This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
No particular form of words is necessary to assign a contract unless some statute provides therefor. Any language or conduct which shows the intention of the assignor to transfer his interest in the contract to the assignee is sufficient.1 To constitute an assignment, however, it must be the intention of the assignor to pass control over the contract or the fruits thereof to the assignee.2 An assignment to C of a business which A has bought from B, does not necessarily operate as an assignment of a contract by B not to compete with A, if A retains another business which would be affected by B's competition.3 The fact that A has delivered to C paving bonds which were issued by B, does not operate as an assignment of A's claim against B for such work in case that the bonds proved to be void.4 A mere agreement to pay out of particular fund which does not give the promisee any right to control the fund or any part of the fund, is not an assignment.5 A's request to B to send checks to A in care of C, does not amount to an assignment of A's claim against B, at least as far as the rights of A's surety for the performance of his contract with B are concerned.6 A promise by A to pay to C the proceeds of a fund which A is to collect from B, does not operate as an assignment of such fund, since such transaction leaves the ownership and the control of the fund in A until A has collected it from B.7 The fact that A makes a contract with C for the purpose of enabling A to perform his contract with B, does not amount to an assignment to C of A's contract with B,8 even if the terms of A's contract with C are substantially those of A's contract with B.9 If A appoints B as A's agent, to collect a debt, and instructs B to pay such money over to C, the transaction does not amount to an assignment of such debt to C.10 A covenant in a contract between A and B, to the effect that B may retain sufficient funds to pay any claims of subcontractors or materialmen against A, does not amount to an assignment of such fund to subcontractors and materialmen.11 A clause in an insurance policy, making the proceeds payable to the mortgagee as his interests may appear, is not an assignment of the proceeds of the mortgage.12
14 O'Brien v. Evans, 107 Mich. 623, 66 N. W. 571.
1 England. Brandt v. Dunlop Rubber Co.  A. C. 454, 74 L. J. K. B. 898 [reversing, Brandt v. Dunlop Rubber Co. (1904) 1 K. B. 387].
Alabama. Strickland v. Lesesne, 160 Ala. 213, 49 So. 233.
Florida. Clarkson v. Louderbach, 36 Fla. 660, 19 So. 887.
Georgia. Johnson v. Brewer. 134 Ga. 828, 31 L. R. A. (N.S.) 332, 68 S. E. 590.
niinois. Savage v. Gregg, 150 111. 161, 37 N. E. 312.
Massachusetts. Weed v. Jewett, 43 Mass. (2 Met.) 608, 37 Am. Deo. 175.
Minnesota. Smith v. Meyer, 84 Minn. 455, 87 N. W. 1122.
Missouri. Maoklin v. Kinealy, 141 Mo. 113. 41 S. W. 893.
West Virginia. Bentley v. Ins. Co., 40 W. Va. 729, 23 S. E. 584; McCon-aughey v. Bennett, 50 W. Va. 172, 40 S. E. 540; Millan v. Bartlett, 78 W. Va. 367, 89 S. E. 711.
Wisconsin. Northwestern Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Wright, 153 Wis. 252, Ann. Cas. 1914D, 697, 140 N. W. 1078.
2 United States. Smedley v. Speck-man, 157 Fed. 815, 85 C. C. A. 179.
Colorado. Duncan v. Guillet, 62 Colo. 220, 161 Pac. 299.
Illinois. Mathison v. Magnuson, 226 111. 368. 80 N. E. 885.
Iowa. Carey v. Chase, - Ia. - , 175 N. W. 60.
Kansas. Metz v. Clay, 101 Kan. 45, 165 Pac. 809.
Minnesota. Smith v. Meyer, 84 Minn. 455, 87 N. W. 1122; Reed v. R. M. Chapman Basting Co., 137 Minn. 442, 163 N. W. 794.
Missouri. Interurban Construction Co. v. Hayes, 191 Mo. 248, 89 S. W. 927.
New Jersey. Weaver v. Roofing Co., 57 N. J. Eq. 547, 40 Atl. 858.
New York. Hanna v. Florence Iron Co., 222 N. Y. 290, 118 N. E. 629.
