The term “gross negligence” has proved difficult in the past to be given effect to a commercial contract in English law. However, back in 2011, the Supreme Court of Ireland questioned whether such a term could be given effect to a breach of a commercial contract.
The Court upheld the decision of the lower court and found that the alleged breach of contract in that particular case did amount to gross negligence by applying principles common to both English and Irish law and thus there was no difficulty in interpreting and applying the clause.
Whilst this decision will not bind the English courts, the Irish Supreme Court has added some useful discussion on the meaning of “gross negligence” and “wilful act”.
ICDL Saudi Arabia v European Computer Driving Licence Foundation Ltd  IESC 55