Direct Travel Insurance v McGeown: CA 12 Nov 2003

The contra proferentem interpretation rule is to be invoked only in cases of genuine doubt or ambiguity. Auld LJ said: ‘A court should be wary of starting its analysis by finding an ambiguity by reference to the words in question looked at on their own. And it should not, in any event, on such a finding, move straight to the contra proferentem rule without first looking at the context and, where appropriate, permissible aids to identifying the purpose of the commercial document of which the words form part. Too early recourse to the contra proferentem rule runs the danger of ‘creating’ an ambiguity where there is none’.
Auld, Mummery, Keene LJJ
[2003] EWCA Civ 1606, [2004] 1 All ER (Comm) 609
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedAJ Building and Plastering Ltd v Turner and Others QBD 11-Mar-2013
An insurance company had engaged a main contractor to handle repairs to houses insured under its policies. The contractor had engaged the claimant subcontractor to carry out the works at the defendants’ homes, but then went into insolvent . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 15 July 2021; Ref: scu.188127