The phrase ‘choses in action’ was defined in Torkington v Magee [1902] 2 KB 427 by Channel J at p. 430 as including ‘all personal rights of property which can only be claimed or enforced by action, and not by taking physical possession’. Choses may be legal or equitable: legal choses include, in addition to those discussed above, debts and policies of insurance. Equitable choses include rights under a trust or a will.

The statutory requirements for assignment of a legal chose are contained in the Law of Property Act 1925, s. 136(1), and are, briefly:

(1)a written assignment in favour of the assignee, and

(2)express notice in writing to the debtor.

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