Oklahoma. Guaranteed State Bank v. D'Yarmett, - Okla. - . 169 Pac. 639.
Oregon. Wakefield v. Parkhurst, 84 Or. 483, 165 Pac. 578. "To constitute an equitable assignment there must be an assignment or transfer of the fund or some definite portion of it so that the person owing the debt or holding the fund on which the order is drawn can safely pay the order, and is compellable to do bo, though forbidden by the drawer." Hicks v. Brick Co.. 94 Va. 741, 745, 27 S. E. 596.
An agreement to assign in the future is not operative as a present assignment. Carey v. Chase, - Ia. - , 175 X. W. 60.
3Metz v. Clay, 101 Kan. 45, 165 Pac. 800.
4 Guaranteed State Bank v. D'Yar-mett, - Okla. - , 169 Pac. 639.
5 United States. Christmas v. Russell, 81 U. S. (14 Wall.) 69. 20 L. ed. 762; Speckman v. Smedley, 153 Fed. 771; Smedley v. Speckman, 157 Fed. 815, 85 C. C. A. 179; In re Clark Realty Co., 234 Fed. 576, 148 C. C. A. 342.
Arkansas. Dickey v. Southwestern Surety Co., 119 Ark. 12, 173 S. W. 398.
California. Maier v. Freeman, 112 Cal. 8, 53 Am. St. Rep. 151, 44 Pac. 357.
Colorado. Nichols v. Orr, - Colo. - , 2 A. L. R. 449, 166 Pac. 561.
District of Columbia. DeWinter v. Thomas, 34 D. C. App. 80, 27 L. R. A. (N.S.) 634.
Illinois. Mathison v. Magnuson, 226 111. 368, 80 N. E. 885.
Indiana. Ford v. Garner, 15 Ind. 298.
Kentucky. People's Bank v. Barbour (Ky.), 19 S. W. 585; Little v. Berry (Ky.), 113 S. W. 902.
Maryland. Kellas v. Slack & Slack Co.. 129 Md. 535. 99 Atl. 677.
Michigan. Morse v. Allen. 99 Mich. 303. 58 N W 327
Minnesota. Hale v. Dressen, 76 Minn. 183, 78 N. W. 1045.
Missouri. Pearce v. Roberts, 27 Mo. 179; Atchison County Bank v. Durfee, 118 Mo. 431, 40 Am. St. Rep. 396, 24 S. W. 133; Spencer v. Wyandotte Construction Co., - Mo. - , 201 S. W. 554.
Nebraska. Fairbanks v. Welshans, 55 Neb. 362, 75 N. W. 865; Phillips v. Hogue, 63 Neb. 192, 88 N. W. 180.
New Jersey. Cogan v. Conover Mfg. Co., 69 N. J. Eq. 809, 115 Am. St. Rep. 629, 64 Atl. 973.
New York. Beran v. Bank, 137 N. Y. 450, 33 N. E. 593.
Ohio. Christmas v. Griswold, 8 O. S. 558.
Rhode Island. Browning v. Parker, 17 R. I. 183, 20 Atl. 835.
Wisconsin. Dirimple v. State Bank, 91 Wis. 601, 65 N. W. 501.
6 Duncan v. Guillet, 62 Colo. 220, 161 Pac. 299.
7 Speckman v. Smedley, 153 Fed. 771; In re Clark Realty Co., 234 Fed. 576, 148 C. C. A. 342; Interurban Construction Co. v. Hayes, 191 Mo. 248. 89 S W 927
8 Beed R. M. Chapman Basting Co., 137 Minn 442. 163 N. W. 794; Spencer
Even a transaction which purports to be an assignment is not such in legal effect if its effect is to leave the assignor in control of the contract assigned.13 Thus an agreement by a client to pay his attorney a certain per cent. of the amount recovered is not an assignment to the attorney of such per cent. of the claim.14 If such a contract shows an intention on the part of the client to pass an interest in the subject of the litigation to the attorney, it operates as an assignment.15 An agreement to deliver a certain number of bonds out of an issue to be made thereafter, is not an assignment of any part of such issue.16 A's request to B that B would "please to return proceeds" of certain property to C, has been held not to be an assignment, but to be an attempted novation.17