The Contract Sets Out the Rights
The contract will determine the rights of the parties in the contracts dispute. The contract needs to be constructed by reference to its context, purpose and text (or verbal terms). Some terms will be express whilst others may be implied.
Understanding the Breach of Contract
It is usually necessary to spend time understanding the factual circumstances leading to the breach of contract. Some breaches are serious whilst others are not so that different rights flow from the breach.
Bringing the Claim for Breach of Contract
The plaintiff will assert there was a breach of the contract, and demand payment or damages. The defendant may agree and settle or decide to dispute the allegations of breach.
Defending the Breach of Contract Claim
The defendant will typically contest the facts and sometimes the existence of terms or the contract itself. The defence will usually also dispute the quantum of the claim. Much depends on the case.
Potential Scenarios - Contracts Disputes
- Questions about the construction of a Deed and whether, for instance, a clause within a deed acts as a bar to proceedings;
- Disputes between landlord and tenant, regarding commercial leases, about whether the lease was validly terminated or not;
- A dispute between the vendor and the purchaser, before exchange of contracts, as to whether a contract exists and was formed;
- When the vendor or purchaser delays completion, in a contract for the sale of land, it may be possible to seek specific performance;
- A claim by a purchaser against a vendor for loss of bargain damages, on a contract for the sale of land, because the vendor's title was defective such as under s 54B of Conveyancing Act;
- When a purchaser seeks to recover/refund money paid as a deposit from the vendor (or agent), under a contract for the sale of land, because the vendor's title was defective under s 55 of Conveyancing Act;
- An order from the Court, under s 66G of the Conveyancing Act, to put an end to the co-ownership of land (usually in cases of joint tenancy) by way of statutory sale. If granted the property will be held on a statutory trust by two or more trustees. The Court would have control over such Trustees under s 66E of the Conveyancing Act.
- Disputes about simple contracts covering factual disputes, disputes about terms and quantum.
Let Us Help You With Your Contract Dispute
- determine if there is a contract to begin with;
- know if the contract had to be in writing;
- consider the role of promissory estoppel;
- understand the role of privity of contract;
- determine the actual and implied terms of the contract;
- construct the construct and its meaning;
- appreciate the meaning and application of terms that limit liability;
- pursue your rights such as restitution;
- consider the validity and enforceability of contracts;
- deal with breach(es) of contract;
- deal with repudiation or repudiatory conduct;
- determine whether the contract has been discharged by frustration;
- get such contractual damages where there is a relevant breach of contract;
- deal with contracts that are illegal or in restraint of trade;
- with debt collection in larger matters;
- review your contract and its terms to point out matters that need to be clarified.
- bring your claim for breach of contract or conduct the defence of it.
* This content does not purport to give legal advice. Readers must obtain their own legal advice, that applies to the particular circumstances of their case, before taking any action at all.