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Equity is a body of law which offers remedies unavailable in the more rigid and structured system of common law.  In an equity forum, a case can be determined applying various principles on the merits of that case.  This is intended to create a legal forum where technicalities are kept to a minimum and fairness is more accessible. For equity to be available to a given case, that case must be before a Court with equitable jurisdiction.  

The main maxims of equity involve the following:

  1. Equity sees that as done as ought to be done
  2. Equity will not suffer a wrong to be without remedy
  3. Equity delights in equality
  4. One who seeks equity must do equity
  5. Equity aids the vigilant, not those who slumber on their rights
  6. Equity imputes an intent to fulfil an obligation
  7. Equity acts in personam
  8. Equity abhors a forfeiture
  9. Equity does not require an idle gesture
  10. He who comes into equity must come with clean hands
  11. Equity delights to do justice and not by halves
  12. Equity will take jurisdiction to avoid a multiplicity of suits
  13. Equity follows the law
  14. Equity will not aid a volunteer
  15. Where equities are equal, the law will prevail
  16. Between equal equities the first in order of time shall prevail
  17. Equity will not complete an imperfect gift
  18. Equity will not allow a statute to be used as a cloak for fraud
  19. Equity will not allow a trust to fail for want of a trustee

Equity can apply in both civil disputes and commercial disputes. Equitable causes of action can be available to litigants in commercial and civil cases. Many cases may straddle both the civil and commercial fields of legal practice. This is because a commercial dispute may itself be part of a broader civil dispute, or alternatively, a civil dispute may have commercial aspects. The services of a civil litigator who has commercial litigation experience can therefore be highly valuable in complicated matters that involve a wide range of legal issues and concepts. Likewise, the services of a commercial litigator who has had exposure to civil litigation may be equally beneficial. The remedies available to those who are suing in equity or who are being sued in equity, whether the case qualifies as civil litigation or commercial litigation or both, may include the following:

  1. injunction
  2. specific performance
  3. account of profits
  4. rescission
  5. declaratory relief
  6. rectification
  7. equitable estoppel
  8. certain proprietary remedies, such as constructive trusts
  9. subrogation
  10. in very specific circumstances, an equitable lien
  11. equitable compensation
  12. Appointment or removal of fiduciary
  13. Interpleader

Equity is a very powerful area of law, but many of these terms may be difficult to understand to the mind of a layperson. For this reason, it is imperative that proper legal advice is obtained and that a litigant not try to instigate and manage his own case without the appropriate guidance from a legal professional. The equity team at Navado is comprised of lawyers and solicitors who have experience in both civil and commercial litigation and are therefore in the prime position to prepare a prospective or existing litigant for the conduct of their litigation matter.

If you require assistance with an equity matter, you may wish to contact our firm by telephone on (02) 9233 4048 or email at info@navado.com.au and make an appointment to speak to one of our commercial litigation solicitors. 

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This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.

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