In the case of Maranello Rosso Ltd v Lohomij BV and others  EWHC 2452 (Ch) the Court held that various fraud-based claims had been released by a settlement agreement between the parties, despite the agreement containing no express wording to that effect. This judgment is a reminder that fraud-based claims (even ones that are, as yet, unknown) can be released as part of a settlement, even in the absence of express words to that effect. The judge rejected any suggestion that, in the previous case of Satyam, the judge had been purporting, even obiter, to state any principle of law that express words were required for a release of unknown fraud claims. He emphasised that there was no rule requiring the use of express words referring to claims based on fraud or dishonesty if a release is to extend to them. While the courts may be very slow to infer that a party intended to surrender fraud-based claims, the key question is whether, applying the normal principles of contractual construction, the release extends to such claims.
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