Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly

Unjust enrichment in Asia Pacific (Brunei, Hong Kong, Malaysia 
and Singapore)

Man Yip *


1. 2253 Apparel Inc v Medico Titan Pte Ltd [2023] SGHC 104 (SGHC (Gen Div): 
Lai SC SJ).
Subsisting contract precludes a claim in unjust enrichment—at the expense of
The case arose against the background of the worldwide shortage of disposable gloves during the Covid-19 pandemic. D was appointed as a Thai manufacturer’s official representative and reseller of SKYMED nitrile gloves that the latter manufactured. D would in turn seek buyers of the gloves; and F was one such direct buyer which was under a contractual obligation to pay a deposit amounting to 30 per cent of the total purchase price to D. F sold 30 million boxes of the gloves to I, which sold on a portion to P. Pursuant to the contract between I and F, I was required to transfer 30 per cent of the purchase price to D. Pursuant to the contract between P and I, P was required to pay a 30 per cent deposit into D’s bank account, which P did accordingly. P claimed that thereafter no word was heard from D, F or I and P did not receive any gloves. P commenced action against D, alleging, amongst other things, that there was a failure of consideration justifying restitution for the monies paid to D.
Decision: The unjust enrichment claim failed. P had no contractual relation with D; 
instead it had a subsisting and valid contract with I, which it could not “sidestep”. 
P’s recourse was to sue I in contract.
Held: A claim in unjust enrichment against the defendant would be denied if it would undermine the contractual allocation of risks in a contract entered into between the defendant and a third party which forms the legal basis for the defendant to retain the benefit received.
2. Anuar Abd Aziz v Dato’ John Lee Siew Neng [2023] 3 CLJ 159 (Mal CA (Putrajaya): Lee SW JCA; Supang L JCA; Gunalan M JCA).
Unjust enrichment if the value of the property put up for security is far higher than the loan sums
R1 granted loans to A pursuant to two loan agreements under which A had transferred three plots of land to R2 and five plots of land to R3 as securities. The properties were

Unjust enrichment in Asia Pacific


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