Contractual issues and disputes are sometimes unavoidable in business. Managing commercial contract disputes swiftly and effectively prevents disruption, saves costs and can prevent damage to businesses and their reputations.
Our clients rely on our experience and commercially minded expertise to resolve commercial contract disputes in the right way for their business. This means getting the best available outcome while reflecting concerns about cost, time, preserving business relationships and protecting reputations.
Saunders Law is a renowned, litigation-only London law firm based in the City of London. Specialising solely in litigation and dispute resolution, our Commercial Litigation team deals with disputes involving all types of commercial contract disputes, including those related to:
- Agency and distribution
- Financial obligations
- Contracts of sale
- Contracts of hire
- Trade finance
- Delivery logistics
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Agency and distributor contracts
- Franchise agreements
- Warranty and indemnity matters
- Retention of title
- Exclusion and limitation clauses
- Restrictive covenants
- Breach of confidence
- Professional negligence
- Misrepresentation claims
Our clients include a wide range of businesses and professionals across all sectors, from sole traders to large multinational organisations. With experts in commercial law, employment law, regulatory law, health and safety, debt management, insurance and media law, we understand what is required to resolve any type of contractual dispute.
We focus on resolving issues in the most cost-effective ways and will always explore resolution thoroughly by way of negotiation or alternative dispute resolution. Where this is impossible, our highly experienced contract dispute solicitors will be on hand to robustly represent clients in court.
As an experienced and renowned litigation and dispute resolution firm, we regularly represent high-profile clients and handle complex contract dispute cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Privy Council. Saunders Law is renowned for being implacable and resolute in litigation, ensuring the best outcome possible for our clients.
Our commercial contract lawyers offer strategic, high-level advice and representation. As a result, we cannot cost effectively handle commercial contract disputes with a value below £100,000.
Find out more about the firm, its teams and its typical work by taking a look at our clients.
Speak to our commercial contract disputes solicitors in London
For expert assistance with resolving a commercial contract dispute, contact Saunders Law today for a free, no obligation initial discussion of how we may be able to help.
Why Saunders Law is the smart choice for commercial contract disputes
More than 40 years’ experience
At Saunders Law, our expert partner-led team of dedicated litigators has over 40 years of knowledge and experience to draw from and is perfectly equipped to offer straightforward, commercially sound and practical legal advice on any type of business contract dispute.
Independently recognised expertise
Commercially minded approach to match our clients’ priorities
We plan our approach around our clients’ circumstances and priorities. With strong skills in negotiating out-of-court settlements and exceptional experience with court litigation, our team is always guided by our clients’ commercial considerations.
Clear, flexible pricing to match commercial considerations
We provide transparent advice regarding the costs involved, are adept at offering commercially tailored funding arrangements, including potential conditional fee arrangements depending on merits, and we have excellent relationships with third party litigation funders.
Exceptional personal service & client satisfaction
We pride ourselves on providing an exceptional service. Our clients will always receive a call back the same day following an enquiry and can always speak to one of our partners when required. As a result, we consistently achieve excellent feedback from clients.
Examples of our successful commercial contract dispute resolution work
The firm has advised and settled a number of recent high value contract disputes, including:
- Successfully defending against an injunction in a distribution contract dispute between two specialist global technology and advertising firms
- Litigating a six-figure contract dispute between a former financial trader and private individual investor, including allegations of fraud
- Advising tactically on settlement offers in a £500,000 construction contract dispute otherwise destined for the Technology and Construction Court
- Advising a charitable organisation on a breach of contract dispute involving in a specialist architectural dispute
- Advising a consumer in high value sports car contract dispute
- Litigating a million pound negligence claim against a firm of surveyors for a disputed contract for services
- Arranging tactical advice in a contract dispute with Swiss jurisdiction aspects for a high value consultancy agreement for a financial project manager
How our commercial contract lawyers can assist with contract disputes
Establishing legal positions in relation to commercial contract law
The first step to dealing with a contract dispute is to establish that a contract existed between the parties and what the terms of that contract are. Our team can then advise on whether there are grounds for a dispute and what actions our clients should take.
