Form prevailing over substance?

Dixon, William M. (2013) Form prevailing over substance? The Queensland Lawyer, 33(1), pp. 8-9.

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The decision of the Court of Appeal in Kellas-Sharpe v PSAL Ltd [2012] QCA 371 considered a not unusual provision in a loan agreement, being a provision whereby a lender agrees to accept a lower or concessional rate of interest in circumstances of prompt payment by the borrower.

The loan agreement in question provided for the borrower to pay a standard rate of interest of 7.5% per month. However, if the borrower was not in default, the lender agreed to accept interest at a concessional rate of interest of 4% per month. The issue for determination by the Court of Appeal (McMurdo P, Gotterson JA and Fryberg J) was whether the clause was subject to the equitable jurisdiction to relieve against penalties, and, if so, if the interest rate provision should be treated as a penalty making the interest rate provision void. In mounting this argument, the borrower was seeking to overturn a long line of authority which has repeatedly upheld the semantic distinction between an increase in the rate of interest (which attracts the doctrine concerning penalties) and an incentive to the borrower by way of a reduction in the interest rate for prompt payment (which does not attract the doctrine)...

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ID Code: 61519
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
ISSN: 0312-1658
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Commercial and Contract Law (180105)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Thomson Legal & Regulatory
Deposited On: 24 Jul 2013 22:05
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2013 09:34

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