Does ‘equity’s darling’ need a legal title? Reassessing Pilcher v Rawlins

Reilly, A. (2016) Does ‘equity’s darling’ need a legal title? Reassessing Pilcher v Rawlins. Journal of Equity, 10(2), pp. 89-114.

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Wherever the common law has been exported so too has been ‘equity’s darling’. That the bona fide purchaser of a legal estate for value without notice takes free of prior equitable rights is well-known to lawyers across the common law world. Yet a rule defined in terms of the legal estate leaves much of English private law conceptually uncertain: when, if ever, can the purchaser of a purely equitable interest take free of other equitable interests? This article focusses on a prior question: on what basis does equity’s darling need the legal estate? The textbooks treat this as a question of legal authority and cite Pilcher v Rawlins. However, when we place that decision within its historical context it is clear that its ratio does not concern the defence of good faith purchase in any way. As such, the scope of that defence merits renewed analysis.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Reilly, Dr Adam
Authors: Reilly, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Journal Name:Journal of Equity
ISSN (Online):1833-2137
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 LexisNexis Australia
First Published:First published in Journal of Equity 10(2):89-114

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