Contract Disputes

Contract Disputes

Contract disputes arise on a regular basis for most businesses.

These are most commonly disputes with a supplier or customer, and can often be resolved quickly and effectively at an early stage by the businesses directly.

In some cases the dispute can be more difficult to solve, and may be of high value and importance. We have wide experience in handling contract disputes, ranging from high value disputes to those of a smaller value.

We regularly advise clients in relation to business issues that have arisen, either to give ‘behind the scenes’ advice at an early stage of a dispute, or to represent clients in resolving the contract dispute through litigation or other dispute resolution process.

The key issues in contract disputes are:

  • What were the terms of the contract? This may be clear from written agreement or it may involve fact finding by examining correspondence, prior business arrangements or verbal discussions. It may also involve certain terms of contract that are implied by law or whether standard terms of business were incorporated into the business arrangement and if so whether those terms were enforceable.
  • Has there been a breach of the terms of the contract? This relates to the actual subject matter of the case and whether what has gone wrong actually relates to the contractual terms between the parties. This is sometimes straightforward, though it can on occasion require a detailed consideration of the subject matter of the dispute, including expert evidence where the issue if of a technical nature.
  • If there has been a breach, what loss or damage has a party suffered as a consequence? Not all losses are necessarily recoverable. There may be provisions in a contract that limit a party’s right to claim damages, or it may be that the loss suffered is not sufficiently connected to the breach.

 
Contract disputes are wide ranging in nature but can include:

  • Claims for payment of sums due, where the opponent defends the claim on the basis that there has been a breach of contract
  • Claims against another party on the basis that the product or service has not been delivered in accordance with the terms of the contract
  • Issues relating to whether there has been a fundamental breach of contract so that the contract has been repudiated and the parties can treat themselves as being discharged from future obligations under the contract
  • Disputes between a business and its sales agents, typically involving a claim for commission or right to compensation
  • Issues arising as to whether a selling party has retained rights in products sold in the event of non-payment for goods (Retention of Title clauses)

For further information please contact us on dispute@berrysmith.com or 02920 34 5511. We have wide experience and expertise in acting in dispute resolution cases in Wales and throughout the UK.

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