Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
LA10110 or LA30110 or LA15710
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 30 Hours. Two one hour lectures per week
Seminars / Tutorials 6 Hours. Three one hour seminars per semester


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay: 1000 words (required in week 7 of Semester 2)  33%
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   67%
Supplementary Assessment 1.5 Hours   By retaking the failed element (ie written assignment or examination or both, as applicable) 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

To give students an understanding of the legal rules governing the establishment and management of Trusts, and the analytical skills to appreciate and evaluate complex property transactions and concepts. To develop logical skills, including the application of relevant information to solving complex legal problems, and to convey the skills necessary to analyse complex factual situations.

Brief description

Students need to study Equity and the Law of Trusts in order to gain exemption from the Law Society and Bar Part I examinations. Trusts are set up for many reasons, for instance joint ownership of the matrimonial home; to avoid the payment of tax; to provide for infants, the elderly or mentally disordered persons; or to protect people from their own excesses or what the settlor perceives to be their excesses. In these cases the trusts are set up deliberately and usually after considerable forethought and advice. In other cases, giving is spontaneous and here the law has to find a framework within which to administer the resulting fund. This occurs when appeals are made following disasters, such as the fire at the Bradford City football ground, when the Zeebrugge ferry sank, or following the oil spillage off the coast of the Shetland Islands. After the murder in Liverpool of the little boy, James Bulger, an appeal was made to help the family overcome the tragedy and for the benefit of the local community. People had been sending money for many days and lawyers had to find a way of handling it and of using it to specific ends. A trust was formed for this purpose. Some of these appeals acquire charitable status, but many do not. This module looks at the definition of charity and the many anomalies in the law. For instance, why are disaster funds often denied charitable status; why was a fund to promote the writing of Joanna Southcote, a woman who believed herself pregnant by the holy ghost, granted charitable status as being for the advancement of religion, but not a fund for the benefit of an enclosed order of Roman Catholic nuns? Why have trusts for some highly eccentric purposes been upheld when no living person could possibly benefit? The role of trusts in promoting public policy and the increasing importance of trusts in commercial law is also considered. The role and availability of equitable remedies will be considered also. Students taking Equity and Trusts should have already studied Land or should be taking that course at the same time. It builds on the skills acquired in land law, but also consolidates and extends them.


The module has three aims. The first aim is to provide students with a firm grounding in the principles and rules of Equity and Trusts. Next, students are to be furnished with sufficient knowledge to assess critically the place of Equity and Trusts in the financial and fiscal arrangements of private citizens and of commerce in general and to apply that knowledge appropriately in a range of scenarios. Within theseobjectives it is also the aim of the course to build upon and develop broader skills including effective communication and independent research and study. The final aim is to assist those students wishing to gain exemption from the Law Society / Bar Part I examinations.


1(a). Equitable principles and remedies
development of equity and equitable remedies
reasons for the development of trusts
trusts as tax avoidance method
trusts as protective devices
trusts in commerce

(b). Remedies and the importance of interlocutory procedures in practice
injunctions: interlocutory, final and freezing injunctions and search orders
reservation of title and tracing
specific performance
damages in equity
account of profits

(c). The Law of Trusts

2. Trusts for the benefit of persons

(a) Creation of a trust
requirement of certainty
Intention to create a trust

(b) Certainty of beneficiaries
Trusts and Powers
nature of the beneficial interest

(c) Certainty of property

3. Intestacy

4. Charitable Trusts

5. Unincorporated Associations

6. Powers & Duties of Trustees
Fiduciary Position of Trustees

7. Variation of Trusts
termination under Saunders v Vautier
variation of trusts
Variation of Trusts Act 1958

Reading List

Recommended Text
Edwards, Richard (2007.) Trusts and equity /Richard Edwards, Nigel Stockwell. 8th ed. Longman Primo search Hudson, Alastair. (2007.) Equity and trusts /Alastair Hudson. 5th ed. Routledge-Cavendish Primo search Maudsley, Ronald Harling. (2008.) Maudsley and Burn's trusts and trustees :cases and materials. 7th ed. Oxford University Press Primo search Pearce, Robert A. (2006.) The law of trusts and equitable obligations /Robert A. Pearce, John Stevens. 4th ed. Oxford University Press Primo search Pettit, Philip H (2005.) Equity and the law of trusts /Philip H. Pettit. 10th ed. Oxford University Press Primo search Watt, Gary. (2008.) Trusts and equity /Gary Watt. 3rd ed. Oxford University Press Primo search

Ramjohn, Mohamed. (2008.) Unlocking trusts /Mohamed Ramjohn. 2nd ed. Hodder Arnold Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6