MH Corporate Update

Tuesday 4 April 2017

To vary or not to vary

The general principle of contract variation is that parties to a contract may vary its terms by mutual agreement, provided that consideration is given and any necessary formalities are followed.

On this basis, it would not be unreasonable to expect that if a variation clause in an agreement states that the agreement can only be varied by written agreement signed by both parties, any attempted oral variation would fall short of such a test. Such clauses are commonly referred to as “anti-oral variation clauses”, the intention of which is to ensure that verbal communications cannot be treated as variations to the contract…or so the parties may have thought.