Promissory Estoppel in Part-Payment of Debt

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Staceytom88
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Hey everyone!

Does anyone know of any cases where promissory estoppel has been used as a defence to owing the remainder of money in part payment of a debt?

I'm really struggling to find cases....

Thank you in advance!
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jessjanellbhons1
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(Original post by Staceytom88)
Hey everyone!

Does anyone know of any cases where promissory estoppel has been used as a defence to owing the remainder of money in part payment of a debt?

I'm really struggling to find cases....

Thank you in advance!
The obvious case would be Williams v Roffey Bros Ltd. The decision in Re Selectmove Ltd [1995] 1 WLR 474 does seem to go against the application of Williams v Roffey Bros Ltd to part payment of a debt, following the strict Pinnel's case and Foakes v Beer type approach because Peter Gibson LJ in that case says that:

"if the principle of Williams v Roffey Bros Ltd is to be extended to an obligation to make payment, it would in effect leave the principle in Foakes v Beer without any application. When a creditor and a debtor who are at arm's length reach agreement on the payment of the debt by instalments to accommodate the debtor, the creditor will no doubt always see a practical benefit to himself in so doing. In the absence of authority there would be much to be said for the enforceability of such a contract. But that was a matter expressly considered in Foakes v Beer yet held not to constitute good consideration in law. Foakes v Beer was not even referred to inWilliams v Roffey Bros Ltd, and it is in my judgment impossible, consistently with the doctrine of precedent, for this court to extend the principle of Williams's case to any circumstances governed by the principle of Foakes v Beer. If that extension is to be made, it must be by the House of Lords or, perhaps even more appropriately, by Parliament after consideration by the Law Commission."

However, you can cite the Australian case of Musumeci v Winadell Pty Ltd (1994) 34 NSWLR 723, where Santow J while noting Re Selectmove Ltd applied theWilliams v Roffey Bros Ltd approach in the case where a promise was made to accept a reduction in the rent payable for a lease. So this restriction appears not to apply in Australia. Convince the UK courts that the Australian approach is the way to go.

Furthermore, as noted in this article:http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journal...Jl/2015/14.pdf by a contracts lecturer of the Australian National University whom I've worked with closely before when doing research on the doctrine of mistake, there are numerous cases that seem to apply Williams v Roffey to part payment of a debt. In Australia: Musumeci v Winadell Pty Ltd (1994) 34 NSWLR 723; W & K Holdings (NSW) Pty Ltd v Laureen Margaret Mayo [2013] NSWSC 1063; Tinyow v Lee [2006] NSWCA 80; Foyle Enterprises Pty Ltd v Steve Parcell Building Services Pty Ltd [2015] QDC 225; Slipper v Berry Buddle Wilkins Lawyers [2015] NSWSC 810; In Singapore: Sea-Land Service Inc v Cheong Fook Chee Vincent [1994] 3 SLR 631; Gay Choon Ing v Loh Sze Ti Terence Peter & Another [2009] SGCA; In Canada: Greater Fredericton Airport Authority Inc v NAV Canada. (2008) 290 DLR (4th) 405 (NBCA).

And most relevantly in your case: In the UK, Williams v Roffey Bros has been followed in Anangel Atlas Compania Naviera SA v Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co Ltd (No 2) [1990] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 526; Lee v GEC Plessey Telecommunications [1993] IRLR 383; and WRN Ltd v Ayris [2008] EWHC 1080 (QB).

All the best!
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