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Specific performance proceedings dismissed where identity of purchaser was not known to vendor

By: James Cross BL

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High Court dismisses specific performance proceedings regarding alleged contract to convey a hotel, on the grounds that at the height of the evidence adduced, it could not be concluded that there existed a binding contract as the identity of the purchaser was not known to the vendor, and concludes there was no act of part performance.

Commercial Court – contract law – conveyance of hotel – specific performance - seeking declaration that there is an enforceable contract between her and the defendants for the sale of the hotel, an order for specific performance of that contract and certain other reliefs including damages in lieu of specific performance – application to dismiss the claim after the plaintiff’s evidence – argued taking the evidence of the plaintiff at its height the plaintiff has not made out a prima facie case in that the essential ingredients of a binding enforceable contract for the sale of the hotel have not been established – legal principles for applications to dismiss – background facts and chronology – correspondence and pleadings – plaintiff’s evidence – source of funding - defendants’ evidence – identity of the vendor – identity of the purchaser – fundamentals of the contract – whether there was a concluded agreement - evidence does not support the claim that the identity of the purchaser was agreed with any of the defendants – note or memorandum – no sufficient note adduced - part performance - act of part performance relied on is the payment of what the plaintiff describes as a non-refundable deposit – act to the detriment – deposit never lodged – argued that the conduct of the defendants was unconscionable – identity of purchaser unknown to vendor - action dismissed.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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