Walton Stores v Maher [1988]

Parties in negotiation through solicitors for lease of
land.
Was agreed contract should be made through exchange of
parts.
W withholding his part, but M proceeded with work on
assumption contract would be made.
High Court of Australia held W estopped from denying
he was bound.
W must have known M was proceeding on assumption he
had an agreement and exchange was formality.
W’s inaction encouraged M.
[Importance of this case is that majority of court declined
to fragment unity of estoppel, held that promissory estoppel could found cause
of action, extended this to enforcement of voluntary promises, allowed new
obligations to be created through estoppel, and allowed damages, none of which
has yet happened in an English promissory estoppel case].