Bovis Construction (Scotland) Ltd v Whatlings Construction Ltd: HL 19 Oct 1995

The managing contractors sought damages from a sub-contractor. The contract was on a printed form and in letters. A letter limited time related damages to pounds 100,000. The main contractors sought a much larger sum.
Held: A clause seeking to limit liability must be clear in what it restricts, and is to be read strictly. The sub-contractors had wholly failed to show that the clause could cover their repudiatory breach leading to a termination of the contract. Time was not relevant for this clause after the breach. Appeal dismissed.


Gazette 24-Jan-1996, Times 19-Oct-1995, [1995] CLY 5569, 1995 SLT 1339


England and Wales


AppliedAilsa Craig Fishing Co Ltd v Malvern Fishing Co Ltd HL 26-Nov-1981
Even though a shipowner who had carried cargo on deck was not entitled to rely on the exceptions to liability in his contract, a limitation clause was different and should not be construed by reference to the specially exacting standards applicable . .
Appeal fromBovis Construction (Scotland) Ltd v Whatlings Construction Ltd OHCS 1994
Correspondence preceding a contract could be looked at to determine the circumstances in which a provision in the contract was intended to apply.
Lord President Hope said: ‘In my opinion the issue which has arisen between the parties in this . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Contract, Construction, Scotland

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.78513