Bridgewater V Leahy: A Detailed Analysis

Task: Provide a detailed report on the case study of Bridgewater v Leahy


Executive summary
In the case of Bridgewater v. Leahy, the idea of unconscionability as it relates to business law is comprehensively discussed. Every element of the Unconscionability might be comprehended by reading this case study. The idea of the unconscionable deal was introduced into the field of business law in order to protect against the weaker party being exploited by using unfair bargaining power. If one of the parties involved in the transaction is specifically incapacitated, including being placed notably in a disadvantageous position, this constitutes an instance of unconscionable dealing (Ricket, 2012).

Bridgewater v Leahy (B12 – 1998) [1998] HCA 66

The facts in Bridgewater v. Leahy show the negative aspects of the unethical behaviour by mentioning the close emotional bond between a nephew (Niel) and his uncle (Bill). Bill, who lived his entire life as a grazier in Walumbilla, passed away in 1989. The complainant, Leahy, was one of Bill's four daughters. The validity of passing Bill's property to Neil (the youngest son of Bill's brother, Sam) is examined using the IRAC approach in this report on the Bridgewater v. Leahy case. The definition of unconscionable dealings has been expanded as a result of the decision in the Bridgewater v. Leahy case study.

If the concept of unconscionability is applicable in the situation when the nephew receives the uncle's property, that is the main question at stake in the Bridgewater v. Leahy case.

In light of the problem raised in the case study of Bridgewater v. Leahy, it was not possible to conclude that the unconscionable transaction occurred between the uncle (Bill) and the nephew (Neil). It has already been mentioned that the nephew spent a considerable amount of time working for his uncle, who is childless, in his company. The case of great dependence might be justified in the perspective of a special disadvantage in the unconscious bargain because the uncle treated the nephew just like a son. If the dictating party can demonstrate that the transaction was impartial, just, and fair, then the transaction cannot be contested [Commercial Bank of Australia Ltd v. Amadio (1983) 151 CLR 447, Justice Mason]. The existence of unconscionable dealing is assessed based on the person's age, sex, inebriation, and illiteracy [Blomley v. Ryan (1956) 99 CLR 362, Justice Fullagar]. The significance of intoxication in the occurrence of unconscionable bargaining was well underlined in the Bridgewater v. Leahy case. In a case that is comparable to this one, Louth v. Diprose (1992) 175 CLR 621, the court found the parties responsible for an unconscionable bargain because they created a hostile environment that increased the risk of suicide.

Significant concerns in the Bridgewater v. Leahy case

• Prior to preparing the will, the Uncle (Bill) had never sought legal guidance from anybody else.

• If Bill and Neil were the only parties present when the will was signed, might this be construed as an unconscionable agreement?

•Could more charges be brought against Neil so that the lack of impartiality the plaintiffs have experienced is addressed as stated in the 1998 Deed/Rule