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Legal Glossary - F


Fee simple

Land and all buildings and other fixtures on it. An estate in fee simple is comprised of the legal title (as recorded on the Torrens system register or as recorded in the title deed), and the right to control and benefit from the property, which arise for equitable title holders. The same as estate in fee simple.



A person who takes on responsibility over the interests of another, whose special skills or powerful position result in a special degree of reliance by the client, or principal. Equity recognises certain professions and roles as involving fiduciary duties, such as trustee, company director, solicitor, teacher, and medical doctor. Fiduciaries have equitable duties including not to make an unauthorised profit from their position and to maintain the confidentiality of information.



Any object permanently attached to land or buildings, or so difficult to remove as to be effectively fixed. Thus trees, buildings, fences and walls are fixtures to land. Some furnishings of massive weight, or built in so that removal is extremely difficult, are considered to be fixtures.



A factor to be proven by a plaintiff bringing a negligence claim. The harm incurred must be a reasonably foreseeable result of the relevant breach of the defendant’s duty of care in order for the negligence claim to succeed.


Freehold estate

In modern times freehold refers simply to the ownership of land. Originally, a medieval concept grouping certain types of land ownership, including the estate in fee simple.



The status of a contract where a party is, through no fault of their own, totally unable to perform their obligations any longer, or where continued performance will inexorably lead to something alien to the intentions the parties had at first. This would be a common experience after a natural disaster. Courts rescind frustrated contracts.


Full Court

Three or more judges sitting together to hear a proceeding.


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