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Change of position as defence to unjust enrichment claims: Stories from Hong Kong

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Lin, Siyi 
You, Henry ZY 


jats:p The recent decision of the Hong Kong High Court (the ‘HKHC’) in Credit One Finance Limited v Yeung Kwok Chi & Others is worthy of the attention of the common law world. The HKHC followed a ‘but for’ test developed by English courts and established that reliance on receipt of enrichment is not a necessary ingredient of the change of position defence. This case not only marks itself the first Hong Kong case discussing the role of reliance in the change of position defence but also offers a comparative study of the laws of unjust enrichment in the common law world. As observed by this note, this case also reflects an underlying divergence between, on the one hand, English and Hong Kong laws of unjust enrichment and, on the other hand, the law of unjust enrichment in Australia in terms of the change of position defence. In addition to the clarification of the legal position, this case comes with practical implications for innocent defendants in receipt of benefits and serves as an important reminder to financial institutions on the importance of anti-money laundering and fraud investigations. </jats:p>


Peer reviewed: True


4801 Commercial Law, 48 Law and Legal Studies, 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

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Common Law World Review

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SAGE Publications