What is in a name? The effect of a basis of the contract clause — revisited
Readers will recall the decision of Mr Justice Akenhead in Genesis Housing Association Ltd v Liberty Syndicate Management Ltd for and on behalf of Syndicate 4472 at Lloyd’s  EWHC 3105 (TCC) in which it was held that a misstatement in the proposal form constituted a breach of warranty due to the basis of the contract clause contained in the proposal form.
The insurer, Liberty Syndicates, was as a result discharged from all liability. Genesis was aggrieved by this decision and appealed. The Court of Appeal, in a unanimous judgment delivered by Lord Justice Jackson on 4 October 2013, has firmly upheld that decision, confirming the impact of basis clauses in proposal forms. It also considered the impact of the declaration of the signatory as to the accuracy of the information supplied.
The Court of Appeal also commented on the impact of a condition of the cover dealing with the right to avoid in the event of misrepresentation…
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Mr Justice Field, sitting in the Commercial Court, has had to consider the meaning of the phrase ‘proper and business-like’.
Swallowfalls v Monaco Yachting provides further support for the construction of contracts in the manner most consistent with ‘commercial common sense’.