Woolworths Group Ltd v Gazcorp Pty Ltd [2022] NSWCA 19 (22 February 2022) (Bathurst CJ, Bell P and Meagher JA)


Catchwords:


CONTRACTS – termination – abandonment – agreement for lease executed in 2008 – period of years during which landlord did not perform works under the agreement – performance by landlord not insisted upon during this period – where certain rights under the agreement for lease expired during this period – where development consent allowing for project contemplated by agreement was due to lapse in February 2014 – where parties made no specific reference to agreement after April 2012 – whether agreement was abandoned

CONTRACTS – termination – frustration – agreement for lease – where landlord agreed to carry out works to construct shopping centre and to grant lease of part of shopping centre to tenant – development consent obtained – where parties contemplated incorporation of department store into shopping centre – where development application for incorporation of department store refused – whether agreement for lease was varied to incorporate plans for department store

CONTRACTS – termination – frustration – agreement for lease – landlord to perform works for construction of shopping centre development – where those works were authorised by and subject to a development consent obtained in 2008 – where parties operated under common assumption that landlord would be able to carry out works lawfully in accordance with development consent – neither party responsible under agreement for maintaining that state of affairs – development consent lapsed in 2014 prior to commencement of works – works subsequently unable to be performed lawfully – whether agreement frustrated – whether lapse of development consent resulted in a “radical difference” in circumstances of performance – whether landlord responsible for lapse of development consent

LEASES AND TENANCIES – default and termination – abandonment – agreement for lease executed in 2008 – period of years during which landlord did not perform works under the agreement – where performance not insisted upon – where certain rights under the agreement expired during this period – where development consent allowing for project contemplated by agreement was due to lapse in February 2014 – where parties made no specific reference to agreement after April 2012 – whether agreement was abandoned – whether by conduct and correspondence parties mutually intended that contract was not to be performed