There was a great deal of furore leading up to the Supreme Court’s judgment in Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi and Parking Eye Ltd v Beavis, and how the legal landscape might change in distinguishing valid liquidated damages clauses from penalties. Therefore, it was with baited breath that I visited the Supreme Court’s website as soon as the judgment was published. However, I have to admit that it didn’t provide the clarity I had hoped for, and my initial reaction was to question how this might benefit contracting parties, and the construction industry at large.
There has been much written about the case and last week I had the pleasure of attending the SCL talk at the National Liberal Club, London to hear Mathias Cheung, a pupil at Atkin Chambers, present his SCL Hudson Prize winning paper. I have to say that the talk was enlightening, and in some respects justified my initial reaction on reading the case (I must confess I haven’t read all 123 pages of the judgment). Those keen-eyed SCL members will have noted that Mathias’s excellent paper has now also been published. Continue reading