The parties involved in this problem are:
1. Benedict the owner of a 9 ha farmland;
2. Adrian the purchaser of the 9 ha land; and
3. Catherine a beneficiary of the purchase price.
The primary issue raises by the problem is one of contract interpretation and the approach should be in accordance with the meaning which the parties actually attached to the words in dispute.¹
Specifically, two issues concern Benedict and the other two parties:
1. Whether Benedict can enforce the agreement against Adrian to purchase his farmland; and
2. Whether the reduction of Catherine’s share of the purchase price was legitimate.
Benedict is likely to succeed on the grounds that Adrian’s cancellation of the contract was ineffective. But he is unlikely to succeed because the requirements for variation of Catherine’s share were not satisfied.
The grounds for discussion are found in the Supreme Court decision in Mana …show more content…
¹⁵ Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v Selfridge and Co Ltd  AC 801 (HL) at 859.
Catherine can enforce her share given that the High Court of Australia held in the case of Coulls v Begots “it was a promise given to both of them”¹⁶ the party and the beneficiary. It was affirmed by the Court of Appeal decision in Laidlaw v Parsonage that Mr and Mrs Broughton are clearly entitled to sue to enforce promises that Wyatt made to the purchaser in the agreement that it entered into with Mr Wright.¹⁷
A court is likely to find that Catherine can enforce the promise made by Benedict because she is a volunteer to the Agreement. Thus to avoid legal expenses and time consuming procedures, Benedict is advised to honour his promise.
A court is likely to find that Benedict can enforce the agreement because Adrian’s cancellation was ineffective. However, a court is likely to rule that the deduction of Catherine’s share was illegal because the requirements for variation were not