Interpretation of leases: An erroneous construction

Tiffany Scott QC and Charlotte Black interpret the Supreme Court’s reversal of the unanimous Court of Appeal decision on the question of reasonableness in Sequent Nominees ‘The majority held that the courts below had treated the question whether consent had been unreasonably refused as effectively determined by an erroneous construction of the lease.’ In Sequent …
This post is only available to members.

Implied terms: Grief in Greendale

Kate Raybould highlights the woes of the Post Office ‘The claimants argued that liability for losses was limited to losses caused by their own default or negligence, whereas the Post Office maintained that liability was effectively strict for any losses, howsoever caused.’ Although it may not be immediately apparent when you pop in for a …
This post is only available to members.

Practical completion: A question of construction

Nicholas Broomfield considers the decision in Mears v Costplan ‘A “material” defect is not necessarily a breach capable of preventing practical completion or permitting termination of the contract; such a conclusion risks giving rise to “commercial absurdity”.’ Mears Ltd v Costplan Services (South East) Ltd [2018] concerned the development of student accommodation in Plymouth. Mears …
This post is only available to members.

Development: Overage and contractual interpretation

Martin McKeague and Will Cousins analyse recent key cases on the interpretation of overage agreements ‘Mr Biden’s argument was that the overage provision gave him complete discretion as to whether and when to sell the properties and, therefore, whether and when to pay the overage.’ In recent years and months, contractual interpretation, and in particular …
This post is only available to members.

Wills: Generation gain

Amanda Noyce outlines the lessons from a case concerning how a disputed share of a settlement fund should be assigned ‘The question that the Public Trustee sought to have determined was whether, according to the terms of the settlement, David‘s share accrued to the share that was held for his brother, Jeffery, and so was …
This post is only available to members.

Construction: Dubious drafting

Sapna Garg examines a recent case on contractual interpretation ‘What can we take from this case? It is a trite point, but surely there is no clearer illustration of how failing to draft a contract clearly and unambiguously can land the parties in a lengthy and costly dispute.‘ At the start of a new business …
This post is only available to members.

Trust deeds: Filling in the blanks

Emilia Piskorz considers the weight given to subject matter certainty in a Court of Appeal case ‘Even though the trust deed did not refer to the property, given the correspondence, the reasonable man would conclude that Madam Lim believed that the property was held on the trusts of the deed she executed.‘ In a judgment …
This post is only available to members.

Drafting: If the cap fits

James Farrell and Sophie Jones explore the lessons to be learned from a recent case on liability caps ‘Although the court will consider commercial common sense and the surrounding circumstances, its focus is first and foremost on the language used. The language used is something that contracting parties have control over, and they should exercise …
This post is only available to members.

Contract: Including exclusion

Gwendoline Davies looks at the courts’ changing approach to interpretation of exclusion clauses ‘The Unfair Contract Terms Act (UCTA) can determine the enforceability of clauses which seek to restrict or exclude business liability in some commercial contracts, including the majority of supply contracts.’ The interpretation of exclusion clauses in commercial contracts has continued to prompt …
This post is only available to members.