Nil by mouth: the problem with oral agreements

11th January 2022

Deputy Head of the Commercial team, Charlie Newington-Bridges alongside Iwan Doull from Berry Smith have published a guide on the principles relating to oral agreements.

Charlie Newington Bridges

Having acted for claimants and defendants in a number of alleged oral agreement trials in the High Court over the last 3-4 years, it is apparent that there are a series of features to these types of cases now that may be different to historic oral agreement cases. One of the principal reasons for this difference is the numerous modes of communication available to all today. It has become inherently less likely that there will be little or nothing of an agreement captured or referenced in written form electronically. A further point of difference with historic cases is the extent of disclosure. It is no revelation to commercial litigators that disclosure exercises have become extensive and expensive, even with or perhaps because of the advent of CPR PD 51U. However, managing that exercise in the context of oral agreements and the procedural rules will be important. Read more here.

Download PDF