This article revisits a century-old debate over the nature of the beneficial interest. The issues and arguments may be complex, but the debate boils down to the simple question of whether the beneficial interest is a personal right or a property right. This debate is better served by analyzing the issues raised – the relationship between law and equity, the priority of legal interests over equitable ones, and the bona fide purchaser exception – from historical and economic perspectives. Both English legal history and modern economic analyses convincingly demonstrate that the beneficial interest is best considered a property right.
Lau, Ming Wai, The Nature of the Beneficial Interest – Historical and Economic Perspectives (February 22, 2013).