June 27th, 2017 by James Goudie KC

Proceedings brought by or against local authorities often contain a claim in restitution, usually on the basis of a mistake. In Astex Therapeutics Ltd v Astrozeneca [2017] EWHC 1442 (Ch) the High Court (Arnold J) has reaffirmed that any mistake either of law or of fact can qualify as a mistake for restitutionary purposes, provided that it is causative, and that in order to establish a prima facie claim to restitution of an enrichment, a party needs to show only that (1) it was mistaken at the time the enrichment was conferred and (2) it was that mistake that had caused that enrichment to be conferred.  In that case the payments were milestone payments and the mistake was as to contractual status.

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