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Baldwin & Anor v Icon Energy Ltd & Anor  QSC 12 (3 February 2015)
Philip Mcmurdo J, Supreme Court At Brisbane.
The Supreme Court of Queensland, in the recent case of Baldwin & Anor v Icon Energy Ltd & Anor  QSC 12, had to give consideration as to whether the ‘ agreement to negotiate’ is legally binding on the parties. The solicitors for the defendants ‘Icon Energy Ltd’ and their wholly owned subsidiary ‘Jakabar PTY LTD’ were Hopgood Ganim. The solicitor for ‘Ronald Baldwin’ and ‘Souther Fairway Investments PTY LTD’ was Clayton Utz.
The decision delivered on 3 February 2015 illustrates that agreements to negotiate can be legally binding on the parties only if drafted correctly with certainty at the forefront in the minds of people drafting them.
There were a total of two agreements between the plaintiffs and defendants. The first one was a ‘Memorandum Of Understanding’ (MOU). This was between the plaintiff company and the defendants. It was made on 12 June 2008 and provided that the parties would negotiate by 30 August 2008 (no later than 30 October 2008). The second defendant held an interest in ‘ATP 626P’ from which