In addition, where the restitutionary claim is founded on the defendant’s wrong then, because the claimant seeks restitutionary relief, the general defences to restitutionary claims should also be applicable.[1] The most important of these is the defence of change of position.[2] The effect of this defence is that, if the defendant has changed his or her position in reliance on the receipt of a benefit, restitution should be barred to the extent the defendant’s position has changed. But this is subject to a very important qualification, namely that the defence will not be available to a defendant who was a wrongdoer.[3] The preferable view is that, rather than deny the defence to any wrongdoer, it is appropriate to distinguish between degrees of wrongdoing, so that the defence should generally be available to an innocent wrongdoer.[4]

  • [1] 169 See Chapter 25. 170 Lipkin Gorman (a firm) v Karpnale Ltd [1991] 2 AC 548, 580 (Lord Goff).
  • [2] 171 See p 696, below.
  • [3] 172 Universe Tankships Inc of Monrovia v International Transport Workers Federation [1983] AC 366. See
  • [4] also Dimskal Shipping Co SA v International Transport Workers Federation, The Evia Luck [1992] 2 AC 152,
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