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What is it?
Quantum Meruit‘ simply means ‘the amount deserved‘ (ie, reasonable/market value).

Why is it Important?
In essence, the principle is designed to remedy a situation where it would be unjust or unfairfor a party to enjoy a benefit without compensating the other party.

Recent Application 
Progressive Pod Properties P/L v A & M Green Investments P/L [2012] NSWCA 225


  • P and G owned undeveloped parcels of land opposite another.
  • P and G obtained approval to develop their parcels of land on condition that a roundabout be built by Council to facilitate entry onto their land.
  • G advised P that it would ‘take ages‘ if P and G relied on Council to build the roundabout.
  • After asking G to determine the cost of the roundabout, P informed G that it intended to sell its parcel of land (but the cost was factored into the price and P was ‘not going anywhere‘).
  • G constructed the roundabout and claimed half the cost which P refused to pay.
  • G claimed a quantum meruit from P for half the cost of the roundabout.

Final Decision 

P won because the Court found:

  • there was no implied (much less express) request by P for G to build the roundabout.
  • even if there was a request, G did not rely on it in deciding to proceed.

Lesson Learned 

Although the doctrine of quantum meruit may apply in some situations it is DANGEROUS to rely upon it as a safety net for all situations. Thus, the best approach is to ENSURE all agreed terms are properly documented and signed by all parties.

For more information on our Commercial law services or if you have any questions or would like to discuss the above, call the specialist Commercial lawyers at Matthews Folbigg Parramatta on 9635 7966.