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In Commerzbank AG v Price-Jones, the Court of Appeal considered several controversial questions about the change of position defence in the law of unjust enrichment. What types of conduct qualify as a change of position for the purposes of the defence? What causal relationship is required between the defendant's change of position and his receipt of a benefit from the claimant, especially where the change of position has occurred before the enrichment? What role, if any, does fault play in assessing the merits of the defence? Should the courts be guided by broad notions of fairness when deciding whether the defence should be available? This article will discuss the court's answers to all of these questions.

Keywords: Change of position defence; Commerzbank AG v Price-Jones; Unjust Enrichment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Until 2007 the King's Law Journal was known as the King's College Law Journal. It was established in 1990 as a legal periodical publishing scholarly and authoritative Articles, Notes and Reports on legal issues of current importance to both academic research and legal practice. It has a national and international readership, and publishes refereed contributions from authors across the United Kingdom, from continental Europe and further afield (particularly Commonwealth countries and USA). The journal includes a Reviews section containing critical notices of recently published books.
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