Morgan Grenfell and Co Ltd v Sace – Istituto Per i Servizi Assicurativi Del Commercio: CA 19 Dec 2001

The claimants sought to recover under guarantees, issued by the respondent banks, underwriting export credit guarantees. Though described as guarantees, the agreements were in law and substance, contracts of insurance governed by Italian law. The respondents refused to pay alleging failure to disclose the absence of investigation of the financial viability of the payer.
Held: The judge had had to find against a background of differing expert opinions on Italian Law and banking practice. These were for an English court, questions of fact, even though of a special nature. On an appeal against findings on such issues the Court of Appeal should be reluctant to reverse findings of fact. Italian insurance law differs from English law with respect to avoidance of liability of the insurer. In this case though the court differed from the judge as to its conclusions on Italian insurance and banking law, greater disclosure by the insured would not have affected the bankers minds, and the finding was upheld.


Clarke, Mance, Dyson LJJ


[2001] EWCA Civ 1932




England and Wales


CitedParkasho v Singh PC 1968
. .
CitedMacmillan, Inc (Incorporated Under the Laws of the State of Delaware, Usa) MCC Proceeds Inc v Bishopsgate Investment Trust Plc (No 4) CA 4-Nov-1998
When a court came to be obliged to decide issues of foreign law which were in substance issues of fact, and experts disagreed, it had to do so, and the Court of Appeal had to come to its own conclusions respecting the circumstances in first instance . .
CitedBenmax v Austin Motor Co Ltd HL 1955
Except for cases which are expressly limited to questions of law, an appellant is entitled to appeal from the Court of Session to the House against any finding, whether it be a finding of law, a finding of fact or a finding involving both law and . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Banking, Insurance, Litigation Practice

Updated: 05 June 2022; Ref: scu.167862