The High Court to consider the availability of quantum meruit in cases of contract repudiation
January 16, 2019
In mid-December 2018, the High Court of Australia granted special leave to appeal from the decision of the Victorian Court of Appeal in Mann v Paterson Constructions Pty Ltd  VSCA 231.
We have previously prepared an update regarding the decision of the Victorian Court of Appeal in Mann v Paterson Constructions Pty Ltd  VSCA 231. A copy of that update is available here.
In summary, the Court of Appeal held in that case that:
- as held in Sopov v Kane Constructions Pty Ltd (No 2) (2009) 24 VR 510, a builder seeking a quantum meruit amount following acceptance of an owner’s repudiation of a building contract is entitled to recover the ‘fair and reasonable’ value of the benefit conferred on the owner by the work that the builder performed;
- nothing has transpired in the nine years since Sopov v Kane that lessens the force of the observations made in that decision; and
- it is for the High Court to determine if quantum meruit is to be declared to be unavailable as a matter of law.
The granting of special leave will provide an opportunity for the High Court to confirm whether the principles in Sopov v Kane remain correct, and the relevant legal principles in relation to quantum meruit.
We will provide a further update on this matter once the High Court provides its decision.