Knowing receipt and dishonest assistance claims
Knowing receipt and dishonest assistance claims

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Knowing receipt and dishonest assistance claims
  • What is a claim for knowing receipt?
  • What is a claim for dishonest assistance?
  • Who are fiduciaries in knowing receipt and dishonest assistance claims?
  • Knowing receipt—elements of the claim
  • Knowing receipt—what is trust property?
  • Knowing receipt—what knowledge is required?
  • Knowing receipt—beneficial receipt of the defendant
  • Knowing receipt—causal link between the breach and the receipt
  • Knowing receipt—remedies
  • more

Claims for knowing receipt (sometimes also known as ‘unconscionable receipt’) and for dishonest assistance are sometimes referred to as ‘accessory liability’ in that they involve pursuing a defendant who has been involved in causing loss to the claimant in an accessory or secondary role, either through receiving trust property in the knowledge that it comes following a breach of trust or breach of fiduciary duty or by dishonestly assisting another to breach their trust or fiduciary duties to the claimant—in this way the defendant’s potential liability is by way of accessory to the main event of the breach of trust or of fiduciary duty.

Such claims are often pursued in the context of some manner of fraudulent or wrongful behaviour somewhere along the line in which the defendant has become involved. Accordingly, such claims are therefore sometimes pursued as well as, or in the alternative to, pursuing criminal sanction.

Dishonest assistance requires a dishonest mental state on the part of the defendant, knowing receipt requires knowledge as to the circumstances in which the defendant received property. The requirements for establishing such claims are considered in more detail below.

What is a claim for knowing receipt?

When a third party (the defendant) receives assets which have been disposed of in breach trust or breach of fiduciary duty but contends that the assets have