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Where are we now on the Interpretation of Contracts? A Cloak and Dagger Tale

Paper number

Peter Rees QC

January 2016

A paper presented to the Society of Construction Law at meetings in Sheffield on 8th June, Birmingham on 13th October and Tunbridge Wells on 8th December 2015

This paper looks at the impact on the way contracts may be interpreted, following the Supreme Court decision in Arnold v Britton, the extent to which that case has changed both the five principles enunciated by Lord Hoffmann in ICS v West Bromwich, and what seemed to be a trend towards interpreting contracts in the light of commercial common sense.

Mr Smith and Mr Jones - Alice Through the Looking Glass - Cloaks and daggers - The five principles - Alice Through the Looking Glass (encore) - Commercial common sense - The parol evidence rule - Arnold v Britton - The theory - The practice? - Mr Smith and Mr Jones (encore).

The author: Peter Rees QC is a barrister practising at 39 Essex Chambers, London.

Text: 20 pages