Contractual interpretation and the implication of terms: a return to orthodoxy?



  1. Over the last 45 or so years, the House of Lords and Supreme Court have examined the relevant principles of contractual interpretation in some landmark authorities.
  2. Notable cases include: Prenn v Simmonds [1971] 1 WLR 1381; Investors Compensation Scheme Ltd v West Bromwich Building Society (No.1) [1998] 1 WLR 896; Bank of Credit and Commerce International SA v Ali [2002] 1 AC 251; Chartbrook Ltd v Persimmon Homes Ltd [2009] AC 1101; Attorney General of Belize v Belize Telecom Ltd [2009] UKPC 10 and Rainy Sky SA v Kookmin Bank [2011 WLR 2900
  3. To that list, we must now add the two recent decisions of the Supreme Court in Arnold v Britton [2015] AC 1619 and Marks & Spencer v BNP Paribas Security Services Trust Co (Jersey) Ltd [2016] AC 742.
  4. Both cases were landlord and tenant disputes in which the Supreme Court took the opportunity to review and restate fundamental aspects of the law on contractual interpretation and the implication of terms.

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