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Commercial contract disputes can threaten your cash flow and the effective operation of your business. We understand the commercial pressures you are facing and can offer a strategic and tailored dispute resolution service to help your business succeed.
At Roythornes, our commercial litigation solicitors can help businesses and business owners across Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire with a wide range of contract disputes. Our clients vary from individuals, sole traders, partnerships, start-ups and SMEs to larger regional, national and multinational companies.
Dealing with contract disputes as early on as possible is essential to protect the future of your business. Using strategic negotiation tactics, we are usually able to reach a constructive and commercially viable settlement without having to resort to court action.
We understand that in these economically uncertain times, the benefits of enforcing, rescinding or challenging a contract must be carefully balanced with the benefits of preserving a professional relationship with your supplier, customer, client or another contracting party. We can talk you through your options in plain terms so you can make a fully informed decision about the best way to proceed.
How we can help
We regularly advise businesses and business owners who have suffered a loss due to a breach of contract. We also defend individuals and businesses who are facing legal claims under a contract by disputing their liability or negotiating a settlement that suits their own commercial needs.
Our contract dispute expertise includes:
- General terms and conditions
- Sale and supply of goods and services
- Consumer contracts, complaints and claims
- Warranties and indemnities
- Agency and distribution agreements
- Licensing agreements
- Franchise agreements
- Hire agreements
- Breach of covenant
- Shareholders agreements
- Partnership agreements
- Employment contract disputes
- Overage and clawback agreement disputes
- Professional negligence
- Force majeure
- Civil fraud
Depending on the circumstances of your case, we can help you seek a range of remedies, including:
- Damages – compensation to cover losses caused by a breach of contract
- Injunction – to prevent any further breaches
- Specific performance – to force the other party to fulfil their end of the contract
- Rescission – to release you from the contract
When can you sue for breach of contract?
In most cases, it isn’t necessary to take a contract dispute all the way to court. However, you may have a legal claim if:
- Someone breaches a contract
- That breach causes you loss
- The loss would not have happened if it weren’t for the breach
Reasons someone may become liable for breach of a contract include:
- Non-performance – they do not fulfil their contractual obligations at all
- Defective performance – they do not fulfil their contractual obligations to the required standard
- Delayed performance – they do not fulfil their contractual obligations within the timeframes required
To be a valid contract it doesn’t need to be in writing (although it usually helps).
Can you use force majeure to get out of a contract?
Many contracts contain a force majeure clause. Force majeure occurs when an event prevents someone from fulfilling their contractual obligations. A non-exhaustive list of acceptable force majeure events are usually set out within the contract, covering things like war or national political unrest.
A contracting party can usually try to argue that an event not specifically covered by the force majeure clause constitutes a force majeure event. However, if the other party disputes this, the matter will likely have to be resolved in court.
We can provide advice about force majeure clauses and your prospects for successfully relying on an event to avoid liability for breaching a contract.
Why choose Roythornes for advice about your commercial dispute?
We have been serving businesses across Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire for over 85 years. Our litigation team is headed by Phil Cookson, a partner within our team and an experienced solicitor with 25 years of experience.
We are proud of our established end-to-end corporate and commercial law service that can serve your business from its formation, throughout its challenges and opportunities, to its sale, liquidation or transfer. Our clients often stick with us for the long haul, trusting in our ability to adapt and tailor our advice as their businesses grow and evolve.
In addition to our extensive legal knowledge, our team has a high level of commercial awareness and a business-minded approach to our client's matters. We are committed to the constructive resolution of disputes wherever possible and can provide expert advice on using forms of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation.