LAW 3511 - Commercial Equity

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

This course considers the application of equitable principles to modern commercial life. Issues that may be looked at include: commercial fiduciaries, including joint venturers; equitable security transactions, with particular regard to Romalpa clauses; subrogation and contribution; set-off; marshalling; trusts in a commercial context: trusts and superannuation; the Quistclose trust; the imposition of constructive trusts into commerce; commercial trustees; commercial equitable remedies, particularly Mareva injunctions and Anton Piller orders.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 3511
    Course Commercial Equity
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 2502
    Incompatible LAW 2100
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Course Description This course considers the application of equitable principles to modern commercial life. Issues that may be looked at include: commercial fiduciaries, including joint venturers; equitable security transactions, with particular regard to Romalpa clauses; subrogation and contribution; set-off; marshalling; trusts in a commercial context: trusts and superannuation; the Quistclose trust; the imposition of constructive trusts into commerce; commercial trustees; commercial equitable remedies, particularly Mareva injunctions and Anton Piller orders.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Samuel Cummings

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Analyse, evaluate and apply advanced principles of equity law in a commercial context, undertake legal research using a range of primary and secondary materials at a foundational level.

    2. Identify relevant legal issues and apply relevant legal principles to generate solutions to complex problems relating to equitable dealings in commercial settings.

    3. Develop well-structured, cohesive and persuasive written arguments for a legal audience.

    4. Exercise judgement in the identification and application of relevant legal principles to a commercial equity dispute in an academic environment.

    5. Embody professionalism and ethical behaviour in providing legal advice in an academic environment.

    6. Use reflection and feedback to inform development of the capacity to effectively analyse problems and apply relevant legal principles to generate meaningful solutions.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,2,3,4,5 and 6.
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1,2,3,4,5 and 6
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    2,3,4 and 6.
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3,4, 5 and 6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    3, 4, 5 and 6.
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    3, 4, 5 and 6.
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    There is no set text for this subject as no appropriate book has been written.

    Recommended Resources

    Students can use their books from the subject Equity. For example, in 2018 the text for Equity was Radan and Stewart Principles of Australian Equity and Trusts (3rd ed). Other useful books include Heydon, Leeming and Turner  Meagher, Gummow and Lehane’s Equity Doctrines and Remedies (5th ed). This book is very highly regarded in the profession, and, in itself, makes the book noteworthy. But it is very expensive and extremely difficult.  But it is very important book.  Also a former author of it, as well as a current author, are former members of the High Court. Also students might refer to On Equity by Justice P W Young AO, Clyde Croft QC, Megan Smith (2009).  So there are lots of very good Australian works on Equity.  

    Online Learning
    Although I intend to record all lectures, technological problems have been known to occur. Therefore, student access to the online recordings may be delayed. Therefore, all students are strongly encouraged to attend the lectures.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be taught by a series of lectures. In addition, there will be weekly seminars.  The lectures will provide the information, whereas the seminars will examine the course by undertaking problem solving by using the information supplied by the lectures.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (ie those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This is a three unit subject. Obviously, much of the time devoted to this subject comes from the student’s own reading. It is extremely important to realise that this commitment of time is expected and assumed of all students. Please refer to Access Adelaide for your timetable and enrolment details.
    Learning Activities Summary
    As time is limited, we will examine only the major applications of equity in a commercial context.
    • Topic One (Week 1): Introduction (Equity in a Commercial Context-Should Equity Involve Itself with Commerce?)
    • Topic Two (Weeks 2-3): Equity in the Trade Practices Act/ Competition and Consumer Act
    • Topic Three (Weeks 4-7): Fiduciary Obligation
    • Topic Four (Week 8): Breach Of Confidence
    • Topic Five (Weeks 9-10): Subrogation and Contribution
    • Topic Six (Weeks 11-12): Relief Against Penalties and Forfeiture
    The weekly timetable is indicative only, and the timing and what is covered may change depending upon a range of factors.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type (Group or Individual)
    Due Weighting Length Redeemable Course Learning Outcome
    Case Analysis Individual

    2pm 20th September

    30% 2 x 1000 words Yes (provided 40% or bona fide effort) 1-6
    Online Quiz Individual 2pm 1st Nov 10% N.A. No 1-6
    Research Essay Individual 2pm 4th Nov 60% 4000 words No 1-6
    Assessment Detail

    The first piece of assessment involves a case analysis. This will require students to write two 1000 word pieces of case analysis (that is, students will write a total of 2,000 words).   However, only one will be marked and returned to students. Generic feedback will be provided on the case which is not assessed. The cases will be distributed to students early in the course and will be due on Monday 23rd September. As two components (that is, two casenotes) constitute this first piece of assessment, the date of submission for both casenotes will be when the last casenote of the two is submitted. For example, if one casenote is submitted on the 23rd but the other casenote is not submitted until the 27th then both casenotes will be marked as if they were submitted on the 27th.

    The second piece of assessment is On Line Assessment.  It is worth 10% of the final mark.  It will be from available from 2pm 28th October and due by 2pm Friday 1st November. The on line assessment is compulsory. The on line assessment is a multiple choice quiz, consisting of a series of twenty questions. To avoid cheating, the 20 questions are randomly pulled selected from a pool of 40 questions, so each student gets a unique quiz. A student has to do in a one hour block. It will be available from 2pm on the Monday of week 12 and due by 2pm of the Friday of week 12. Essentially although the online assessment can be done at anytime during week 12, this online assessment must be done in one single 1 hour block. It can't be broken up. It is redeemable, provided the total mark achieved is a passing one.


    The third piece of assessment is in the form an essay question of 4,000 words. This requires research as the questions involve answers which are built on, but extend, what has been covered in lectures. Therefore it essential that students attended lectures in this course. The question(s) will be distributed by the end of the course. They will be made available on MyUni on Friday 1th November. The due date of the third piece of assessment is Monday 4th November at 2pm.


    Breaches of either due date, without an extension, may be penalized in accordance with Law School policy. Late penalties will be enforced at 5% of the marks available per day or part thereof. If seeking an extension the Law School policy must be followed.


    The word limit for both pieces of assessment include all footnotes. This limit MUST be observed. Breaches of the word limit may be penalized in accordance with Law School policy. Assignments which exceed the allocated length (word limit or page limit) will be subject to a penalty of 5% of total marks available per 100 words or part thereof (ie an essay graded 63% will have 5% deducted if it is 2001 words long, for a final grade of 58%, 10% if it is 2101 words long, etc). Words are calculated including all footnotes and headings within the text but excluding cover page information. Quotations and all referencing information are included in the word count.

    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All assignments in this course are to be submitted electronically through Turnitin. Details for electronic submission through Turnitin will be provided with the assignment instructions.

    All written work in the Law school is required to comply with the approved Law School style guide, The Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

    Extensions: Requests for extensions must be made electronically according to law school policy. Extensions will be granted only for unexpected illness, hardship or on compassionate grounds in accordance with University Policy. Work commitments, travel, holidays or sporting engagements are not unexpected circumstances.

    Turnaround time: The interim assignments for this course will be returned to students within 2 – 4 weeks of the submission date. Individual feedback will be provided.

    Late Submission Penalties
    When an assessment is submitted after the due date, without an extension, 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend and public holidays. For example, an essay that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc.

    Word Length Penalties
    5% of the total mark possible for a written assessment will be deducted for every 100 words (or part thereof) by which it exceeds a stipulated word limit. For example, a 3,000 word essay graded at 63% will have 5% deducted if it is between 3,001 and 3,100 words long for a final mark of 58%. If the essay is between 3,101 and 3,200 words long, 10% will be deducted for a final mark of 53%, etc. Word limits include all words in the text, in headings, in quotations. If the word limit is misstated, this may be regarded as academic dishonesty.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible  moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment  results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is  required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Acess Adelaide at the end of each semester.

    Finality of Assessment Grades

    Students are advised that Course Coordinators will not enter into negotiations of any kind with any student regarding changes to their grades. It is irrelevant, in any given circumstance, that only a minimal number of additional marks are required to inflate a student’s grade for any individual assessment item or course as a whole. Pursuant to the University’s Assessment for Coursework
    Programs Policyand the Adelaide Law School Assessment Policies and Procedures, grades may only be varied through the  appropriate channels for academic review (such as an official re-mark).


    In accordance with the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, course coordinators ‘ensure that appropriate marking guidelines and cross-marking moderation processes across markers are in place’ in each course. Procedures adopted by Adelaide Law School to ensure consistency of marking in courses with multiple markers include:

    *assurance of the qualifications of markers, and their knowledge of the content covered in each course;
    *detailed marking guidelines and assessment rubrics to assist in the marking of items of assessment;
    *sharing of example marked assessments at various grade bands across markers;
    *reviewing of selected marked assessments from each marker by the course coordinator;
    *comparison of the marks and their distribution across markers;
    *automatic double-marking of all interim assessment receiving a fail grade, and of final assessments where a student’s overall result is a fail grade;
    *the availability of re-marking of assessments in accordance with Adelaide Law School’s Assessment Policies and Procedures.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    The centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    Lex Salus Program
    Lex Salus (law and wellbeing) is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at destigmatising mental health issues; promoting physical, mental and emotional wellness; building a strong community of staff and students; and celebrating diversity within the school. It also seeks to promote wellness within the legal profession, through the involvement of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, the Honourable Chris Kourakis, as the official Patron of the program.

    Students can participate in the Lex Salus program by attending barbecue lunches, pancake breakfasts, knitting and crochet circles, seminars, guest speakers, conferences and other activities. Our Facebook page, website and regular all-student emails promote upcoming events, and have tips and information on wellness.

    Our Lex Salus YouTube channel also includes videos on topics like managing stress, and interviews with LGBTQ lawyers and their supporters which celebrate diversity and individuality. Students who commit to 10 hours of volunteering with Lex Salus in one year can have their service recognised on their academic transcript and through a thank you morning tea with the Chief Justice and law school staff.

    Student Life Counselling Support
    The University’s Student Life Counselling Support service provides free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Student Life Counselling Support service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life.
  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at:

    Academic Honesty

    Academic dishonesty is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.

    Academic dishonesty is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Academic dishonesty (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.