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Past Event
9 December 2009

Contracts and the Courts - Recent Developments in Contractual Interpretation (London)

It is rare for cases concerning contractual interpretation to reach the Supreme Court or its predecessor, the House of Lords, but this year there have been judgments given in two such cases and Mayer Brown were involved in both - Chartbrook Limited v Persimmon Homes Limited [2009] UKHL38 and in Sigma Finance Corporation (in Administrative Receivership) [2009] UKSC2.

The first of these cases, Persimmon, concerned a Development Agreement and provided Lord Hoffman (this was his last case as a Law Lord) with the opportunity to endorse the purposive approach to contractual interpretation set out in his earlier seminal judgment in Investors Compensation Scheme v West Bromwich Building Society (1998) 1 WLR 896. The second, Sigma, was the latest in a line of cases where the Courts have been invited to construe the payment provisions in the documentation governing Structured Investment Vehicles and was the first of its kind to reach our highest court.

In both cases, the House of Lords/Supreme Court disagreed with the approach to the interpretation of the relevant contracts taken in the Courts below and their judgments emphasise the importance of the perceived commercial rationale for an agreement as a factor in its interpretation. What is particularly remarkable about these two cases is the extent to which the Courts were prepared to come to their own view on this very important question, even to the extent of overriding the ordinary and natural meaning of the words used.

Andrew Legg and Simon Willis, both partners in Mayer Brown's London Litigation Group, acted in Permisson and Sigma respectively and, at this seminar, will explain the issues that arose in those cases, give their views on the implications of the judgments, offer some thoughts on where the law now stands and what that means for anyone drafting, or seeking to interpret, an English law contact.

Registration: 4:30 p.m.
Presentation: 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
With drinks and canapés: 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Location (View Map)
Mayer Brown International LLP, 201 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 3AF

If you would like more information or register, please contact or telephone +44 20 3130 8952.

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