Recent Cases

Stubbings v Jams 2 Pty Ltd [2022] HCA 6 (16 March 2022) (Kiefel CJ, Keane, Gordon, Steward and Gleeson JJ)


Catchwords:


Equity – Unconscionable conduct – Where respondents engaged in business of asset‑based lending – Where system of lending involved law firm, acting through intermediary, facilitating secured loans by respondents – Where law firm acted as agent of respondents – Where respondents’ agent never dealt directly with appellant – Where appellant unemployed with no regular income and poor financial literacy – Where appellant guaranteed loan made by respondents to company owned and controlled by appellant – Where company had no assets and never traded – Where loan and guarantee secured by mortgages over appellant’s three properties – Where appellant provided signed certificates of independent financial advice and independent legal advice drafted by law firm – Where company defaulted on loan and respondents sought to enforce rights against appellant – Whether respondents acted unconscionably in seeking to enforce rights – Whether respondents’ agent had knowledge of appellant’s circumstances – Whether respondents entitled to rely on certificates of independent advice – Whether unconscientious exploitation of appellant’s special disadvantage.

Words and phrases – “agent”, “asset‑based lending”, “certificates of independent advice”, “knowledge of that special disadvantage”, “special disadvantage”, “system of conduct”, “unconscientious”, “unconscientious exploitation”, “unconscionable conduct”, “vulnerability”, “wilfully blind”.