Recent Cases

Pittmore Pty Ltd v Chan; Chan v Tan [2020] NSWCA 344 (18 December 2020) (Bell P at [1]; Leeming JA at [2]; Brereton JA at [214].)


CONTRACTS – construction – whether mistake in written agreement can be rectified by construction – inconsistency concerning right to terminate on face of document – primacy given to handwritten amendments

COSTS – appeal books – unnecessary reproduction of thousands of pages already reproduced in appeal books – whether special order as to costs warranted

DEEDS – delivery – whether deed restating terms of joint venture delivered to other side in escrow – whether terms of document precluded finding of delivery in escrow – whether deed even if not delivered effective as simple contract

ELECTION AND WAIVER – where one party continued to perform work and incur expenses pursuant to joint venture after a contractual right of termination had accrued – absence of any reservation of rights – significance of “no waiver” clause

EQUITY – ancillary liability – liability for procuring or inducing breach of trust or breach of fiduciary duty – whether requirement that third party be “dishonest” – whether separate bases of liability for procuring as opposed to inducing breach – whether director of company acting as such capable of procuring or inducing breach of trust by director’s company

EQUITY – rectification – whether contract should be rectified in equity if mistake incapable of being corrected by construction

EQUITY – unconscionability – statutory unconscionability – joint venture to develop land for resale – offer made to one party to sell part of joint venture land at profit – offer communicated to other party with invitation to share profit – other party sought to persevere with joint venture – first party purported to terminate and sell land – finding that first party believed entitled to terminate – in fact first party not entitled to terminate – first party’s conduct not unconscionable contrary to s 21 of Australian Consumer Law