Breach of Contract Remedies: What to Do?

 

law, lawyers, contract breaches, remedies for contract breaches

The following is a guest post. Enjoy!

Breach of Contract Remedies: What to Do?
There are many ways in which a contract can be breached by those who are subject to it. Equally, there are numerous types of remedies available to those who have been adversely affected by any such breach. Understanding the intricacies of contract law is a matter for solicitors, but knowing when and what action can be taken ought to be a concern for any individual, group, or company.

Types of Breach

Contract law can be extremely convoluted, but its basics can be grasped quite easily. If a term, warranty, or condition of a contract has been breached, the affected party can claim for damages.
Employment contracts are often subject to claims of a breach, with employees taking their employers, or vice versa, to court or tribunal over various issues. Problems arising from contracts of sale or service are also common. Indeed, many aspects of civil litigation are founded on interactions between merchants and consumers.
A contract of sale might be breached when the buyer receives a product that is different from the item he purchased, especially if the goods are not fit for the purpose stated or for some other reason. A contract of service, meanwhile, tends to involve more complex breaches, the most basic of which occurs when one party fails to perform as agreed.

Exemption Clauses and Unfair Contract Terms Act (UCTA)

Sometimes, a breach is not always a breach. Contract law in England and Wales has evolved to accommodate exemption or exclusion clauses, which often seek to prevent a party from pursuing a claim in court. An exemption clause might, for example, remove the buyer’s right to a refund if he or she has used a product (though statutory rights remain unaffected).
Some exemption clauses may be considered unfair or unduly onerous. The Unfair Contract Terms Act of 1977 (UCTA) deals with most such clauses, but the common law has also devised various rules by which negligence cannot be avoided in contract. Conditions written in small print, for example, cannot always be relied on in court, as important clauses must be effectively communicated to all parties. It is also unlawful for any person to restrict or exclude by reference to a contractual term his liability for death or personal injury arising from an act of negligence.

Remedies

Breach of contract solicitors in the UK advise clients on all sorts of issues, with the aim of obtaining justice on their behalf. The remedies made available by the legal system of England and Wales can be broadly defined in categories of restoration, revocation, and remedy.
More often than not, mediation services will attempt to resolve a dispute before legal action is taken. If negotiations fail, the court will assess what, if any, breach has occurred before ruling on the matter. Damages are often awarded, but the contract may also be terminated or annulled. If possible, the court might also decide to restore the positions of the parties prior to the breach. In a contract of service, the remedy is likely to involve ensuring that specific performance is completed.

How about you all? Have you ever been involved in litigation involving a breach of a contract? Which side of the discussion were you on? 


Do you think people act too quickly these days to try to obtain damages for minor breaches of agreements?


Share your experiences by commenting below!

***Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/donabelandewen/1045446557/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Comments

  1. Mary@BuySellFunds says:

    Great discussion. From what I learned, every contract is not considered as the exclusive rule that shall define the obligations of parties. The terms must always be fair and in accordance with the law.

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