LAW 3511 - Commercial Equity

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

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: Mr David Wright

    David Wright will be available for consultation at the following times:

    Thursdays between 2pm and 4pm in room 328.

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Analyse the advanced principles of equity, undertake (self-directed) legal research advanced level, and evaluate complex legal information.It is vital to realize that Equity potentially operates in most areas of commercial law. It is extremely important to have a proper understanding how Equity (frequently considered somewhat vague and lacking rigour) interacts with the hard nose world of commerce. Commercial Equity is designed to give students an appreciation of the dilemma of Equity's operation in a commercial context, as well as an understanding of how the courts have attempted to resolve this dilemma.
    2. Apply equity law to complex problems/ issues posed by the commercial context.  Further, critique the operation of equity law from both  theoretical and policy perspective.
    3. Structure and sustain concise and cohesive written arguments for a legal/professional/general/mixed audiences.
    4. Conduct legal research and analysis.
    5. Analyse the impact and operation of commercial equity from policy/comparative/international perspectives as most Common Law countries are grappling with the same issues but are arriving at different conclusions.
    6. Students will reflect on and evaluate their abilities to effectively undertake work as a member of a team.
    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 2016 the text for Equity was Radan and Stewart Principles of Australian Equity and Trusts (3rd ed). in 2010 and 2011 the text for Equity was Dal Pont and Chalmers Equity and Trusts in Australia and New Zealand (4th ed) In 2007 and 2008 the text for Equity was Evans, Equity and Trusts (1ST ED). In 2009 the text for Equity was Evans, Equity and Trusts (2ND ED). In 2006, Heydon and Loughlan as well as Dal Pont and Chalmers Equity and Trusts in Australia and New Zealand (3rd ed) were the prescribed (it should be noted that the 4th edition is now available). 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 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 Item % of final Mark due date length redeemable learning objective
    Case Analysis 30 2pm 18th September 1,000 words each Y (provided mark is a passing mark) [1-6]
    On line learning Assessment 10 2pm 27th October N/ A Y (provided mark is a passing mark) [1-6]
    Research Essay 60 2pm 6th Nov 2,000 words N [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 18th 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 18th but the other casenote is not submitted until the 23th then both casenotes will be marked as if they were submitted on the 23th.

    The second piece of assessment is On Line Assessment.  It is worth 10% of the final mark.  It will be from available from 2pm 23rd October and due by 2pm Friday 27 October. 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. 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 3rd November. The due date of the third piece of assessment is Monday 6th 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.

    1. Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    2. All individual assignments must be attached to an Assignment Cover Sheet which must be signed by the student before submission. Lecturers will withhold student’s results until such time as the student has signed the Assignment Cover Sheet.
    3. Markers can refuse to accept assignments which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism (refer to policy on plagiarism above).
    4. In the essay, all references are to be provided in the form recommended by Law School policy on referencing. Therefore, the essay is required to comply with The Australian Guide to Legal Citation. This is available at:
    5. All references are to be provided by footnote, rather than endnotes.
    6. All essays must be typewritten and must be placed in the assignment slot at the Front Office by the 2pm on the due date.



    All pieces of assessment will be returned to students within 3 weeks of the due date with written feedback.

    Students must not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course without prior approval from the lecturer-in-charge.

    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.

    Courses for which a result of conceded pass has been obtained may not be presented towards the degree requirements for the Bachelor of Laws or the Honours Degree of Bachelor of Laws programs, or any postgraduate law program, nor to satisfy prerequisite requirements within any law course.

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

    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.
  • 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.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at  

    Lex Salus Program

    Lex Salus was founded in 2013 by Adelaide Law School Wellbeing officers Ms Corinne Walding, Ms Kellie Toole and Dr Mark Giancaspro. Lex Salus is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at raising law student awareness of the importance of mental, physical and nutritional health across all year levels of the degree, and of the various counselling, disability and equity services both within and outside the University that can provide help. Research shows that law students, both in Australia and in many jurisdictions around the world, experience the highest levels of stress, anxiety and depression out of any other discipline. Many do not get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet or achieve a realistic work/life balance. Making matters worse, they are unwilling or afraid to speak up for fear of feeling 'weak' or because of the negative stigma that attaches to seeking help. Lex Salus is dedicated to tackling these problems head-on.

    Counselling Service

    The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at

  • 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:

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide 2014, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse 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.