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McMeel on The Construction of Contracts, 3rd Edition by McMeel, Gerard (12th October 2017)

Part I The General Part, 5 External Context: Surrounding Circumstances, ‘Matrix’, and ‘Background’

From: McMeel on The Construction of Contracts (3rd Edition)

Gerard McMeel

Subject(s):
Breach of contract — Validity of contract — Contract clauses and damages — Exclusion or limit of liability

This chapter turns to the ‘external context’. Firstly, the chapter describes the traditional rule that surrounding circumstances are taken into account. Secondly, it traces how that traditional rule evolved into the modern approach of having regard to the wider legal and factual matrix, through the seminal speeches of Lord Wilberforce to Lord Hoffmann's restatement of the governing principles in Investors Compensation Scheme Ltd v West Bromwich Building Society. Thirdly, the scope of the exclusionary rules is examined in the light of the two leading cases of Investors Compensation Scheme Ltd v West Bromwich Building Society and Chartbrook Ltd v Persimmon Homes Ltd. Finally, consideration is given to arguments for further liberalization of the admissibility rules.

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