English Court of Appeal Considers Contractual Interpretation of Complex Financial Instruments

20 December 2016
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Key takeaways

  • The Court of Appeal’s decision in Metlife Seguros De Retiro SA v. JP Morgan Chase Bank [2016] EWCA Civ 1248, although consistent with the general approach taken by the Supreme Court in Arnold v. Britton [2015] UKSC 36, confirms a continued willingness to read the express words of a contract compatibly with the context of the contract as a whole.
  • The Lord Justices’ reasoning suggests that the approach to construing financial instruments has not been affected by Arnold v. Britton, and that the documentary context of financial instruments may allow the court to override the literal meaning of the words chosen by the parties more readily than they would in construing another type of contractual instrument.