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North Ocean Shipping v Hyundai Construction Ltd [1979]

Facts

  • Hyundai agreed to build a ship for North Ocean
  • During the build, the dollar devalued by ~10%, and Hyundai demanded the extra 10%, which amounted to ~$300,000
  • Hyundai, in turn, increased their line of credit
  • North Ocean paid up as they needed the ship to be finished to win a valuable charter agreement
  • 8 months later, North Ocean sought to recover the extra 10% payment

Issue

  • Had Hyundai provided consideration for the promise of extra payment; could duress force recovery

Decision

  • Yes, extra payment could not be returned, claim failed

Reasoning

  • Consideration was provided by the increase in line of credit
  • The agreement was obtained under duress, however there was still no recovery as North Ocean took too long to act to claim duress
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