Michael Hill International lodges appeal in Supreme Court

Michael Hill International lodges appeal in Supreme Court - Artificial Jewellery

Michael Hill International has lodged a Notice of Appeal concerning a Supreme Court of New South Wales judgement earlier this year.

In February, the Supreme Court of NSW ordered Michael Hill International (MHI) to pay $2.25 million in damages in a dispute with a packaging supplier.

The case concerned sales agreements between MHI and Australian paper bag manufacturer Gispac Pty Ltd between 2014 and 2018. Gispac alleged that MHI violated clauses, including a ‘take or pay’ obligation.

Before MHI lodged its appeal, Australian law firm Gilbert and Tobin published an intriguing analysis of the case written by Andrew Hii and Professor Gregory Tolhurst.

The analysis highlighted the importance for any party signing a contract to take steps to ‘obtain and review’ all terms that are expressed to be incorporated into the contract.

“It is a basic rule of contract law that if you sign a contract, you are bound by the terms of the contract whether you have read them or not: Toll (FGCT) Pty Ltd v Alphapharm Pty Ltd (2004) 219 CLR 165, [2004] HCA 52,” the report reads.

“In such circumstances, unless there is a statutory provision that would allow the contract to be set aside, to get out of the contract, a party will need to prove the other party has engaged in some conduct that vitiated their consent to enter the contract.

“Such conduct could include taking steps to ensure they do not find out about a mistake they made, misrepresenting the terms of the contract or otherwise engaging in unconscionable conduct through knowingly taking advantage of a special disability the other party was under.”

Jeweller’s 2024 State of the Industry Report documented MHI 141 stores in Australia. The company operates more than 300 stores worldwide and recently announced plans to relocate the Bevilles headquarters to Brisbane. 

More reading

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Economic pressure: Michael Hill announces store closures, job cuts
Michael Hill discusses acquisition with rival retailers
Done deal: Michael Hill takeover of Bevilles complete
Michael Hill and Bevilles: History never repeats itself, but it does often rhyme


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