'Written only' variation clauses are common in construction contracts.
Some say they provide certainty avoiding unagreed changes and increased build costs. Others say they allow changes to be agreed orally and carried out but never paid for as there is no written record, i.e. you get extra work for free.
The Supreme Court's decision will have a direct and important impact on construction contracts, so watch this space as more is to follow.
The Supreme Court is being asked to decide whether contract clauses that require any variation to be in writing are a “slam dunk” that automatically defeat any claim to have agreed changes orally. The case, which has potentially wide-ranging effects, centres on a licence agreement under which marketing company Rock Advertising occupied central London office space.