A “miss is as good as a mile” when it comes to contractual notice provisions

In Ener-G Holdings Plc v Hormell [2012] EWCA Civ 1059, the Court of Appeal found that a party seeking to bring a breach of warranty claim had failed to comply with the notice provisions in a share purchase agreement.

As a result, the claim was time-barred. The case demonstrates that the court will take a strict approach to compliance with contractual dispute resolution mechanisms and provides guidance on how these clauses should be drafted in order to achieve certainty. In particular, the Court of Appeal held that if contracting parties wish to limit service of notices exclusively to certain prescribed methods, very clear language must be used.