Nemo dat quod non habet

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The JC’s guide to pithy Latin adages

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“No-one can give what he does not have.”
“You can only give as good as you get”

A Latin maxim of relevance to assignees and purchasers for value, which was roundly ignored by whoever the bright spark was who came up with the preposterous idea of rehypothecation.

It helps explain why having a right to assign transactioins under an ISDA Master Agreement, even to someone in a shady jurisdiction, won’t interfere with your close out netting

It is also useful in deflating drafting pretensions of people who come bearing gifts like “nor anyone acting on its behalf”.

See also