Legal Assignments

The basic requirements for a legal assignment may be summarised as follows:

  1. Â Only the benefit of an agreement may be assigned.
  2. Â The assignment must be absolute.
  3.  The rights to be assigned must be wholly ascertainable and must not relate to only part of a debt.
  4. Â The assignment must be in writing and signed under hand by the assignor.
  5. Â Notice of the assignment must be received by the other party or parties for the assignment to take effect.

Even if an agreement contains no express prohibition on assignment, a party wishing to be able to assign the benefit of a contract should include an express provision in the contract permitting assignment, unless the possibility of the contract being held to be personal to that party can safely be discounted.

Where the parties wish to prohibit assignment, it is equally possible to expressly restrict the assignment of the benefits of the right for future performance of the agreement and of the benefit of the agreement.

A novation agreement between the existing parties to the agreement and the proposed new party will always be necessary for the transfer of obligations under an agreement.

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