Contract dispute solicitors

When a breach of contract occurs, our dispute solicitors can help you take control and resolve matters as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Contract disputes

We all regularly sign contracts when we buy or sell services and goods in our personal and business lives. Most of the time, a contract protects everyone involved by making sure all parties understand their rights and responsibilities. However, sometimes one party may break the terms set out in a contract.

Sometimes a contract is not in writing and may be verbal or created by the conduct of the parties.

What constitutes a contract breach?

A contract can be broken in one of the following ways:

Material Breach

This is when one party receives less benefit than set out in the Contract. The injured party may seek to recover any losses suffered both as a direct and indirect consequence of this breach.

Minor Breach

Sometimes described as a Partial Breach of Contract, is when one party did receive the benefit set out in the Contract, but the other party failed to fully comply with their obligations in some way. For example, the breaching party may have delivered goods or services late, resulting in the other party suffering financial losses.

Anticipatory Breach

This is where a breach has not yet occurred, but it is clear one party will not meet the terms of the Contract. One party may have told the other party they will not deliver, or their actions may indicate they will not fulfil their obligations.

Actual Breach

This is when the Breach has already occurred, as one party has failed to meet their obligations under the Contract.

Can contract disputes be avoided?

You can reduce the risk of disputes occurring by instructing an experienced solicitor to draft the best possible contract for you.

In a strong contract, your expectations and those of the other party will be clearly and unambiguously set out, which greatly reduces the possibility of misunderstanding and legal challenges later.

The Contract might include a breakdown of the services to be provided or specifications relating to goods. In certain cases, terms can include:

  • a clause within the Contract to allow an inspection to be carried out before final payment for goods or services received
  • a termination clause or notice period in case you or the other party are unable to meet your obligations
  • default provisions, in case of non-compliance
  • indemnity clauses or limitations

To mitigate the risk of disputes, it is recommended you keep records of all communications between you and the other party. These records can be used as evidence in a dispute should a disagreement occur.

Do I have to go to court for a contract dispute?

Going to court is often time consuming and costly. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) can be a way to resolve contractual disputes between all parties involved without going to court. The most usual forms of ADR are:

  • Mediation - An independent mediator helps both parties to reach a mutually satisfactory outcome.
  • Arbitration - An independent arbitrator acts as a judge. The Arbitrator listens to both party’s arguments and then decides a legally binding outcome.
  • Expert determination - When an opinion is needed on a technical or very specialist area, both parties may agree to appoint an expert to help resolve the dispute.

Sometimes a combination of ADR methods is employed to resolve a dispute without court proceedings.

How we can help?

At Davisons, we know that it is stressful when a breach of contract occurs, but we aim to reduce anxiety by resolving disagreements swiftly.

Our contract dispute solicitors have a proven track record in achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients through detailed legal analysis and strategic advice. If necessary, we draw upon the knowledge of our colleagues in fields of expertise related to our client’s matters in dispute, including corporate, criminal, employment and property law.

In such cases, there is normally a requirement to follow a set procedure to deal with most civil disputes. This provides an opportunity to set out the basis of the Claim or response to a claim. A failure to follow the expected protocol or procedure could result in liability for costs should the matter proceed to court.

With our expertise, most disputes are resolved at an early stage, whether through an exchange of communication or ADR. If the case involves court action, we provide specialist representation and support for you with clear advice on the evidence and plan to achieve the best outcome.

Whatever difficulty you are facing, we recommend you act promptly. The quicker a problem is addressed, the more likely that a dispute will not reach court.

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