Contract dispute lawyers
Contracts are of critical importance and are intrinsic in our daily lives as well as all commercial transactions.
It is often the case that parties to a contract will reach a point in their contractual relationship where a dispute arises as to the rights and obligations of each party. Unforeseen circumstances may arise or other events may occur which do not align with the end result that the parties envisaged when originally entering into their agreement.
Early intervention and the seeking of legal advice from our contract dispute lawyers may avoid these instances occurring through the preparation of tailored contractual agreements which take into account possible future events.
Contractual terms can be express (i.e. specified by the contract which may be oral or written) or implied (i.e. implied into the contract by fact, legislation, or custom). It is important to understand the breadth of the contractual terms which apply.
Contractual terms also need to be interpreted to give effect to the intention of the parties and there are a number of different rules which dictate how this is done.
Contractual terms are also classified differently (some may be conditions, warranties, intermediate terms and so on). Classification is important because this determines the scope and calculation of the remedies for breach of the terms which are available.
There are also a number of ways in which a contract can be declared to be invalid which include, without limitation:
- Misrepresentation: If a misrepresentation has occurred this may permit the innocent party to either treat the contract as if it had never existed and/or claim damages depending on the circumstances.
- Mistake: There are various different types of “mistake” which the parties can make which may result in the contract being treated as if it never existed depending on the circumstances.
- Undue Influence: If a party has been unduly influenced into entering into the contract it can be treated as if it had never been made depending on the circumstances.
- Duress: If a party has been forced to enter into a contract against their will it can be treated as if it had not been entered into depending on the circumstances.
- Misleading and Deceptive Conduct: Consumers (which may include companies) are protected against conduct which is misleading or deceptive or which is likely to mislead or deceive and damages can be claimed as a result of such conduct.
- Unconscionable Conduct: Conduct which is “unconscionable” may give rise to a range of remedies for the innocent party.
- Illegality: A number of different remedies are also available for contracts which are illegal.
Generally speaking the objective of damages in contract are to place the innocent party in the same position (so far as money can do it) in the same situation as if the contract had been performed. There are various other rules which determine what amounts can be claimed.
Contracts can also be enforced by way of an injunction to compel the other party to perform their obligations.
It is important to note that rights can be lost if they are not exercised promptly and therefore you should seek expert advice at an early stage.
Even if there isn’t a contract, a party who does work at the request of another may be entitled to claim the reasonable cost of doing that work.
Contact our contract dispute lawyers for further information.