Feb. 13th, 2013 11:51 pm
lloll4: ponyo refuses piece of bread (ponyo don't want bread)
[personal profile] lloll4
This is not a nice LNY. I've got a shitload of work coming up in the next week that must be done within next week and then LNY will be over. Not to mention that all the make-up classes this month is cutting into my Saturdays this month. I hate these make-up classes. Or at least, in addition to the fact that they happen in LNY.

Happy LNY, anyway.


ETA: Okay, I wanted to blog about this case but kept forgetting. It was for my equity and trusts class and frankly not that significant. It's about a species of trust called a Quistclose trust, which apparently is supposed to be what happens when A lends B money for the purpose of paying B's creditor C. Apparently this means that if B for some reason is unable to pay C (B goes bankrupt or whatever) that money would go back to A since it's in a trust for A. Which is a little weird because you'd think that the money would be for B's many, many other creditors E, F, G, etc, right? In class, we went through a bunch of academic and judicial opinions on the Quistclose trust, which just means no one really knows what to think about it. Just lovely.

Anyway, this case isn't as much about Quistclose trusts (though it was on the reading list for that reason) as it is about a public organisation that is inexplicably gullible and makes me embarrassed to think it represents my country:

Singapore Tourism Board v Children's Media Ltd and others [2008] SGHC 77

The STB's function is self-explanatory. Children's Media, plus a related company and an event planner (which make up the second and third defendents) promised STB - well, the planner did, CM came later - that it could hold a music event in Singapore that would attract participants and publicity from all over the world, which would be good for STB's mission.

In January 2004, STB entered an agreement with CM, which was created to organise this event. It paid over S$12m for underwriting the event, sponsorship, and other financing. CM et al needed to get more funding via other sources too. But there were problems with the whole set-up. I quote:

In reality, the first defendant [aka CM] was merely the conduit to receive the sponsorship sums. It was made to bear all the expenses and liabilities of the second defendant as well as those of third parties, but it obtained none of the benefits for being the organiser of the Event. Instead, where liabilities were to be incurred, the contract was entered into by the first defendant, but where income was to be received, the contract was entered into by the second defendant.

The planner was CEO of both CM and the related company, by the way.

Alarms should have been going off all over the place, but I guess STB didn't know then. Why not? I dunno.

Under that 2004 agreement, the event was to happen by March 2005. Which didn't happen, because CM said world events like the 2004 tsunami affected its fundraising.

STB accepted the excuse (they could have terminated and demanded money back) and made a second agreement in March 2005.

Under this second agreement, the defendents were supposed to confirm the attendance of celebrities/performers by May 2005 (they were to do this 130 days in advance of the event) but couldn't, citing other distractions. This meant the event would not happen by September/October.

So, STB agreed to a third agreement. [I'm all >_< at this point.] At this point, STB could still have terminated the agreement and sued for its money back. But of course, this was expecting too much of dear old STB.

The third agreement, made in August 2005, stated that the event would finally, really, absolutely-not-kidding-you take place in April 2006. THEN, they also signed a letter that said, roughly:

a) previous two agreements deemed terminated;
b) neither side has further claims on each other arising from those two agreements;
c) neither side has further obligations to each other arising from those two agreements.

... and then the defendants said they couldn't get any more funding and would have to terminate the third agreement.

[I'm way past >_<. I'm at the stage of giggling hysterically, except those are my tax dollars, STB.]

It comes as no surprise to anyone, I'm sure, that the defendants had no intention of staging any event in Singapore. In fact they were planning to have an event in New York all this while.

(STB sued on the basis of fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract, total failure of consideration, breach of trust, among others. The Quistclose trust thing came when the court decided that one such arose in favour of STB. In the end the court decided that the third agreement was rescinded and both sides would revert to the second agreement. Money back, yes? Great. Too bad about the shame.)
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