Frazer v Walker (1967) 1 AC 569

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  • Alan Frazer and Flora Frazer were joint owners of a New Zealand dairy farm under the Land Transfer Act 1952 (NZ) (the Act).
  • Mrs Frazer borrowed ₤3,000 from the Radomskis, using the dairy farm as security for this loan without her husband’s consent.
  • The contract needed both of the Frazers’ signatures for the mortgage to be legally valid.
  • Mrs Frazer forged Mr Frazer’s signature and persuaded her lawyer’s clerk to falsely witness the signature of Mr Frazer.
  • Mrs Frazer paid out the existing mortgage on the property and retained a sum of money for herself.
  • The Radomskis’ sold the farm to Mr Walker for ₤5000.
  • Both the Radomskis and Mr Walker were unaware of Mrs Frazer’s fraud.
  • Mr Walker was registered as to the legal owner.  Mr Frazer refused to recognise Mr Walker’s legal interest in the farm – Mr Walker commenced proceedings for possession of the farm.


  • Was Mr Walker’s title to the property legal, despite the defective title caused by Mrs Frazers’ fraud?


  • Mr Walker was a “bona fide purchaser for value without notice”.
  • Mr Walker was unaware of Mrs Frazer’s fraud at the time of purchase, as were the Radomkis.
  • This mean that Mr Walker had indefeasible title.
  • This position was consistent with section 183 of the Act, which stated that fraud would not defeat a “bona fide purchaser for valuable consideration”.

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