This chapter considers the debates about the liability of strangers in connection with breaches of trust. The primary liability for a breach of trust rests with the trustees, i.e. when there is a breach of trust, the beneficiaries are required to sue the trustees first. The liability of the trustees is considered below. There is then a secondary liability for so-called ‘strangers’ who are not express trustees but who are nevertheless taken to be responsible for that breach of trust, either because they assisted that breach or because they received property as a result of the breach of trust. In either case, liability typically turns on whether or not the defendant can be shown, respectively, to have been dishonest or to have acted unconscionably with knowledge of the breach. In either case, the stranger will be liable for the entirety of the defendants’ loss. Given that many trusts involve enormous sums of money — such as pension funds — the liabilities which may be faced by the strangers are potentially enormous too. Consequently, the scope of these liabilities is much contested. That is the subject of this chapter.
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