Q&As

What is the limitation period for knowing receipt?

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Produced in partnership with Oliver Hilton of Radcliffe Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 30/07/2018

The following Wills & Probate Q&A produced in partnership with Oliver Hilton of Radcliffe Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What is the limitation period for knowing receipt?

What is the limitation period for knowing receipt?

The concept of ‘knowing receipt’ is an aspect of trust law, and in particular provides for a remedy against those who receive trust property which has been transferred in breach of trust. The remedy lies where the defendant receives the property for their own benefit in circumstances where they have the requisite knowledge that the property was trust property and transferred to them in breach of trust. In such circumstances, it is said that the recipient holds the received property on constructive trust.

The question is whether the recipient as such can rely on a defence of limitation for the recovery of that property. The relevant limitation period is contained in section 21 of Limitation Act 1980 (LA 1980), as follows:

‘(1) No period of limitation prescribed by this Act shall apply to an action by a beneficiary under a trust, being an action—

(a) in respect of any fraud or fraudulent breach of trust to which the trustee was a party or privy; or

(b) to recover from the trustee trust property or the proceeds of trust property in the possession of the trustee, or previously received by the trustee and

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