Tracing at Common law and tracing at EquityWatch
I'll be very grateful 😁😁
One tired law student
Firstly, 'tracing' in general is a process of identifying the substitute of an original asset claimed by the claimant - for example, if someone purchases a bike with money, it may be possible for this money to be traced into the bike. So rather than following the asset itself (i.e. the bike) you are tracing the substitute property (i.e. money).
With common law tracing, it is only possible to trace substitute property (i.e. money) if it has been done so cleanly. That is to say, if the substitute property is mixed with other property it will not be possible to trace at common law e.g. the money is put into a mixed bank account. That is the basic understanding of common law tracing, although it can get a little more complicated than that (e.g. Taylor v Plumer).
Tracing in equity, on the other hand, allows the claimant to trace substitute property EVEN IF it has been mixed with other property (so, for example, even if it has been put into a mixed bank account). There are some other additional situations where equity tracing will work and common law tracing will not, but that is the main one!
Hope this helps!