Rock Advertising Limited v MWB Business Exchange Centres Limited

In Lord Sumption’s words, the appeal resolved by the Supreme Court last week was “exceptional” and raised “truly fundamental issues in the law of contract”. In a ground-breaking decision, the Supreme Court settled in a surprising way the long running debate about the effect of “no oral modification” clauses (NOM clauses), i.e. clauses which state that any contractual variation must be in writing to be effective.

NOM clauses are frequently encountered and their effect is of great commercial importance. But what did the Supreme Court say and was it right?