Trustee of FC Jones & Son v Jones

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Trustee of FC Jones and Son (a firm) v Jones
Court Court of Appeal
Full case name Trustee of FC Jones and Son (a firm) v Ann Jones (a married woman)
Decided 25 April 1996
Citation(s) [1996] EWCA Civ 1324, [1997] Ch 159
Case opinions
Millett LJ
Court membership
Judge(s) sitting Nourse LJ
Beldam LJ
Millett LJ
Expense of the claimant

Trustee of FC Jones and Son (a firm) v Jones [1996] EWCA Civ 1324 is an English unjust enrichment law case, concerning to what extent enrichment of the defendant must be at the expense of the claimant.


Mr Jones transferred £11,700 in cheques from his potato growing firm’s bank account to Mrs Jones. The firm became insolvent, which vested the account retrospectively into the trustee in bankruptcy. Mrs Jones bought potato futures, and earned £50,760. This was put into an account with Raphael & Sons plc. The Official Receiver claimed that under the Bankruptcy Act 1914 sections 37 and 38, the money belonged to it. Mrs Jones claimed it was hers, but the sum was paid into court.


Millett LJ held the trustee in bankruptcy could recover everything. From the date of the act of bankruptcy, all money in the bankrupts’ joint accounts belonged to the trustee in bankruptcy. Mr Jones had no title to the money paid out, and could therefore not pass title to Mrs Jones. Equity had no role. The deposit of the trustee’s money under the contract’s terms with the commodity broker belonged to the trustee.

Significantly in Jones it was indicated that a fiduciary relationship was no longer an exclusive precondition for the use of equitable tracing, the fiduciary character of the defendant's receipt was expressly negatived.

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