Goff & Jones: The Law of Unjust Enrichment, 9th Edition

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Goff & Jones: The Law of Unjust Enrichment, 9th Edition

Author Charles Mitchell, Paul Mitchell, Stephen Watterson
Publication Date November 2016
ISBN 9780414055230
Format Hardcover
Publisher Sweet & Maxwell UK


The major work on the law of unjust enrichment is Goff & Jones. The first edition was published in 1966, and subsequent editions have played an important role in establishing the subject's essential relevance in private and commercial law. The work is extensive in scope and prepared by well regarded experts who examine and explain the principles controlling unjust enrichment claims, as well as explaining how these concepts have been implemented via careful case-law analysis. The book has been referenced in court several times and continues to set the tone for future advances in the subject.

The new 9th Edition is fully updated and includes a thorough overview of key choices made since the previous edition. Many chapters have been rewritten to reflect significant new cases and their implications for topics such as the valuation of enrichments, the recovery of benefits from remote recipients, the recovery of benefits transferred by mistake, the recovery of money paid as unpaid tax, and the content of the tracing rules and their significance for the award of proprietary remedies.

Goff & Jones: The Law of Unjust Enrichment, 9th Edition, covers the following six critical issues in connection to filing a claim:

  • Describes how a claim for unjust enrichment may be barred if the defendant's enrichment is required by law, judgement, natural duty, or contract.
  • Examines the concepts controlling the identification and value of enrichment, as well as how they relate to various forms of benefit claims.
  • Takes into account the need that a defendant's benefit was obtained at the cost of the claimant.
  • Discusses the many grounds for restitution, including lack of consent and lack of power, error, duress, undue influence and unconscionable contracts, failure of basis, free acceptance, necessity, secondary culpability, ultra vires receipts and payments by public organisations, and so on.
  • Considers defences such as change of position, ministerial receipt, bona fide purchase, estoppel, impossible counter-restitution, passing on, limitation, legal incapacity, and illegality.
  • Describes personal and proprietary remedies for unfair enrichment in great detail.

The new edition contains detailed discussion of the following cases of major importance:

  • Test Claimants in the FII Group Litigation v HMRC (No.1) [2012] 2 AC 337 – on the recovery of money paid as tax that is not due
  • Pitt v Holt [2013] 2 AC 108 – on mistake and the rescission of voluntary transactions
  • Benedetti v Sawiris [2014] AC 938 – on the valuation of services and other benefits
  • Littlewoods Retail Ltd v HMRC (No.2) [2014] STC 1761, [2015] STC 2014 – on awards of compound interest as restitution of the time value of money
  • Investment Trust Companies (in liq) v HMRC [2015] STC 1280 - on the relation between statutory and common law rights to restitution, and the requirement that an enrichment must have been gained at the claimant’s expense
  • Federal Republic of Brazil v Durant International Corp [2016] AC 297 – on tracing and the recovery of misappropriated funds
  • Bank of Cyprus UK Ltd v Menelaou [2016] AC 176 – on subrogation and tracing
  • Patel v Mirza [2016] UKSC 42 – on the recovery of benefits transferred under illegal contracts
  • Re D&D Wines International Ltd (in liq) [2016] UKSC 47 – on constructive trusts as remedies for unjust enrichment

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