Once the terms that will be included in an agreement are determined, its meaning must be determined. Since the introduction of legislation governing unfair terms, the English courts have consolidated their general guiding principle that agreements are interpreted in such a way that they achieve the intentions of the parties from the point of view of a reasonable person. This changed considerably from the beginning of the 20th century, when English courts had fallen in love with a theory of literary interpretation, partly defended by Lord Halsbury.  When, in the middle of the twentieth century, fears about unfair terms and, in particular, exclusion terms were reversed, making strong use of the doctrine of counter-proferentem. Ambiguities contained in clauses that exclude or limit a party`s liability would be interpreted against the person relying on them. In the main case, Canada Steamship Lines Ltd v. R, the crown hangar burned down in the Port of Montreal and destroyed goods from Canada Steamship Lines. Lord Morton held that a clause in the contract limited the Crown`s liability for “damage”. Goods. I did it. in the hangar in question” was not sufficient to exempt them from liability for negligence, since the clause could also be interpreted in such a way that it related to liability not attributable to fault under another contractual clause. It would exclude him instead. Some judges, in particular Lord Denning, wanted to go further and introduce a “fundamental breach” rule according to which liability for very serious offences cannot be excluded at all.
 While the rules remain ready to be applied if the law may not help, such hostile approaches to interpretation  have generally been perceived as contrary to the clear meaning of language.  Company incorporations comply with contract law by Article 140(1) of the Law on Shares. This section provides that a statute has the effect of a contract between the company and any member, the partnership and any director and secretary, as well as between each member and any other member. If you believe your contractual or legal rights are being violated by your employer, speak to one of our experienced labour lawyers. In a number of cases, courts avoid the performance of contracts which, while dealing with a formal offer and acceptance, are otherwise not very objective. In Hartog v. Colin & Shields, in which the seller of certain Argentine rabbit furs noted its prices well below what had been suggested in previous negotiations, the buyer was unable to impose the agreement because any reasonable person would have known that the offer was not serious, but an error.  If two parties feel that they reach an agreement, but their offer and acceptance concern two entirely different things, the Tribunal will not impose a contract. . . .