Contract, Confidence and the Fiduciary Relationship.

9 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2015

See all articles by Lee Aitken

Lee Aitken

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 2013


A party relying on a detailed contract will often seek further to support its case by attempting to impose some fiduciary obligation on the counterparty. The courts for sound practical, and theoretical reasons, resist this attempt. What are the parameters for such an imposition, particularly where the fiduciary obligation is said to arise from the contractual relationship's "particular" facts, rather than some pre-existing fiduciary category? Similarly, when does a duty of confidence arise "from the circumstances" rather than an employer-employee, or other category? What happens if that duty is inadvertently breached? May the recipient, say, of mistakenly disclosed confidential documents, use them? All these controversial topics have been examined in recent high authority, discussed in this article.

JEL Classification: k00

Suggested Citation

Aitken, Lee, Contract, Confidence and the Fiduciary Relationship. (2013). Australian Law Journal, 87 6: 425-432.; University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 15-40. Available at SSRN:

Lee Aitken (Contact Author)

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Law ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Hong Kong


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