End-of-chapter questions: Answer Guidance 12.1

Interpretation

This question requires you to consider critically the nature and scope of interpretation. Leading decisions such as Investors Compensation Scheme Ltd v West Bromwich Building Society [1998] 1 WLR 896, Chartbrook Ltd v Persimmon Homes Ltd [2009] UKHL 38, [2009] 1 AC 1101 and Arnold v Britton [2015] UKSC 36, [2015] AC 1619 all need to be discussed. You might bring out a supposed tension between the meaning of the written document and of the actual agreement. But you must focus on potential limits to the interpretative exercise, such as a need for ambiguity; pre-contractual negotiations; post-contractual conduct. You might also consider whether interpretation should have a broader or narrower scope by reference to an overlap with the doctrine of rectification (considered in Chapter 15).