Australia Pty Ltd V Barton Ventures Pty Ltd (2017)

CITATION [2017] QDC 299

Porter sold equipment on retention of title terms to Tyremil Pty Ltd, and registered its interest under the PPSA. The equipment was on land owned by Barton, and was in the possession of Di Carlo, a person associated with Tyremil. Tyremil failed to pay the purchase price for the equipment and went in liquidation. The liquidator did not oppose return of the equipment, but Di Carlo refused to return it.

The court ordered Di Carlo to return the equipment.

There was no written contract for the sale. Porter had sent Tyremil an unexecuted contract, containing a term providing that it would not bind Porter until signed by it. But the court was prepared to construe this as an offer by Porter, accepted by Tyremil’s conduct in accepting delivery of the equipment.

Alternatively, Porter had made it clear that it was only prepared to deal on retention of title terms. In either case, there was sufficient evidence of intention to displace the prima facie Sale of Goods Act implication of immediate transfer of title.

Not having transferred title to Tyremil, Porter was entitled to possession of the equipment as against a third party such as Di Carlo. And, said the court, Porter was entitled to seize the equipment under s123, on the basis of Tyremil’s default.

The summary of the pertinent points in this legal case update has been provided by Steve Pemberton, Lawyer and Consultant, as an extract from his digest of PPSA cases.