- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 29 Sep 2020
Assignment of choses in action
Choses in action are ‘…all personal rights of property which can only be claimed or enforced by action and not by taking physical possession.’ (ref Torkington v Magee). The term includes the benefits arising under a contract and, subject to certain qualifications, rights of action arising by reason of a breach of contract.
Choses in action can be assigned or transferred unilaterally, for example A the employer enters into a construction contract with B the contractor, requiring B to construct a building to a quality set out in the specification. A can, without the consent of, or indeed knowledge of B, transfer the benefit of that contract to a third party C. A is known as the assignor, B the debtor and C the assignee. Only the benefits of a contract can be assigned, not the burdens (see Nokes v Doncaster Amalgamated Collieries). The burden must be novated.
It is important to understand that the right to assign a chose in action is not derived from contract. It is a statutory right, alternatively a right arising from the rules of equity. Express conditions are commonly found in collateral warranties purporting to grant rights of assignment; these conditions are unnecessary and may actually have the effect of restricting the rights to assign.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Cut off from civilian life for over 900 years.
Gaining green support from the carbon giants.
Medieval passageways with spiritual, transport and economic purposes.
Organisation receives accreditation from Investors in People.
Click the button to subscribe.
Communicating the right information at the right time.
Materials can take on different properties to control heat and glare.
Challenges in the construction sector and beyond.
Exploring brick and timber construction techniques.
On wheels or on platforms, micro dwellings are popping up everywhere.
Landlords must now comply with new repair regulations.
You can add articles and help improve knowledge in the construction industry.
Ayo Sokale explains the struggles of being neurodiverse.
Communities, heritage and architecture. Book review.