The Supreme Court of Queensland recently delivered judgment in Gladstone Area Water Board v A J Lucas Operations Ltd  QSC 311.
The case involved the question of whether a binding settlement agreement was reached—to settle some $27 million of claims—following an oral discussion at a meeting between the chief executive of the first plaintiff and the chairman of the defendant’s parent company. After the meeting, a Deed was produced which was signed by the defendant’s chairman, but not formally executed.
Level Twenty Seven Chambers’ barristers Shane Doyle QC and Stewart Webster appeared for the plaintiffs, who were successful in establishing the existence of a binding settlement agreement in the absence of a formally executed deed.
The reasons for decision delivered by Jackson J contain a consideration and application of the principles in Masters v Cameron (1954) 91 CLR 353, as well as a discussion of the significance of compliance with the formalities in the execution of deeds.
Separately, Jackson J considered the continuing application of the Mason J’s judgment in Codelfa Construction Pty Ltd v State Rail Authority of New South Wales (1982) 149 CLR 337, particularly in light of the more recent decisions in Western Export Services Inc v Jireh International Pty Ltd (2011) 86 ALJR 1 and Mainteck Services Pty Ltd v Stein Heurty SA (2014) 310 ALR 113.
A copy of the judgment can be found here.