If you find yourself dealing with a customers or client who has breached a contract it can be frustrating, could result in a financial loss and have a negative impact on your business.
You can take action though and getting advice from a solicitor early on in the dispute can really help you decide how to move forward.
Call 0117 926 4121 and ask for Alex Lyttle for a free initial discussion now or make a Free Enquiry Online.
What Is A Breach of Contract?
A contract is formed between parties when there are goods or services being supplied. The contract will outline these goods or services and the payment for these. A breach of contract is simply when one party does not keep to the agreed terms of an agreement.
A breach could happen by not providing the goods or service outlined at all or supplying them late, late payment or non-payment of the fees agreed in the contract.
Types of Breach of Contract
There are different levels of breach of contract. They are:
- Minor – a minor breach would be something simple like supplying a different specification of materials than those listed in the contract, even though they perform just as well.
- Material – a material breach is something that has serious implications for the completion of the contact, such as being unable to supply a product within a reasonable time.
- Fundamental – this is a breach that will result in the termination of the contract. An example would be if a company was no longer licenced for the product or service they said they would supply or provide.
- Anticipatory – an anticipatory breach is one where the company knows they are in breach and informs the other parties that they cannot meet the terms of the contract. One of the most common anticipatory breaches would be the failure to meet the contractual deadline.
Proving Breach of Contract
In some circumstances, such as in an anticipatory breach, the company in breach already understands that they may have to pay damages because of their breach.
But in other circumstances, a business may argue that they are not in breach. This will result in a contract dispute.
To resolve a contract dispute, you’ll need to prove that there was an enforceable contract there in the first place. You’ll also need to show that the contract was actually breached and that you suffered a loss as a result.
Proving this might be difficult. If it was a verbal contract as there is no evidence of what was agreed. Whilst this is difficult, it may not be impossible and it’s best to speak to a solicitor to get their view on your chances of success.
Damages for Breach of Contract
If your claim for breach of contract is successful, you will be awarded damages. These damages will incorporate the financial loss you suffered as a result of the breach.
You may also be awarded future losses, if the contract breach will result in financial loss in the future.
You could have a potential claim for loss of profit and for the costs of putting the breach right and any wasted costs as a result of the breach.
Any documentation you have to support your losses will help you to prove your losses. You may still get compensation without documentation or records but this will probably come down to the judge deciding on the facts of the case.
Costs of Making A Breach of Contact Claim
Contracts are breached regularly and deciding whether to take legal action is a difficult one. Legal costs can be high, but if you win your claim, your legal costs should be paid by the other side, so it’s important that you only take forward a claim if you have a good chance of success.
It can be difficult to work out your chances of success without first discussing your situation with a solicitor.
We’re happy to offer you a free initial discussion about your case so we can help give you an idea of the chances of a successful breach of contract claim. We can also outline all your options with you, so you can make an informed decision about how to move forward.