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My question is, what is required under UK law to assign the benefit of a debt or small contract, to a third party. Although it relates to an actual dispute, the question itself is simply about legal process and facts of law - no advice is sought or needed beyond that posed in the question. Therefore I am also abstracting the question completely, to make it as widely applicable as possible.

Question

A, B and C are private UK based individuals.

A is due money under a contract with B. A has performed their part of the contract so the only contractual matter outstanding is A receiving their money from B. For personal reasons, A now wishes their friend C to become the sole beneficiary thenceforce, so that C can claim from B the monies or any other contractual benefits previously due to A, or if needed, C can sue B for their non-payment/non-delivery (if that happens).

The motive for this is partly, that C will give A a sum of money, and will subsequently have full rights to receive, collect and enforce the debt owed by B in exchange.

Can A and C enter into such an agreement of assignment without seeking B's consent, and what form must such an agreement take to be legally binding?

Note: It is assumed that the contract does not explicitly forbid this, nor is the contract related to real property or a lease/tenancy, or a business. The debt/benefit is small, under £500 in value, and relates to a deposit that A previously paid B and which B now must repay to A.

  • Not convinced that this question has an answer that is applicable in all circumstances. Some contracts and debts may be subject to different requirements than others. For example, an assignment of a lien on real or personal property may be subject to different formal requirements than an assignment of an unsecured debt for the non-commercial sale of a set of speakers, and another rule again might apply to a debt in the form of a negotiable instrument like a check. – ohwilleke Sep 9 '19 at 1:04
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A can assign their rights to C

This can be done by deed or contract between A and C and does not require B’s permission. A still retains its obligations to B.

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