Common-Law- Contract Law
In Bryant v Bryant  NSWSC 364, An alienated father made an oral promise to his son to pass on his interest in the marital home to him. It was legally enforceable at the court of law and the son was entitled to the interest in the property.
In Yulema Pty Ltd & Anor v Simmons & Anor  NSWSC 640, one of the parties to the agreement and one of the witnesses to the oral negotiation were dead and still the Supreme Court of New South Wales gave enforceability to the oral contract. The judgment reminds that spoken words have the same status as written words.
In the case of Nanak Builders and Investors Pvt. Ltd. vs. Vinod Kumar Alag AIR 1991 Delhi 315, the Court ruled that an enforceable and valid contract can also be an oral agreement.
In Williams v Jones (2014) The High Court judgment shows that agreements do not always have to be in writing to be binding, even oral agreements are binding and have the same effect.
In Meadow Enterprises Inc. v. Quizno’s Canada Restaurant Corporation 2018 BCSC 1967 the validity of the oral agreement was established by the Court.
a) In the given case, Luisa, a mother who was carrying on a business of casual clothes declared her desire that she is willing to join her youngest daughter Paula in the business and after two years she will give her the unsold stock of clothes for enabling Paula to use, redesign and sell the same to her friends. In the light of the above discussion held, Paula who was then 16 years old started working with her mother and started spending time understanding the business and also simultaneously assisted her mother. After the 2 years period, as per the promise made by Luisa, she did not hand over the unsold dresses to her daughter Paula and opted for giving it to her friend namely Atenea. Now, the question arises of consideration, whether any agreement exists between Luisa and Paula based on the self-declaration made by Luisa and then backing out from her promise. While examining the legality of such an intention of Luisa to her daughter who is in a relationship of natural love and affection, it is not necessary that there has to be an element of consideration and therefore on the basis of the legal position as settled it can be advised to Paula that there is a valid agreement existing between Paula and Luisa. In view of such a legal position, it is well within her right to enforce her mother Luisa not to transfer the unsold stock of casual clothes to Atenea and in line with her promise, she ought to transfer the unsold clothes to Paula only.
b) Although the agreement is not in written form but the oral declaration was made by Luisa in a family dinner in the presence of other family members, therefore, the element of consensus has been derived between Luisa and Paula. There are other family members who are witnessed to the above promise of Luisa and it is possible to prove before the court of law that out of natural love and affection Luisa agreed to handover unsold stock of casual clothes to Paula. The promise which is to come in force after 2 years and before that Luisa cannot change the position in a manner by which she can change the subject matter and will be deprived of unsold stock of casual clothes to be handed over to her after the expiry of the definite time. Paula has the right to restrain her mother from transferring the unsold stock to her friend Atenea. Thus, the agreement can be enforced by Paula before the Court of law and the court of law will likely hold the promise as a valid agreement subsisting between Luisa and Paula.
c) As explained above, once the agreement between Luisa and Paula is valid under the above circumstances then if Luisa is not discharging her obligations as per the agreement, then Paula is well within her legal right to proceed to enforce Luisa through the Court of law and sue her for carrying out the set of promises made by her to Paula. Hence, I am of the view that in case Paula refuses to transfer unsold clothes to Paula then Paula can sue Luisa.
d) The facts of the case are such that Luisa changed her mind and wanted to transfer her unsold clothes to Atenea. The moment Paula had come to know that her mother Luisa has made up her mind to transfer the unsold clothes to Atenea rather to her, Paula can also file a case against Atenea restraining her from accepting the delivery of unsold clothes from Luisa. If the transfer of clothes takes place then the rights of Paula will be frustrated and therefore, she can also exercise her right preventing Atenea from taking over the unsold clothes of Luisa on which there are pre-existing rights in favor of Paula.
In light of the above, it can be concluded that the agreement between Luisa and Paula is a valid agreement and all the rights available to the aggrieved party can be enforced by Paula. As the agreement between Luisa and Paula is a valid agreement, therefore, it is also enforceable by law in the court. Paula has the legal right to sue Luisa as she didn't adhere to the promise made by her 2 years back. Paula also has the legal right to sue Atenea to restrain her from taking the unsold casual clothes of which Paula is entitled to receive.
Common-Law- Contract Law
Bryant v Bryant  NSWSC 364
Meadow Enterprises Inc. v. Quizno’s Canada Restaurant Corporation 2018 BCSC 1967
Nanak Builders and Investors Pvt. Ltd. vs. Vinod Kumar Alag AIR 1991 Delhi 315
Williams v Jones (2014)
Yulema Pty Ltd & Anor v Simmons & Anor  NSWSC 640
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