Gan Insurance Co Ltd v Tai Ping Insurance Co Ltd: CA 3 Jul 2001

A reinsurance contract which contained a clause which provided that no settlement or compromise of a claim could be made or liability admitted by the insured without the prior approval of the reinsurers. The court considered how the discretion to approve a settlement must be exercised.
Held: What was proscribed in all of them was ‘unreasonableness in the sense of conduct or a decision to which no reasonable person having the relevant discretion could have subscribed’. The authorities do not establish any automatic implication of a term as to reasonableness whenever a contractual provision exists putting one party at the mercy of another’s exercise of a discretion.
Mance LJ said: ‘I would therefore accept as a general qualification that any withholding of approval by reinsurers should take place in good faith after consideration of and on the basis of the facts giving rise to the particular claim and not with reference to considerations wholly extraneous to the subject-matter of the particular reinsurance.’ ‘If there is any further implication, it is along the lines that the reinsurer will not withhold approval arbitrarily, or (to use what I see as no more than an expanded expression of the same concept) will not do so in circumstances so extreme that no reasonable company in its position could possibly withhold approval. This will not ordinarily add materially to the requirement that the reinsurer should form a genuine view as to the appropriateness of settlement or compromise without taking into account considerations extraneous to the subject-matter of the reinsurance.’
Mance, Latham LJJ, Sir Christopher Staughton
[2001] EWCA Civ 1047, [2001] 1 Lloyds Rep IR 667, [2001] All ER (D) 33, [2001] 2 All ER (Comm) 299, [2001] CLC 1103
Bailii
England and Wales
Citing:
See AlsoGan Insurance Company Limited and Another v Tai Ping Insurance Company Limited CA 28-May-1999
. .
See AlsoGan Insurance Company Ltd v The Tai Ping Insurance Company Ltd (No 3) CA 1-Mar-2002
Tai Ping had placed facultative insurance with Gan. The substantial risks were re-insured through various agencies. When a claim arose it was repudiated alleging misrepresentation. Gan asserted that Tai Ping had failed to co-operate in the . .
CitedMitsui Construction Co Ltd v Attorney General of Hong Kong PC 1986
Lord Bridge said that poor drafting in a contract itself provides: ‘no reason to depart from the fundamental rule of construction of contractual documents that the intention of the parties must be ascertained from the language that they have used . .

Cited by:
See AlsoGan Insurance Company Limited and Another v Tai Ping Insurance Company Limited CA 28-May-1999
. .
See AlsoGan Insurance Company Ltd v The Tai Ping Insurance Company Ltd (No 3) CA 1-Mar-2002
Tai Ping had placed facultative insurance with Gan. The substantial risks were re-insured through various agencies. When a claim arose it was repudiated alleging misrepresentation. Gan asserted that Tai Ping had failed to co-operate in the . .
CitedBlackburn Rovers Football and Athletic Club Plc v Avon Insurance Plc, Eagle Star Insurance Company Ltd, AGF Insurance Ltd IC Insurance Ltd ComC 15-Nov-2004
The claimant football club insured its players through the defendants. A footballer injured himself in training and his career was finished. The insurers rejected the claim, and relied upon exception clauses, saying that the true cause was a . .
CitedParagon Finance plc v Nash etc CA 15-Oct-2001
The court was asked to consider whether there was any implied term limiting the power of a mortgagee to set interest rates under a variable rate mortgage.
Held: A loan arrangement which allowed a lender to vary the implied rate of interest, . .
CitedLymington Marina Ltd v MacNamara and others ChD 4-Apr-2006
The claimant marina had been constructed with financial assistance from debenture holders who in return were given low cost licences. The claimant sought to refuse to the defendant debenture holders the right to sub-licence their rights to berth . .
CitedLymington Marina Ltd v MacNamara and others CA 2-Mar-2007
A share in a marina had been inherited by one brother whose application to grant successive sub-lcences of it to the other two was rejected by the marina, who said that this was not permitted. The marina appealed a finding that it had to make its . .
CitedOxonica Energy Ltd v Neuftec Ltd PatC 5-Sep-2008
The parties disputed the meaning of an patent and know how licence. The parties disputed whether the agreement referred to IP rights before formal patents had been granted despite the terms of the agreement.
Held: ‘The secret of drafting legal . .
CitedRainy Sky Sa and Others v Kookmin Bank SC 2-Nov-2011
Commercial Sense Used to Interpret Contract
The Court was asked as to the role of commercial good sense in the construction of a term in a contract which was open to alternative interpretations.
Held: The appeal succeeded. In such a case the court should adopt the more, rather than the . .
CitedUnique Pub Properties Ltd v Broard Green Tavern Ltd and Another ChD 26-Jul-2012
The claimant freeholder sought to install in the tenant’s pub, equipment to monitor sales. It claimed a right for this in the lease. The tenant refused access, saying that the proposed system was inaccurate. The claimant now sought summary relief. . .
CitedSocimer International Bank Ltd v Standard Bank London Ltd CA 22-Feb-2008
Rix LJ considered the restraints operating a party to a contract in exercising any discretion gien under it, preferring the use of the term ‘irrationality’ to ‘unreasonableness’: ‘It is plain from these authorities that a decision-maker’s discretion . .
CitedBraganza v BP Shipping Ltd SC 18-Mar-2015
The claimant’s husband had been lost from the defendant’s ship at sea. The defendant had contracted to pay compensation unless the loss was by suicide. They so determined. The court was now asked whether that was a permissible conclusion in the . .
CitedBritish Telecommunications Plc v Telefonica O2 UK Ltd SC 9-Jul-2014
The parties disputed the termination charges which BT was entitled to charge to mobile network operators for putting calls from the latter’s networks through to BT fixed lines with associated 08 numbers. BT had introduced new tariff charges.
CitedWood v Capita Insurance Services Ltd SC 29-Mar-2017
Construction of term of contract for the sale and purchase of the entire issued share capital of a company.
Held: The appeal was dismissed: ‘the SPA may have become a poor bargain, as it appears that it did not notify the sellers of a warranty . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 06 March 2021; Ref: scu.201236