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Module Title Equity and Trusts
Module Code LA2002
Module Level 5
Contact email The Undergraduate Laws Programme courses are run in collaboration
with the University of London International Programmes. Enquiries
may be made via the Student Advice Centre at:
Credit 30
Courses on which this LLB, EMFSS
module is offered
Module Pre-requisite None
Notional Study Time 300 hours
Equity and Trusts is one of the seven foundation modules required for a qualifying law degree (QLD)
in England and Wales. Standard Entry and Graduate Entry students on a QLD pathway must pass an
examination in the module in order to meet the requirements of their course.

o This module deals with the rules and principles governing the creation and operation of trusts a
particular method of holding property that developed historically primarily to preserve family
wealth, particularly by minimising liability to taxation. The syllabus focuses on three broad areas:

1. the requirements for establishing a valid trust (including express private trusts; charitable
trusts; implied and resulting trusts; constructive trusts);
2. the powers and obligations of trustees under a valid trust (including appointment,
retirement and removal of trustees);
3. the remedies available when trustees act improperly.

This module aims to provide students with a solid understanding of the fundamental principles
of the modern law of trusts and an appreciation of the controversies and difficulties that can
be encountered in this area of law.


Students completing this module are expected to have knowledge and understanding of the main
concepts and principles of Equity and Trusts. In particular they should be able to:

1. Contextualise the modern law of trusts within its historical origins and the role of equity in
its enforcement;
2. Classify types of trusts and identify their main distinctive features and purposes;
3. Identify and apply relevant statutory frameworks to the law of trusts;
4. Explain how breaches of trusts arise and identify appropriate available remedies;
5. Explore key issues in judicial decision making, including ethical and societal considerations,
and demonstrate knowledge of the wider academic debates.
Students completing this module should be able to demonstrate the ability to:

6. Apply knowledge to practical problems and theoretical enquiries demonstrating the ability
to think critically about the issues arising;
7. Summarise key arguments advanced in judicial opinions and academic writings;
8. Distinguish lines of argument and judge relative strengths and weaknesses;
9. Use appropriate legal terminologies specific to the law of Equity and Ttrusts.


Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) benchmark statement for Law (2015).

(a) Definition and distinction from other legal concepts. Classification of trusts. Equitable rights and
(b) Express private trusts. Statutory requirements for creation. Secret trusts. Incompletely
constituted trusts. Certainties of a trust. Protective trusts. Discretionary trusts. Purpose trusts.
(c) Trustees powers and duties. Investment of trust funds. Maintenance and advancement.
Accumulation of income. Delegation of trustees powers and discretions.
(d) Charitable trusts. Definition. Distinctions from private trusts. Classification of charitable trusts.
Doctrine of cy prs.
(e) Resulting trusts. Voluntary conveyances. Purchase in the name of another. Failed trusts.
Presumptions of resulting trust and advancement. Why resulting trusts arise?
(f) Constructive trusts. General nature. Constructive trusts of wrongful enrichment and unjust
enrichment. Constructive trusts arising for other reasons, including the contractual vendor as a
constructive trustee. Comparison with proprietary estoppel.
(g) The appointment, retirement and removal of trustees.
(h) Variation of trusts.
(i) Remedies for breach of trust. Trustees liability to account. Equitable compensation. Exemption
clauses. Trustees right of indemnity or contribution. Dishonest assistance. Knowing receipt.
(j) Claims based on tracing. Tracing rules. Trusts, liens, and subrogation.


Module guide
Module guides are the students primary learning resource. The module guide covers the entire
syllabus and provides the student with the grounding to complete the module successfully. It sets
out the learning outcomes that must be achieved as well as providing advice on how to study the
module. It also includes the essential reading and a series of self-test activities together with sample
examination questions, designed to enable students to test their understanding. The module guide
is supplemented each year with the pre-exam update, made available on the VLE.

The Laws Virtual Learning Environment

The Laws VLE provides one centralised location where the following resources are provided:
a module page with news and updates, provided by legal academics associated with the
Laws Programme;
a complete version of the module guides;
online audio presentations;
pre-exam updates;
past examination papers and reports;
discussion forums where students can debate and interact with other students;
Computer Marked Assessments multiple choice questions with feedback are available for
some modules allowing students to test their knowledge and understanding of the key

The Online Library

The Online Library provides access to:
the professional legal databases LexisLibrary and Westlaw;
cases and up-to-date statutes;
key academic law journals;
law reports;
links to important websites.

Core reading
Students should refer to the following core text. Specific reading references are provided for this
text in each chapter of the module guide:

Penner, J.E. The law of trusts. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016) tenth edition
[ISBN 9780198747598].

Any recent edition of this book can be used.

Learning is supported through formative activities in the module guide, which include self-
assessment activities with feedback. There are additional online activities in the form of multiple
choice questions. The activities allow students to make an assessment of their knowledge and
understanding and also help them to develop skills listed in outcomes 69. The formative activities
prepare students to achieve the module learning outcomes tested in the summative assessment.

Summative assessment is through a three hour and fifteen minute unseen examination. Students
are required to answer three questions out of six. Summative assessment questions test learning
outcomes 19.

Permitted materials
Students are permitted to bring into the examination room the following specified document: Core
statutes on property law 2017-18 (Palgrave Macmillan).