In 1993 Gerard Cassegrain & Co Pty Ltd settled legal
proceedings brought against CSIRO on the basis that it was paid the
amount of $9.5 million. Entries were then made into the
company's accounts to create a loan of $4.25 million owing by
the company to Claude Cassegrain, one of the directors. In the
court proceedings it was accepted that Claude had no entitlement to
any part of the compensation and that there was never any moneys
owing to him by the company.
In 1996 the company transferred a property to Claude and his
wife, Felicity as joint tenants. The transfer purported to debit
Claude's loan account with the company for the consideration
In 1996 Claude's siblings brought oppression proceedings
against him in the Federal Court. The Federal Court held that
Claude's conduct in relation to recording a loan of $4.25
million and drawing down on that loan was oppressive and unfairly
prejudicial to the other shareholders in the company.
In 2000 for a consideration of $1 Claude transferred his
interest in the property to Felicity.
Subsequently further proceedings were brought seeking to have
the whole of the property re-transferred to the company. The claim
Claude had fraudulently effected the transfer of the
Claude had acted as Felicity's agent for the purpose;
her interest in the property was tainted by Claude's
The High Court noted that it was not alleged that Felicity was a
participant in or had notice of Claude's fraudulent
The relevant sections of the New South Wales legislation (which
is similar to the Western Australia legislation) provide that:
s.42 "The registered proprietor ... of an interest in
land ... shall except in case of fraud, ... shall hold the same,
absolutely free from all other estates and interest that are not so
s.118 "Proceedings for the possession or recovery of
land do not lie against the registered proprietor of the land,
except as follows:
Proceedings brought by a person deprived of land by fraud
a person who has been registered as proprietor of the land
through fraud; or
a person deriving (otherwise than as a transferee bona fide
for valuable consideration) from or through a person registered as
proprietor of the land through fraud."
The Court concluded that Claude taking the steps necessary to
procure registration of the transfer from the company to Felicity
and himself as joint tenants showed no more than that Claude had
performed tasks that were for the advantage of Felicity. This alone
did not show that his fraud was within the scope of any authority
she had given to him. Without further evidence it did not show that
knowledge of his fraud was to be imputed to her.
In this case Claude, but not Felicity, were registered as
proprietors of interest in land (as a joint tenant) through fraud.
This joint interest which Felicity acquired for valuable
consideration was indefeasible.
However, by the second transfer Felicity derived from Claude an
interest as tenants in common as to half. Felicity derived that
interest from a person who was registered as proprietor of that
interest through fraud. As Felicity was not a transferee for
valuable consideration the Court held that the second transfer
should be reversed.
The Council announced planning policies to encourage more inner suburban retirement village and aged care development.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).