In October 1998, the plaintiffs Mr. and Mrs. Soyfer entered into an agreement bearing date 23rd October 1998 with the second defendant Robert Matar, whereby they were to lend Mr. Matar $500,000.00, purportedly for use in a development at 55-57 Brighton Boulevarde, Bondi Beach. Under that agreement, Mr. Matar was to be responsible for fees and interest incurred by the plaintiffs in obtaining the $500,000.00, and was to pay them $625,000.00 upon completion of the development or after fourteen months, whichever was the earlier.
The plaintiffs also purportedly entered into an agreement bearing date 23rd October 1998, whereby the first defendant Earlmaze, the owner of 55-57 Brighton Boulevarde, purportedly granted them an option to purchase Unit 10 in the proposed development for $1,000.00, an option which the plaintiffs could not exercise if Mr. Matar repaid his loan.
On or about 31st March 1999, the plaintiffs and Earlmaze made an agreement which purported to substitute Unit 9 for Unit 10 in the earlier agreement.
On 23rd December 1999, the plaintiffs gave notice of exercise of the option. Earlmaze denied that it had any obligation to sell Unit 9 to the plaintiffs for $1,000.00.5 On 15th June 2000, the plaintiffs filed the Statement of Claim in these proceedings, claiming specific performance of an agreement by Earlmaze to sell them Unit 9 for $1,000.00, and alternatively claiming relief against Earlmaze under the Trade Practices Act, and in addition claiming $625,000.00 plus interest from Mr. Matar.
Earlmaze has put on a defence denying liability, inter alia on the basis that it had not executed the option agreement of 23rd October 1998; and Earlmaze also put on a cross-claim against Robert Matar, Simon Elcham, and a company Ratam & Mahcle Holdings Pty. Limited (which I will “R & M”) associated with them, claiming damages arising out of the circumstances associated with the purported granting of the option to the plaintiffs.
Mr. Matar put on defences to the Statement of Claim and to the Cross-claim, but did not put on any evidence. Mr. Elcham neither put on defences nor put on any evidence. The hearing proceeded in the absence of Mr. Matar and Mr. Elcham.
OUTLINE OF FACTS …
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