On 9 March 2016, the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) heard an appeal from the Central London County Court on MWB Business Exchange Centres Ltd v Rock Advertising. The facts concerned Rock Advertising (“Rock”) a company who licensed premises from MWB but after seven or eight years fell into financial difficulty and “incurred arrears of license fees and other charges of over £12,000”. An oral agreement was formed by MWB and Rock, to reschedule due payments in a form which meant that Rock would initially pay less than the originally agreed amount, but the payments would increase allowing the debt to be cleared by the end of the year. That same day, Rock paid £3,500 to MWB. However two days later MWB found that this amount was too little and reverted on the oral agreement made. They now claim there was never an agreement reached on that day in 2012.
There are two main issues I wish to comment on;1. Whether Rock’s payment of £3,500 on the day that the oral agreement was reached amounted to good consideration for variation of the original agreement and;2. Whether MWB should be estopped from enforcing its rights under clause 7.6 of the original agreement with Rock.I will be referring to the judgments of Kitchin LJ and Arden LJ.Consideration The issue of consideration was, I believe, wrongly dealt with,