BP Refinery (Westernport) Pty Ltd v The Shire of Hastings: PC 1977

(Victoria) The Board set out the necessary conditions for a clause to be implied into a contract.
Held: Lord Simon of Glaisdale said: ‘Their Lordships do not think it necessary to review exhaustively the authorities on the implication of a term in a contract which the parties have not thought fit to express. In their view, for a term to be implied, the following conditions (which may overlap) must be satisfied: (1) it must be reasonable and equitable; (2) it must be necessary to give business efficacy to the contract, so that no term will be implied if the contract is effective without it; (3) it must be so obvious that ‘it goes without saying’; (4) it must be capable of clear expression; (5) it must not contradict any express term of the contract.’
Lord Bingham: ‘The courts’ usual role in contractual interpretation is, by resolving ambiguities or reconciling apparent inconsistencies, to attribute the true meaning to the language in which the parties themselves have expressed their contract. The implication of contract terms involves a different and altogether more ambitious undertaking: the interpolation of terms to deal with matters for which, ex hypothesi, the parties themselves have made no provision. It is because the implication of terms is so potentially intrusive that the law imposes strict constrains on the exercise of this extraordinary power. . whether a term should be implied, and if so what, almost inevitably arises after a crisis has been reached in the performance of the contract. So the court comes to the task of implication with the benefit of hindsight, and it is tempting for the court then to fashion a term which will reflect the merits of the situation as they then appear. Tempting, but wrong.’
Lord Simon of Glaisdale
(1978) 52 ALJR 20, (1977) 180 CLR 266, [1977] UKPC 13
Bailii, Bailii
Cited by:
CitedRobin Ray v Classic FM Plc PatC 18-Mar-1998
Contractor and Client Copyrights
The plaintiff had contributed a design for a system of classifying and selecting tracks to be played on a radio station. He did so under a consultancy contract.
Held: A Joint authorship claim required that the contributor had made some direct . .
CitedJohn Roberts Architects Ltd v Parkcare Homes (No. 2) Ltd TCC 25-Jul-2005
The defendant had taken a dispute to adjudication, but then abandoned those proceedings, upon which the adjudicator awarded costs against the defendant which the claimant now sought to enforce. The defendant argued that the award was outside the . .
ApprovedPhilips Electronic Grant Public Sa and Another v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd CA 31-Oct-1994
The implication of an additional term into a contract is dependant on it being the sole solution. As to the implication of terms generally: ‘The question whether a term should be implied, and if so what, almost inevitably arises after a crisis has . .
CitedBradmount Investments Ltd v Williams De Broe Plc and others ChD 10-Nov-2005
The claimants alleged that the defendants had wrongfully induced a breach of contract. There had been a proposal to float a company on the AIM. It was put to the defendant under protection of an agreement so that they might consider working as . .
CitedDonington Park Leisure Ltd v Wheatcroft and Son Ltd ChD 7-Apr-2006
Leave to apply was pursued under the provisions of a Tomlin order. The parties had disputed the extent to which parts of the order should be exhibited to the court.
Held: The Tomlin order should be amended to add terms necessary to give effect . .
CitedAitken v Standard Life Assurance Ltd SCS 3-Dec-2008
The pursuer averred that the defendant, his pension provider, had wrongfully reduced its final bonus by ten per cent without notifying him. He sought to imply a term into the contract to provide such an effect, saying that the contract promised an . .
CitedAttorney General of Belize and others v Belize Telecom Ltd and Another PC 18-Mar-2009
(Belize) A company had been formed to manage telecommunications in Belize. The parties disputed the interpretation of its articles. Shares had been sold, but the company was structured so as to leave a degree of control with the government. It was . .
CitedR Griggs Group Ltd, R Griggs and Co Ltd, Airwair Ltd v Evans, Raben Footwear Pty Ltd, Lewy, Lewy CA 25-Jan-2005
The claimants distributed Doc Marten footwear. They asked an agency to prepare a logo. The agency paid an independent contractor to prepare it, but did not take an assignment of copyright to it. The contractor sold the rights in the logo to the . .
CitedMargerison v Bates and Another ChD 30-May-2008
The court considered the construction of a restrictive covenant after the disappearance of the covenantee. The covenant required no additional building without the consent of the covenantee, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld. The term . .
CitedUnique Pub Properties Ltd v Broard Green Tavern Ltd and Another ChD 26-Jul-2012
The claimant freeholder sought to install in the tenant’s pub, equipment to monitor sales. It claimed a right for this in the lease. The tenant refused access, saying that the proposed system was inaccurate. The claimant now sought summary relief. . .
CitedMarks and Spencer Plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company (Jersey) Ltd and Another SC 2-Dec-2015
The Court considered whether, on exercising a break clause in a lease, the tenant was entitled to recover rent paid in advance.
Held: The appeal failed. The Court of Appeal had imposed what was established law. The test for whether a clause . .
CitedPhilips Electronique v British Sky Broadcasting Ltd CA 1995
There is a presumption against adding terms to a contract. The presumption is stronger where the contract is in writing and represents an apparently complete bargain between the parties. Sir Thomas Bingham MR set out Lord Simon’s formulation, and . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 10 January 2021; Ref: scu.188601