Breach of Contract Lawyers | Resolving Contract Issues

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What is a breach of contract?

In UK law, a breach of contract occurs when one party to a contract fails to fulfil their obligations as outlined in the terms or implied terms in a legally binding agreement. A breach of contract can take many forms, including:

  • Non-performance: When one party fails to fulfil their obligations as outlined in the contract, such as failing to deliver goods or services on time
  • Improper performance: When one party performs their obligations in a way that is not in accordance with the terms of the contract, such as delivering goods that are not of the agreed-upon quality.
  • Anticipatory breach: When one party indicates that they will not fulfil their obligations under the contract before the performance is due, such as by giving notice of cancellation before the agreed date.
  • Repudiation: When one party takes steps that show that they will not fulfil their obligations under the contract.
  • Termination: When one party terminates a contract before the performance is due.
  • Fundamental breach: a serious and significant violation or failure to fulfil a fundamental or essential term of a contract.

      Remedies to a breach of contract

      A number of legal actions can be taken following a breach of contract or contract dispute and the following remedies are usually applied.

      Damages

      This is the most common remedy for a breach of contract. Damages are an award of money that is intended to compensate the injured party for the losses they have suffered as a result of the breach. Damages are intended to put the injured party in the position they would have been in if the contract had been performed.

      Quantum meruit

      This is a legal principle that allows a party to recover the reasonable value of services or goods that have been provided, where the contract has not been completed or has been breached.

      Specific performance

      This is an order that requires the defaulting party to perform their obligations under the contract. It is typically used when the subject matter of the contract is unique, such as land or a specific piece of machinery. 

       

      Termination

      A party may choose to terminate a contract if the other party has committed a material breach of contract. It’s worth noting that termination is not always an appropriate remedy and it depends on the specific circumstances of the case.

      Injunction

      An injunction is a court order that prohibits a party from doing something or requires them to do something. This can be used to prevent a party from repeating a breach of contract or to require a party to perform their obligations under the contract.

      Threshold for making a breach of contract claim

      It is possible to claim for a breach of contract if the other party has failed to fulfil their obligations as outlined in the agreement. To make a claim, the following must be established:

      1. The contract exists: There must be a legally binding agreement in place between the parties. It will be much easier to bring a claim if a written contract between parties is in place.
      2. The contract has been breached: The other party must have failed to fulfil their obligations as outlined in the contract.
      3. Damage or loss suffered: The party making the claim must have suffered a loss or damage as a result of the breach of contract.

      If these elements are present, the party that has suffered a loss as a result of the breach of contract can claim for damages, specific performance, an injunction, quantum meruit and rectification, depending on the type of breach.

      It’s worth noting that before making a claim, it’s advisable to seek legal advice to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the case, the possible outcome, the cost, and the time it will take to resolve the dispute.

      It’s also possible to seek an amicable settlement or Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods like mediation or arbitration, before going to court.

      How a breach of contract lawyer from our panel can assist

      A specialist breach of contract solicitor from our panel can help you with a breach of contract dispute in several ways:

      • Advising on the contract: Breach of contract lawyers can review the contract and advise on the rights and obligations of the parties, and the strengths and weaknesses of bringing a breach of contract claim.
      • Negotiations: A solicitor can help negotiate a settlement with the other party, which can avoid the need for costly legal proceedings.
      • Representation in court: If negotiations are unsuccessful, a solicitor can represent the client in court, present the case, call and cross-examine witnesses, and make legal arguments on their client’s behalf.
      • Drafting legal documents: Breach of contract lawyers can help draft legal documents such as letters of claim, statements of case, and witness statements, which are required for court proceedings.
      • Advising on the process and the outcome: A solicitor can advise on the court process, the possible outcome and the costs involved.
      • Advising on alternative dispute resolution methods: A solicitor can advise on alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or arbitration, which may be more efficient and cost-effective than court proceedings.
      • It’s worth noting that a solicitor with expertise in contract law can provide guidance throughout the process, and can help protect the client’s rights and interests. They can also help evaluate the strength of the case and advise on the best course of action. If you need help with a commercial contract, speak to us today. Unfortunately, we are unable to assist with employment law contracts.

      Please note, we are not a firm of solicitors; however, we maintain a panel of trusted and regulated legal experts. If you contact us in relation to a commercial law case, we will pass your case onto a panel firm in return for a fee from our panel firms. We will never charge you for passing on your case to a panel firm.

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      Please note, we are not a firm of solicitors; however, we maintain a panel of trusted and regulated legal experts. If you contact us in relation to a commercial law case, we will pass your case onto a panel firm in return for a fee from our panel firms. We will never charge you for passing on your case to a panel firm. 

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