Contractual Interpretation: The retreat from Hoffman (Atkin paper)

14th Feb 2017

This paper was originally presented at a legal symposium hosted by Atkin Chambers on 7 November 2016.

Contractual interpretation is a key battleground in much commercial litigation. Recent decisions from the UK Supreme Court and the courts in Singapore and Hong Kong appear to show a shift in approach from Lord Hoffmann’s well-known statement of principles in Investors Compensation Scheme v West Bromwich BS.

Andrew Goddard QC and David Johnson examine those recent decisions and consider whether they mark a fundamental change how courts are likely to approach such questions in the future, or whether they represent merely cosmetic updates to the philosophy put forward by Lord Hoffmann in Investors Compensation Scheme and subsequent judgments.

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