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The doctrine of novation of contractual rights

Published on 01 Jun 12 by "THE TAX SPECIALIST" JOURNAL ARTICLE

The recent decision of the High Court in ALH Group Property Holdings Pty Ltd v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue examined two fundamental aspects of Australian property law, namely, when does a purchaser under a cancelled contract for sale of land become entitled to a refund of the duty paid on it, and when can a contract for sale be said to have been novated by its vendor and original purchaser to a new purchaser, as distinct from having been assigned to the new purchaser?

This article analyses the decision and its broader implications in detail. In the author’s view, the decision is of critical importance for property lawyers, and also for tax practitioners who are engaged in making, varying and cancelling contracts for their clients, because of the stamp duty consequences of a novation of the parties’ contractual rights on their statutory obligations to pay stamp duty on the contracts.

Author profile:

Christopher Bevan CTA
Chris is Barrister Wentworth Chambers. Current at 01 July 2012 Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Christopher J BEVAN.
 
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