Commercial Contract Disputes and Remedies

Commercial Contract Disputes - Dispute Resolution Lawyers

Commercial contract disputes refer to disagreements that arise between parties involved in a business or commercial agreement. These disputes can involve issues such as: breach of contract, failure to deliver goods or services, payment disputes, or disagreements over the interpretation of contract terms.

When these disputes occur, they can disrupt business operations, damage relationships, and result in financial losses for the parties involved. Parties need to understand their rights and obligations under the contract. Also, to seek legal assistance, to resolve the dispute in a fair and timely manner.

Do you need help with a Commercial Contract Dispute? Book a Free Consultation Call by calling 0208 185 0990.

Significance of Commercial Contracts

Commercial contracts play a crucial role in business and legal transactions by outlining the obligations and rights of the parties involved. They provide a legal framework for business relationships, setting out the terms of the agreement and ensuring that all parties understand their responsibilities. Additionally, commercial contracts serve as a tool for resolving disputes, as they provide a clear reference point for both parties if a disagreement arises.

Commercial contracts need to have clear and precise terms in order to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. Ambiguity in the contract can lead to legal issues and potential breaches, which can have serious consequences for all parties involved.

Therefore, it is essential for commercial contracts to be well-drafted and thoroughly reviewed to avoid any potential pitfalls. Overall, commercial contracts are instrumental in establishing and maintaining successful business relationships, and clear and precise terms are essential in preventing breaches and disputes.

What Are The Causes of Commercial Contract Disputes?

Understanding the common causes of commercial contract disputes is essential for businesses to proactively manage and mitigate any potential issues that may arise. Below are some examples of contract disputes:

1. Misunderstandings and Ambiguities: One of the most common causes of commercial contract disputes is the presence of misunderstandings and ambiguities within the contract terms. When the language used in the contract is unclear or open to interpretation, disagreements can arise between the parties involved, leading to disputes that may require legal intervention to resolve.

2. Breach of Contract: Another frequent cause of commercial contract disputes is the breach of contract by one or both parties. This can occur when one party fails to meet the obligations outlined in the contract, whether it’s related to deadlines, quality of work, or other terms and conditions.

3. Changes in Circumstances: Changes in circumstances, such as market conditions, government regulations, or unforeseen events, can also lead to commercial contract disputes. When these external factors impact the parties’ ability to fulfill their contractual obligations, disputes may arise over the appropriate course of action.

4. Non-Performance: Non-performance by one or both parties, whether intentional or due to external factors, can also result in commercial contract disputes. When one party fails to deliver as agreed upon, it can lead to disagreements and potential legal action to resolve the issue.

5. Imbalance of Power: In some cases, a significant power imbalance between the parties involved can lead to commercial contract disputes. This can occur when one party holds significantly more leverage, leading to disputes over the terms and enforcement of the contract.

What Are The Remedies for Commercial Contract Disputes?

Different types of remedies can be pursued for commercial contract disputes to resolve the issue. From monetary compensation to specific performance, there are various avenues available to address commercial contract disputes. Understanding the different types of remedies is crucial for businesses and individuals to protect their interests and ensure that contractual obligations are upheld. Below we explore the various types of remedies for commercial contract disputes, how they are applied, and their potential impact on the parties involved.

(1) Damages

Damages for a breach of contract can come in various forms. The most common type is compensatory damages, which are intended to compensate the non-breaching party for the actual loss suffered as a result of the breach. This may include monetary losses, such as the cost of repairing defective work or the difference in value between what was promised and what was delivered.

Consequential damages, on the other hand, are those that arise as a foreseeable result of the breach but are not directly included in the contract. These damages may include lost profits or damages resulting from the non-breaching party’s reliance on the contract.

Nominal damages are symbolic in nature and are typically small monetary amounts. They are awarded when a breach has occurred but no actual loss has been suffered.

In some cases, damages may not be recoverable if they are considered too remote to have been foreseeable at the time the contract was formed. Additionally, when damages may not be an adequate remedy, equitable remedies such as specific performance or injunctive relief may be awarded instead. These remedies are designed to compel the breaching party to fulfill their contractual obligations rather than simply compensating the non-breaching party for their losses.

(2) Specific Performance

Specific performance is a remedy available from a court when one party fails to fulfill their contractual obligations, typically involving the sale of property or unique goods. The court will grant specific performance when it is just and equitable to do so, taking into consideration the nature of the contract and the circumstances of the case.

To obtain an order for specific performance, the party seeking the remedy must start Court proceedings and prove that the other party has breached the contract. If the court grants the order for specific performance, the non-complying party will be required to fulfill their contractual obligations as specified in the court order. Failure to comply with such an order can result in contempt of court and potential penalties.

There are limitations on the court’s ability to grant specific performance, especially when it involves personal services or the performance is impractical or infeasible. Additionally, the court may consider the availability of other remedies and the fairness to both parties before granting specific performance. Overall, the court will carefully consider the circumstances and whether it is just and equitable to grant specific performance as a remedy for a contractual breach.

