional vremedial constructive trusts; place of constructive trusts in the area of


Management and administration of trusts [2 lectures]

Duties and powers of trustees, including power of investment; delegation of

Control of trusts and trustees [2 lectures]

The need for control; general law mechanisms; supervision by beneficiaries;
trustee exemption clauses.

Remedies against strangers to the trust [2 lectures]

Trustee de son tort; dishonestly assisting in a breach of trust; knowing receipt.

The future of equity [2 lectures]

What role does conscience play in equity? Is equity beyond child bearing?
What constraints should there be on the exercise of judicial discretion, if any?
Should courts be as willing to grant proprietary remedies, as they are personal

Extra sessions on practice questions and revision classes may be held in semester 2

$Module Outline - Seminars

The seminar questions can be found in the booklet titled Seminar Programme (also available on
Blackboard). The seminar programme will follow the format as laid out below: [NOTE the
seminar weeks may be subject to change, please check your timetable]
Seminar 1

Semester 1, Timetable weeks 9 & 10

What is equity?/equitable remedies

Seminar 2

Semester 1, Timetable weeks 11 & 12

Equitable wrongs

Seminar 3

Semester 1, Timetable weeks 13 & 14

Express trusts

Seminar 4

Semester 2, Timetable weeks 24 & 25

Trust management

Seminar 5

Semester 2 Timetable weeks 26 & 27

Remedies against trustees and strangers

to the trust

To find out seminar groups and times check your personal timetable on the Network. You must
attend your allocated seminar time and seminar group. You will not be admitted into
another seminar group without good cause.
Seminars are compulsory, and attendance will be monitored. If you will be absent from a
seminar you must inform your seminarist of the reason for your absence before the seminar is due
to take place (contact email addresses are provided on page 6). There is no guarantee that you
will be admitted to another seminar group as a result of your absence. Such admittance will be
subject to good cause, availability and the discretion of your seminarist.

$Module Assessment

4 Assessed coursework
You are required to submit one piece of assessed coursework (this year it will be a problem style
question). This coursework must not exceed 2000 words and will account for 33% of the final
mark for this module. The coursework must comply with the Law Schools rules for the
submission of assessed coursework and style (see Undergraduate Degree Programme Handbook).
For guidance on grading, you are referred to the Law Schools description of levels of
attainment, also in the Undergraduate Degree Programme Handbook.

The coursework question for 2015/2016 is:

Jenny and Sam are two university friends who purchased a rural property, Rocky Road,
on Druridge Bay, Northumberland in October 2010. The property was formerly a
conference centre. It has 20 residential units and a meeting hall. Jenny and Sam decided to
renovate the property and to turn it into a retreat centre for stressed London lawyers.
Sam has legal title to the property. The total purchase price was 1,000,000. Jenny
contributed 100,000 to the purchase price. Sam contributed 300,000 and took out a
mortgage of 600,000 in her own name. Jenny did not want her name to go on the title
because she wanted to preserve her entitlement to social security benefits. She listed her
residential address as a house in Newcastle. Sam was aware of this, and the social security
payments formed part of their household income.
The retreat centre opened in July 2011. It was a phenomenal success. It was featured in
lawyers magazines and became a key place for lawyers to discuss business issues while
ostensibly relaxing on weekends. Jenny and Sam worked hard running the retreat centre.
They did not take a proper salary, and paid for many of their living expenses out of the
funds of the retreat centre. The mortgage instalments on the property were paid from the
earnings of the retreat centre. Sam said on one occasion before the property was purchased
that she regarded Rocky Road as being as much Jennys as hers. Later, at the end of
2013, she told Jenny: Whatever happens we will divide the profits from this venture
equally. By July 2014, the mortgage debt had been discharged.
In August 2015, Jenny and Sam had a serious disagreement. So strong was the
disagreement that Jenny left and demanded her share of the profits of the venture. Sam
decided that the best course was to sell Rocky Road. The property was sold in October
2015 for 2,000,000. The proceeds for sale were placed in an account with the
Trustworthy Investment Bank.
Jenny is seeking 1,000,000 as her half share of the proceeds of sale of Rocky Road.

Advise Jenny on the merits of her claim.

The deadline is Monday, 1st February 2016 (see separate Law School notice for submission

@ Examination
You are also required to sit one unseen written examination which will account for 67% of the
final mark for this module. The examination will last 2 hours, during which time you will be
required to answer 2 questions one compulsory problem style question, and one essay question
(from a choice of 3). As this is the first time this exam format will be used for this module, two
sample examination papers will be available on Blackboard. In addition, please note that some of
the seminar questions can also be seen as examples of examination questions.
The approved source material for this module is Blackstones Statutes on Property Law of
which annotation and marking are NOT permitted - see further below page 6.

6 Summary of module hours

This 20 credit module involves 200 study hours. They are allocated as follows:
Consolidating understanding of lectures and wider reading
Seminar preparation
Surgery / drop in
Essay preparation and writing
Wider reading and exam revision

30 hours
45 hours
45 hours
5 hours
1 hour
30 hours
44 hours
200 hours


The recommended text for this module is:

Robert Pearce and Warren Barr, The Law of Trusts and Equitable Obligations (6th ed,
OUP 2014)
There will also be a number of readings from the following book (which is available online
through the library):
Sarah Worthington, Equity (2nd ed, OUP 2006)

Whilst the synopsis will refer to the textbooks named above, there are a number of other
Equity & Trusts texts on the market, and you may also like to refer to one or all of the
Gardner, An Introduction to the Law of Trusts (3rd ed, OUP, 2011)

Garton, Moffat, Bean and Probert, Moffats Trusts Law (6th ed, CUP 2015)
Heydon, Leeming and Turner, Meager, Gummor and Lehanes Equity Doctrines and

Remedies (5th ed, LexisNexis Butterworths, 2015)

Hudson, Equity and Trusts (8th ed, Routledge, 2014)
Penner, The Law of Trusts (9th ed, OUP, 2014)
Pettit, Equity and the Law of Trusts (12th ed, OUP, 2012)
Virgo, The Principles of Equity and Trusts (OUP, 2012)
Wilson, Todd & Wilson, Textbook on Trusts, 12th Edn, (Oxford, OUP, 2015)

Module Discussion Board

There is a discussion board available on the Modules Blackboard website. All questions about
the module and its topics should be asked via this discussion board. This is to ensure fairness and
to allow everyone to participate.




* Blackstones Statutes on Property Law, OUP

Where an item of source material is approved, it must not be assumed that there will
necessarily be at least one question on the examination paper which requires the use of
that material.
In the case of an item of source material indicated by * candidates are permitted to use
in the examination room their own copy of the approved source material which may
NOT be annotated or marked in any way.
Invigilators may inspect source material at any time during an examination and may
confiscate any which is not approved in accordance with these rules.
It is the responsibility of candidates to familiarise themselves with these rules.
Duplicate source material will NOT be provided in the examination room.
Candidates must, therefore, ensure that they have with them any source material which
they are permitted to take into the examination room. It is also their responsibility to
ensure that they do NOT take there any source material which is annotated or marked
when it should not be. The latter is NOT approved source material.