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Contract Disputes

Commercial transactions invariably involve some form of contract, and the use of contracts often extends into our personal lives, meaning individuals, businesses and other organisations enter into contracts on a daily basis.

Whether you are a business, or an individual, our team possess excellent legal knowledge and expertise and are able to provide proficient and pragmatic advice on a wide range of contract disputes, in a cost-effective and commercially astute manner.

More specifically, we can provide legal assistance with court procedures, as well as being able to assist with a variety of forms of alternative dispute resolution, which may, include negotiation, mediation, or arbitration.

The types of contract disputes which commonly require our specialist legal assistance involve or relate to, breach of contract, disagreements relating to the terms of the contract and/or the interpretation or enforceability of these terms (i.e. exclusion and limitation clauses) and the termination of contracts. Our team also has specific expertise and experience in debt recovery matters arising from contract disputes.

Our lawyers will be able to: –

  • Assist in preventing or mitigating the risk of a contractual dispute arising through the effective interpretation, review, and implementation of all types of commercial contracts. We can also assist in formulating and implementing the contractual amendments required to prevent recurrence of the issues causing or caused by the dispute;
  • Assist you with the navigation, management, and negotiation of your contractual dispute which we recognise can often be challenging. Our solicitors have wide-ranging experience and can help identify and implement a forward strategy in order to achieve the most advantageous resolution as quickly as possible. We can advise you fully on your available options, propose a course of action based on any relevant contractual obligations and set out the range of available remedies to you (which may for example include, damages, specific performance, or injunctive relief);
  • Assist in establishing and collating the relevant facts and identifying the key issues relating to the dispute, and help you understand the legal grounds and implications of any action that you or your organisation intends to, or has taken, which will reduce the likelihood of any escalation of the dispute.

If you require any assistance in relation to your contract dispute, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 832 3434 or by completing our online enquiry form here.

What is a Breach of Contract?

A breach of contract may occur when a party fails to carry out some or all of its obligations under a contract. Our solicitors can assist you by reviewing the contract and the relevant contractual terms, and by providing commercially astute and robust advice on whether the contract has in fact been breached.

If a breach has occurred, we can assist in determining your rights and obligations, and if required will formulate a forward strategy setting out the most suitable next steps and the commercial viability of pursuing a claim in relation to any breach, or in the alternative, set out the non-contentious courses of action available. We can also assist business or individuals in defending breach of contract claims, when accused of a breach.

A breach of contract gives various options (i.e., remedies) to the party who is not in breach (‘the innocent party’), and the extent of these options will depend on the seriousness of the breach. Our solicitors will assist you in understanding any implications of a breach as defined within the contract, and are able to advise on the remedial solutions available to you.

What are the Remedies?

Damages: The innocent party is entitled to recover damages with the aim of compensating the claimant in respect of the loss which has been suffered as a result of the breach. We can assist in assessing the appropriate level of damages to be sought and pragmatically advise on the associated procedural steps required to seek and obtain damages.

Specific Performance: The claimant may seek an order of specific performance (i.e. an order of the court which requires the party in breach to perform their primary obligations under the contract). We can advise on the suitability of this remedy in consideration of the case facts and can assist in seeking the appropriate order of the court in an efficient and effective manner.

Injunction: An injunction may be used in an attempt to prevent a threatened breach of contract. We can act decisively and speedily in seeking injunctive relief from the court, if considered the appropriate remedy in the circumstances.

Right to terminate performance of the contract: A breach of contract may entitle the innocent party to terminate performance of the contract. We can advise on whether there has been a breach of contract which gives rise to this right to terminate (i.e., a repudiatory breach). If a repudiatory breach is present, we can assist in implementing the necessary steps in carrying out the contract termination process lawfully and due-diligently.

Alternatives to Dispute Resolution

Where commercial litigation is needed, we will provide advice in seeking to protect your rights and interests in court. Litigation is not a decision to be taken lightly, as it can be complex, time consuming and expensive, and can be both a personal and financial burden. Notwithstanding, once all previous attempts to resolve a dispute have been taken, the court procedure may be required to achieve any resolution.

That being said, our team also possess the skillset, commercial and legal nous to identify and utilise all available mechanisms at your disposal in order to achieve the desired and most beneficial outcome for you or your business. This may involve adopting one of the methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), which could include negotiation, mediation, or arbitration. We can assist in deploying the most appropriate strategy to facilitate a fast and amicable resolution to a contract dispute: –

  • Negotiation, we can assist with initiating a full and frank discussion between the parties, and in conducting negotiations which can often be the most cost-effective way of seeking or achieving a resolution in relation to a contract dispute.
  • Mediation, involves an independent, neutral third party (mediator) assisting the parties to the dispute in reaching a negotiated settlement. The mediator will assist by setting the discussion ground rules and ensuring the parties negotiate productively and fairly. We can advise you as to the suitability of mediation and provide legal support prior to and during the mediation process to ensure your legal rights are protected and an optimal outcome is obtained.
  • Arbitration, involves one or more impartial adjudicators collecting and considering all the facts surrounding the dispute and deciding upon the outcome of the dispute by imposing a solution, which will be binding and enforceable. Our solicitors have experience and understanding of the arbitration process and will assist you throughout in helping you to understand the implications of any decisions made and the available options at your disposal.

 
 

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