This paper examines the development and scope of accessory liability under the second limb of Barnes v Addy as it stands in both England and Australia. As to the law in England, the focus will be on the rearticulation of the principle of accessory liability under the second limb as stated in Royal Brunei Airlines Sdn Bhd v Tan. In particular, it will consider the extent to which the decision has reconciled inconsistencies in earlier authority and remedied those issues propounded to be inherent in the traditional formulation of the principle. At this stage, this traditional principle remains good law in Australia. However, as suggested in Farah Constructions Pty Ltd v Say-Dee Pty Ltd, there is potential for the English approach to be adopted in the Australian context. Such an adoption may be advisable in light of the judicial and extra-judicial commentary suggesting that the orthodox approach is in fact not properly aligned with equitable principles. The discussion of this possibility involves not only an assessment of the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, but also a determination as to the extent to which the separate application of each approach could result in a divergent outcome.
The development of the second limb of Barnes v Addy in Australia-
The classic authority on the circumstances in which third parties will be held accountable for their involvement in a breach of trust or fiduciary duty is the English case of Barnes v Addy. It was in this case that Lord Selbourne LC articulated the much cited and analysed statement of principle that has come to form the modern law:
...strangers are not to be made constructive trustees merely because they act as the agents of trustees…unless those agents receive and become chargeable with some part of the trust property, or unless they assist with knowledge in a dishonest and fraudulent design on the part of the trustees.
This statement has come to
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