Goldcorp Exchange Ltd and others v Liggett and others: PC 25 May 1994

(New Zealand) The non allocated claimants purchased gold bullion from a company for future delivery on a non allocated basis. The company stored and insured the metal, but the claimants had a right to call for delivery of their part within 7-days. The company became insolvent and, a bank holding a debenture appointed receivers. R brought claims of a proprietary nature. The receivers applied to the High Court of New Zealand for directions on the disposal of the bullion. The judge rejected the claims of the non allocated claimants. The Court of Appeal in New Zealand allowed their appeal on different grounds.
Held: The receivers’ appeal succeeded. An equitable title could not pass under a simple contract for the sale of unascertained goods merely by virtue of the sale, since the buyer could not acquire title until it was known to what exact goods the proposed title related. The non allocated claimants were not entitled to assert any proprietary rights over the remaining stocks of bullion arising out of a fiduciary relationship since any such relationship was no different from the contractual relationship between the parties.
‘The essence of a fiduciary relationship is that it creates obligations of a different character from those deriving from the contract itself’.
Lord Mustill
[1994] 2 All ER 806, [1994] UKPC 3, [1994] UKPC 18, [1995] 1 AC 74, [1994] 2 BCLC 578, [1994] 3 WLR 199, (1994) 138 (LB) 127, (1994) Tr LR 434
Bailii, Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedFoskett v McKeown and Others CA 27-Jun-1997
Various people had paid money with the promise of acquiring an interest in land in Portugal. The scheme was fraudulent. The funds had been used to purchase a life/investment policy. The policy was held in trust for the fraudster’s mother but he had . .
CitedLehtimaki and Others v Cooper SC 29-Jul-2020
Charitable Company- Directors’ Status and Duties
A married couple set up a charitable foundation to assist children in developing countries. When the marriage failed an attempt was made to establish a second foundation with funds from the first, as part of W leaving the Trust. Court approval was . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 30 July 2021; Ref: scu.245740