Reluctant Bedfellows: Want of Authority and Knowing Receipt

Authors

  • Rebecca Lee,

    1. Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong
    Search for more papers by this author
    • The authors would like to thank Suchita Bhojwani, Matthew Conaglen, Eugene Fung, Tim Kentish, Richard Nolan, Francis Reynolds, Peter Watts, and the anonymous reviewer for discussion about the Akai litigation and invaluable comments on earlier drafts.
  • Lusina Ho

    1. Faculty of Law, The University of Hong Kong
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

The case note examines the recent decision of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal in Thanakharn Kasikorn Thai Chamkat (Mahachon) v Akai Holdings Ltd, where Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury adopted the test of irrationality in determining whether a defaulting agent had apparent authority to act on behalf of his principal to confer benefits on a third party. His Lordship further held that a concurrent claim in knowing receipt arose against the third party, and the test of unconscionability is substantially the same as that of irrationality. The present note argues that symmetry of the two tests is not necessary, for knowing receipt and apparent authority deal with issues that are categorically different and serve different purposes. It also examines, in the context of benefits conferred upon an underlying agreement that is void, the oft-overlooked issue as to what amounts to receipt for the purpose of knowing receipt.

Ancillary