By definition, a breach of contract is when a contractual duty is broken. In other words, one of the contracting parties breaches the promises made in the agreement. Given that contracts are a significant part of your life, especially if you own and/or operate a business, the kinds of contracts you enter into and the ways in which they can be broken are virtually limitless, meaning that there are many ways in which you might need the help of an experienced breach of contract solicitor like those on the Pearl Lemon Legal team.
A legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties is referred to as a contract. Even though contracts can also be oral, it is in your best interests to always put them in writing. Why? Because there is less potential for miscommunication between the parties, you stand a higher chance of enforcing the contract’s terms and obtaining damages or other judicial assistance if the other party violates them.
The best way to avoid the legal ramifications of a contract breach is to ensure that the contract is as legally sound, and as fully understood by all parties, as possible in the first place. A breach of contract solicitor is an expert in contract law, and consulting with one before drawing up, or signing, a contract is a smart move in many instances.
Numerous particular ways exist for someone to violate a contract. However, in our experience as breach of contract solicitors, they frequently fit into one of the following six groups:
Contractual violations may be slight (immaterial) or serious (material). An immaterial breach typically has little to no impact on you or your organisation, therefore you may have little or no recourse, but that is not always the case.
A material breach, on the other hand, is one in which the other party violates the agreement to the point that it completely negates the purpose of the agreement and causes you or your business significant harm.
The following elements help decide whether a breach by the opposite party is material:
You may file a lawsuit against the other party if they materially violate one of your contracts. Breach of contract is a civil case, thus if you win, the only relief the court can grant you is money damages and other civil remedies. Your contractual breach remedies generally include the following:
You can also potentially ask the court for an injunction to stop the possibly breaching party from carrying out the expected breach if there has been an anticipatory breach.
Damages are intended to make up for losses that have actually occurred and losses that are anticipated to occur as a result of the contract breach. To put it another way, compensation for losses is meant to “make you whole,” or to place you in the same situation as if the contract had not been broken.
Some contracts include a liquidated losses clause that specifies the amount of damages that either party may be entitled to in the event that the other party violates the contract. If your contract has a liquidated damages clause, you cannot sue for more money in damages than what is specified.
An equitable remedy known as specific performance enjoins the defendant to carry out his or her contractual duties. Only where damages cannot be determined or would not be sufficient to fully compensate the plaintiff can courts mandate particular performance.
Another equitable remedy is rescission, which enables a contractual party to end the agreement and return the other party to their original positions had there never been a contract.
Most contracts can be cancelled without having to go to court, in many cases. One instance of rescinding a contract is when you purchase a new car and the dealer allows you three days (or whatever time limit) to return it if you change your mind.
If you can show that the other party misled you or that the agreement the two of you actually reached differs from what the written contract specifies, the court may reformat the agreement as another equitable remedy.
You may believe that a breach of contract is a basic issue. After all, either the other party fulfilled the terms of the deal or they didn’t. Sadly, your assumption would be incorrect.
Even the most knowledgeable layperson cannot be expected to understand or foresee the complexities of contract law, which is, to be honest, one of the most difficult areas of civil law to master.
For instance, did you know that for a contract to be legitimate, certain requirements must be met? Additionally, when you file a lawsuit for breach of contract, you can be sure that the defendant will offer defences—reasons why the alleged actions or inactions don’t constitute a violation—to support their position. Even worse, the defendant can countersue you for alleged damages of their own.
Contract breaches can be particularly damaging to a start-up or growing small business, and yet a fear of excessive legal fees may prevent them from pursuing a legal remedy. At Pearl Lemon Legal, we work with small businesses to provide them with the expert legal advice they need in this tricky aspect of the law at a reasonable cost.
Legal, we work with small businesses to provide them with the expert legal advice they need in this tricky aspect of the law at a reasonable cost.
The many different nuances of contract law are only known to a skilled, informed breach of contract law practitioner. Not even every solicitor can say they are truly well versed in contract law.
However, the breach of contract solicitors on the Pearl Lemon Legal team can certainly say they are, and have the record of positive outcomes on behalf of their clients to prove it. To learn more about how a breach of contract solicitor might be able to help you, and to discuss your unique case, contact us today.
For a free, no-obligation conversation about how we might be able to help with your current legal issues, please contact us today.