Our professional negligence solicitors help individuals and businesses in many contractual claims.
If you believe you have a claim for breach of contract – or have a breach of contract claim against you that requires defending, feel free to get in touch with our team of experts today.
What is breach of contract?
A contract is a written or spoken agreement that is intended to be enforceable by law. It can include express terms (those that have been set out) and implied terms (terms that may not be express but are necessary for the proper function of the contract).
Where a party refuses or does not perform their duties as agreed under the contract, they will be in breach.
Our breach of contract solicitors have helped clients in a wide range of situations. Common breach of contract examples include:
- Defective performance – for instance, works have been carried out but not to the level required, perhaps also doing damage in the process;
- No performance – where a contract has been agreed and obligations not carried out;
- Delay – where a contract is not performed in the agreed time leading to loss;
- Non-payment – where obligations are performed but not paid for.
We act for both Claimant and Defendant parties in breach of contract claims as appropriate.
Remedies for breach of contract
In broad terms, damages are used to put the claimant back in the position they would have been if the contract had been carried out as agreed. This is the most common remedy for a breach of contract.
In some circumstances you may be able to terminate the contract and claim losses.
Other remedies include:
- Liquidated damages (a further amount that may be specified if breaking the contract);
- Specific performance (where a party is order to do something, for instance complete the contract);
We can consider the appropriate remedies with you on a case by case basis.
How do you start a breach of contract claim?
To bring a claim for breach of contract we will need to prove:
- That you had a contract
- That the terms of the contract were breached
- That the breach caused you to suffer a loss
You would also need to show that you have mitigated your loss as far as possible. If that has not been done, you may not be able to claim losses that might have been avoided with reasonable mitigation.
These points are clearly valid in reverse if defending a claim brought against you.
What is the process to bring a breach of contract claim?
Our breach of contract solicitors can guide you through the process of bringing or defending a claim. This can include correspondence with the other side who has let you down, to provide you with the opportunity to resolve matters outside of the court process if that is what you want.
We often help to facilitate early offers of compensation, and work through dispute resolution procedures such as mediation with our clients. Mediation, if appropriate, can provide the opportunity for a quick and cost-effective resolution but is not the right solution for everyone.
Our team have extensive experience at every stage of the process all the way through to trial.
Breach of contract claim time limit
You usually have six years from the date of the breach of contract to bring your claim. The time limit is called a limitation period.
Whilst there are time limits, it is best not to delay speaking with us if you believe you have grounds for a claim, as it is better to discuss potential claims early on.
Some claims may be able to be brought under tort law as well as breach of contract. For example our team has special expertise in professional negligence claims. If in doubt, please speak to us today.
Do I have to go to Court?
Usually there will be an exchange of “pre-action” correspondence to attempt to resolve matters if possible.
Dispute resolution methods like mediation, or offers to settle, can also be explored if they are appropriate. However, if a Court claim is needed and matters do proceed to trial, then it is likely that you would then need to attend as a witness in the case.
Which Court is appropriate to pursue your case in can also depend on its value. This is something our team of professional negligence solicitors can help with. We will work with you to make sure that you are fully prepared for any court attendance.
How much does it cost to bring a breach of contract claim?
The size and complexity of the case will dictate how much the matter is likely to cost.
There is an opportunity to recover some of the legal costs on a successful outcome, and costs can be a reason for both sides to explore an early settlement.
Our lawyers are happy to discuss fee options and advise clients under a wide range of fee structures including working under:
- An existing legal expenses insurance;
- A fixed fee agreement;
- Traditional hourly rate retainers, or;
- A “No Win, No Fee” basis.
Whilst “No Win No Fee” agreements can be a good way to fund a breach of contract claim, it may not always be the best option for you (this will only be potentially available for Claimant cases too). Our team will be able to provide full information on fee structures once we have completed the free initial case assessment with you.
Get a free initial case assessment today
Once the free initial case assessment is conducted we will be able to let you know if a professional negligence Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), (often referred to as a professional negligence no win, no fee agreement) is right for you.
Breach of contract claim details
By way of indication we would generally only consider claims above £25,000 (Multi-Track Work) for a CFA and above £10,000 (above small claims) generally. This is to ensure that the commercial cost of pursuing a claim does not outweigh what you might realise.
For example, claims under £10,000 as a general rule you cannot recover the costs you spend on a solicitor from the other side (unlike where claiming above £10,000). Further, CFAs involve “success fees” given their no win, no fee arrangement, and that uplift in solicitor’s fees (the success fee) is also irrecoverable (see our CFA fact sheet for further information). Hence we want to take on cases where value and funding can appropriately balance for you, the consumer.
In addition to working with existing legal expenses insurance policies, such as household insurance, we can also explore options with After the Event insurers and, where appropriate, litigation funders.
Get in touch with our breach of contract solicitors
In general you have 6 years from the date of any breach of contract to issue a claim at Court. However, there are some exceptions to this rule and it may be debated when the breach has occurred. This time limit is referred to a limitation period. It is important to speak to a legal team as early as possible to avoid any issues with limitation dates.