Pavey Mathews Approach to unjust enrichment scenario
1.0 Has D been unjustly enriched at the expense of P’s loss? P has incurred X amount but has received only Y amount. It may be possible for P to recover (difference between X and Y) by way of quantum meruit.
2.0 It is now accepted that an action in quantum meruit is not based on implied contract but on a claim to restitution (Deane, Mason, Wilson and Dawson JJ in Pavey & Mathews v Paul).
2.1 [If relevant] There is now rejection of the view that liability was based on implied contract (Pavey & Mathews v Paul).
3.0 In that case, although Deane J did not explicitly lay down the necessary ingredients for restitution (or unjust enrichment claim) to arise, it appears the following elements must be established: 1) Were there goods supplied or services rendered? 2) Was consideration not provided (or inadequately provided)? 3) Is there no applicable genuine agreement or is such agreement frustrated, avoided or unenforceable?
3.1 [Application] It is clear that P performed the services and that D had accepted it. It is important to note that P did not provide the services as a volunteer since there was, although unenforceable, a contract which evidences parties’ intention to pay. The contract is void on the ground of [state the relevant one]. Hence the elements of unjust enrichment are met.
4.0 [Measure] Having met the elements, there is a question relating to what measure needs to be adopted in order to reasonably assess the P’s remuneration. Deane J stated that ‘reasonable remuneration’ can be measured by reference to: 1) fair value of work provided; or 2) reasonable value of labor and market value of material supplied.
4.1 [Unsolicited] However, there is an exception to services which are provided unsolicited. But they may be able to claim the value of benefit to D.