(3) Cancellation or Rescission of the Agreement

Cancellation or rescission of an agreement may occur due to various breaches such as non-performance, anticipatory repudiation, or fundamental breach. These breaches may lead to termination of the contract, allowing the injured party to seek remedies such as rescission of the contract.

(4) Injunctive Relief

Seeking injunctive relief in a legal case involves several specific steps and procedures. First, the party seeking relief must file an application with the court requesting the injunction. This usually includes completing and filing specific forms, such as a witness statement and providing undertakings. Once the injunction application has been filed, the court will set a hearing date for the parties to present their arguments.

In summary, seeking injunctive relief involves specific legal procedures and court filings, and the standards for obtaining different types of injunctions are based on demonstrating likelihood of success, irreparable harm, and the balance of hardships.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Remedies for Commercial Contract Disputes

When commercial contract disputes arise, parties have several remedies available to them, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Negotiation is a common solution, as it can lead to a timely and cost-effective resolution without damaging the business relationship. However, it may not always result in a satisfactory outcome for both parties.

Going to court is another option, providing a legal resolution to the dispute. However, this can be time-consuming, expensive, and may damage the business relationship irreparably.

Seeking legal assistance from experienced dispute resolution solicitors offers several advantages. They can provide expert advice and support, helping parties navigate complex legal issues and ensuring their rights and interests are protected. This can lead to a successful resolution that satisfies both parties.

However, the disadvantage of seeking legal assistance is the cost involved, as well as the potential for further strain on the business relationship. In conclusion, while negotiation and court proceedings are common solutions for commercial contract disputes, seeking legal assistance from experienced dispute resolution solicitors can lead to a successful resolution with protection of parties’ rights and interests.


(1) When does a Breach of Commercial Contract Occur?

A contract breach takes place when a party – either an individual or a business – fails to fulfill some or all of its responsibilities as specified in the commerical contract. If this occurs, the innocent party is entitled to damages as compensation.

(2) What Actions Can You Take if a Commercial Contract is Breached?

The courts may offer various remedies for a commercial contract breach:

  • Monetary Compensation: If there’s a breach of contract, the affected party may be awarded damages for the failure to uphold the contract. In case of a condition breach, the aggrieved party can terminate the contract and claim losses through damages, while in case of a warranty breach, they may only claim damages.
  • Specific Performance: This remedy requires the breaching party to fulfill an obligation that should have been part of the commercial contract.
  • Rescission: If misrepresentation, duress, mistake, or undue influence led to forming a contract, it can be nullified and both parties are returned to their pre-contract positions.
  • Rectification: This remedy deals with correcting errors made in recording written contract.

Seeking legal advice from an experienced contract solicitor is crucial during these situations.

(3) What is Unjust Enrichment?

Unjust enrichment occurs when someone benefits unfairly at others’ expense. Claims based on unjust enrichment follow the law of restitution, which requires payment equivalent to any benefits one might have gained from breaking a contract.

(4) Are Verbal Contracts Legally Binding?

Some people believe verbal contracts are not legally binding. In fact, a verbal contract is legally binding, but it can be difficult to prove the terms especially when one party disputes the terms. The Court will be persuaded by documents i.e. emails/ letters/ SMS / WhatsApp messages/ diary entries recording the terms of the verbal contract rather than a person’s recollection of the terms of a verbal contract.

For a written and verbal commercial contract to be valid, you need to prove 4 key parts: (1) there needs to be an offer (2) an acceptance of that offer (3) consideration for the offer (4) intention by both parties to create a legal relation.

If you are seeking to establish that a verbal contract was reached, then the burden rests with you to prove the terms of the verbal commercial contract.

(5) What Preliminary Steps Should I Take Before Seeking Legal Advice?

If your commerical contract was documented:

  • Locate a copy of the entire document for evidence purposes demonstrating both parties’ obligations.
  • Record any variations in the written contract – date changes for delivery, service start date, or payment adjustments.

If your commercial contract was verbal:

  • Write down as much information as possible about the discussed terms, including who said what, when, and where.
  • Determine if any witnesses were present or if any aspect of the contract was communicated through email, social media, or phone messages.


Gathering the key documents at an earlier stage will assist in presenting your case in a clear and persuasive manner. For consumers and businesses, we offer a number of funding arrangements for breach of contract claims such as Fixed Legal Costs Litigation.

Parties involved in a contract dispute should consider whether early mediation is a possibility to negotiate a settlement. Mediation can be highly successful. For more information, read our blog Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

Contact Us

You can the team at Anwar Legal to discuss starting a claim or defending a business dispute. To book a Free Consultation Call, you can complete the Contact Us Form or call us on 0208 185 0990.

Still not convinced? Read some of our business client’s success stories and testimonials on how they settled their business disputes using our legal service.

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