Has a Breach of Contract impacted you?
A breach of contractual terms can have a severe impact on individuals and businesses alike, both financially and otherwise. Whether you are the victim or the accused in a breach of contract matter, it is important that you seek competent legal advice to ensure your rights are sufficiently protected.
What remedies can I claim for Breach of Contract?
If you are in a situation where another party has breached a contractual term, there are a number of different remedies that might be available to you depending on your situation and desired outcome.
If you have suffered financial loss, you may just want compensation for the loss or damages you have suffered.
In some cases compensation won’t be enough, and you may want to require specific performance of the contract.
Not all breaches of contract terminate the contract. Some breaches are minor and some breaches are major.
If the contract can be terminated, the general rule is that the courts will endeavour to put you in the same position that you were in before the contract was entered into to the extent this is possible in the circumstances.
Are there any defences available to a claim for Breach of Contract?
There are a number of defences that may be available to a person or company that has been accused of breaching a contract that could limit, or altogether avoid, any liability they might have.
Whether a particular defence (or any defence at all) applies will depend entirely of the circumstances of each individual case.
Some of the common defences to a breach of contract claim include:
- Mistake of fact
- Frustration of purpose
- Undue Influence
- Employment disputes
Legislative provisions may govern the contract and may provide additional assistance (to plaintiffs and defendants alike).
A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties involving the promise to do (or not do) something in exchange for consideration.
Although many people believe that most contracts generally need to be in writing, the reality is that contracts come in all different shapes and sizes and can often be oral, partially oral and partially in writing, or even implied by conduct. Most contractual disputes include verbal representations.
Whether you are aware of it or not, you are likely to enter into contracts every single day. Whether you are buying a loaf of bread, negotiating a pay rise at work, or attempting to build the tallest building in Brisbane City, you are entering into a contract.
More information about the elements and formation of a contract can be found on our Elements of a Contract whitepaper.
A breach of contract may occur when a party to a contract breaks a contractual promise, fails to perform their obligations according to the terms of the contract, is anticipated to fail to perform an obligation according to the terms of the contract, or refuses (whether express or implied) to perform their obligations.
There are many other ways in which a party can breach a contract. including by providing products or services that are subpar, or through conduct that may otherwise prevent the proper performance of the contract.
A breach of contract could involve both the breach of an express term or the breach of an implied term.
Essentially, this means that just because a term is not specifically stated in a written contract, it does not necessarily mean that a party is free to do whatever they want.
The following examples are just some of the many types of contract disputes that commonly arise:
- Employment disputes
- Franchise disputes
- Property and lease disputes
- Shareholder disputes
- Construction disputes
- Partnership disputes
- Unfair terms
- Breach of general contracts
You can claim all damages or other relevant remedies that are appropriate in the circumstances to ensure that you are sufficiently compensated for the loss you have suffered.
Sometimes you can require specific performance of a contract.
You are not required to pay damages that the other side does not have the right to claim, or you are not otherwise unnecessarily forced to compensate the other party.
You may have a counter-claim or argue that the amount claimed is too high.
How we can help you
Whether you are looking to escape or enforce a contractual agreement, we have a team of dedicated solicitors at Gibbs Wright, who are fully capable of dealing with your contract disputes.
Our litigation lawyers can deal with contract disputes ranging from simple enforcement proceedings through to breach of contracts that involve misleading and deceptive conduct, negligence and other tortious and equitable actions.
We deal exclusively with commercial litigation and we’re relentless in pursuit of success for our clients.