Ghougassian v Sutherland [2013] NSWCA 168

The lenders advanced money to a school secured by mortgage over the school grounds. The school was in liquidation and there was a dispute as to the amount owed. Court orders had been made for a taking of account between the school and the lender.

After the hearing and delivery of reasons for judgment the lender tried to change their claim to include compound interest, which had not been included in the statements of account delivered in accordance with the court orders. The Judge did not allow that claim, on the basis it had been brought too late. The Judge decided that the statements of account and notice of error defined the issues in the case in the same way that pleadings (statements of claim, defences, etc) did in litigation, and had to be treated in the same way. The Judge treated it like a late request to amend a case and did not permit it.

The lenders appealed that decision. The appeal Judges dismissed the appeal and held that there had not been any error, and that the Judge had been correct to say that the notice of errors and statements of account were to be treated like pleadings.

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