Backwards Tracing, Causal Links and Unjust Enrichment in Economic Reality: Relfo Ltd v Varsani [2014] EWCA Civ 360 Extended Case Comment

Introduction

Al Capone was reputed to have said ‘if you’re going to steal, steal big.’ It hardly needs adding that one would be well advised to place those ill-gotten gains beyond the reach of the law. These principles seem to have guided the fiduciary in the recent Court of Appeal case of Relfo Ltd v Varsani [2014] EWCA Civ 360. However, reminiscent of the contemporaneous case of FHR European Ventures LLP v Cedar Capital Partners LLC [2014] UKSC 45, [2014] 3 WLR 535 it seems the appellate courts will take a dim view of such activities and will reshape the law to make it easier for a claimant to achieve restitution of the sums abstracted.

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I have been attracting followers. Diverse followers. Not even criminologists, or law and economics scholars, critical legal theorists or other unusual characters in the great and diverse menagerie of law. It’s a shame, because I welcome relevant comments on my posts by anyone who takes a genuine interest.

No, these new followers’ blogs have been completely unconnected with my musings, which, let’s face it, are a minority interest. Why, oh why, would they want to follow me?

The only possible reason is that they want reciprocal follows, or even mere viewing statistics. People, COME ON! This is quite pathetic. Build a proper network upon quality, not quantity. Anyone who scrutinises your pages won’t be fooled by these false and fraudulent inflations. At best you’ll look like you’re building a social network, not a professional one. At worse you’ll be dismissed as fake.

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Conference Paper: The Evolution of Knowing Receipt

The Society of Legal Scholars 2014 Conference has just gone by. I presented my (first ever) paper, The Evolution of Knowing Receipt, to the Property and Trusts section.

EDIT: I have removed the paper from academia.edu because an updated version is to be published in the Journal of Business Law.

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FHR v Cedar and Early Career Publication

I have it on good authority that established academics tend not to write many case notes any more. This is because they do not qualify for the REF, and therefore are not a good use of time where there are plenty of other pressures.

The corollary of this is that early career researchers have better opportunities to cut their teeth on case notes, both in terms of developing writing skills and getting their names about.

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Case Study: How to Watch Supreme Court TV

Supreme Court TV has been live since May 2011, running on the same infrastructure that brings Sky Sports to your computer or mobile device. But does it have any practical use to the student of law? If the sheer number of members of the public coming in but leaving quickly is anything to go by, it’s a minority interest. Moreover, court hearings have a reputation for being slow and difficult. Some would even say boring. But sometimes, a case will come up of intense interest to the would-be viewer. After all, the test for permission to appeal is whether the case is of public interest or if it might ‘raise an arguable point of law of general public importance which ought to be considered by the Supreme Court’. In other words, if it is one’s hobby-horse.

That attracted me to the appeal of FHR European Ventures LLP v Cedar Capital Partners LLC. I watched the 2½ day hearing from 17–19 June 2014, before an expanded, 7-judge court on account of its importance, naturally. Yes, it is possible to take a number of useful things from it, both in terms of legal argument, strategy, as well as – perhaps – how the Court is minded to develop the law. To assist anyone who is thinking of using this resource, here follows a report, guide and analysis of this experience.

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