A contract is formed when an offer, which is sufficiently clear and certain is made, the offer is accepted, and consideration (broadly, something of value) is provided. There has to be an intention on both sides to create a legally binding contract.
A contract can be formed in writing, or orally, or a combination of both. Oral contracts are just as legally binding and enforceable as written ones, but it is helpful to set any contracts out on paper as this will help to prove the contract should the need arise. In certain circumstances, a written contract is required by law.
It is also possible for a contract to absorb unexpected terms which can be implied by the actions or conduct of the parties involved. Terms can be implied into a contract on the basis of previous similar dealings, whether or not it was the intention of the parties to do so. This can be by custom or by legal obligation in statute or common law.
Commercially astute advice on breach of contract
A breach of contract may occur where one party fails to meet its obligations under the agreement but is often a matter of degree: not all failures of obligation constitute a breach.
Even where a breach of contract has occurred, if the breach has little or no practical effect on the contract as a whole, it may not be considered a “material breach” in the eyes of the law and may not be worthwhile pursuing.
Our commercial contract lawyers can advise on whether a contract has been breached and, if so, whether it is likely to be in the interests of a business to pursue the matter.
Making a breach of contract claim
A breach of contract dispute can be remedied in a variety of ways, either through negotiation outside of court or as decided on the conclusion of a court case. Usually, compensation is sought from the party who has breached the contract to cover the loss caused to the innocent party.
Additional factors that will be taken into account include the respective bargaining power of the parties, whether there is ambiguity in the contract, the business efficacy of the contract and the loss suffered.
We always encourage parties to try to negotiate a remedy outside of court where possible to ensure costs are minimised as well as any risk to business relationships. See our breach of contract page for more information and how we can help keep things in perspective and on track.
Defending a breach of contract claim
Where a business or individual finds themselves accused of breaching a contract, it is essential to take immediate legal advice. Our commercial contract disputes solicitors can quickly assess the situation and determine whether our client has a case to answer for breach of contract.
If a contract has been breached, we can negotiate a suitable remedy that protects our client’s commercial interests and reputation. Where we do not believe a breach has occurred, we will robustly defend our client’s position, including in court proceedings where required.
How our commercial contract lawyers resolve contract disputes in the right way for businesses
At Saunders Law, we are committed to finding the best solution tailored to our clients’ needs and will consider a broad range of methods to achieve a contractual dispute resolution. We recognise that disputes can be time consuming, expensive and harmful to business relations and will always seek to resolve your dispute in a commercial and cost-effective way.
Seeking an early resolution for contractual disputes
It is usually in both parties’ best interests to resolve a dispute as quickly as possible. In many cases, a disagreement over a contract can be dealt with at an early stage with a well-drafted ‘letter before action’. This will set out a party’s legal position, the outcome they wish to achieve, and the actions they are willing to take if a suitable agreement cannot be reached.
Our contract dispute solicitors regularly write effective letters before action for clients and can handle any subsequent correspondence needed to resolve a contract dispute.
Alternatives to litigation for commercial contract disputes
We are well equipped to advise on all mediation and conciliation methods (referred to as ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’) where appropriate. While ADR is not suitable for every dispute, the courts do increasingly expect that those involved in civil and commercial litigation take steps to resolve the dispute before taking legal action.
The court has the power to impose sanctions if one party to a dispute unreasonably refuses to negotiate. At Saunders Law, our expert Commercial and Civil Litigation Solicitors will always seek to resolve your dispute in a commercial and cost-effective way.
Court proceedings for commercial contract disputes
If court proceedings are necessary, we will use our extensive advocacy and tactical skills to tirelessly fight your corner. Our contract litigation solicitors are highly experienced in pursuing contract disputes through the courts, with a very high success rate for our clients.
The benefits of instructing expert litigators for your commercial contract dispute are considerable and cannot be overstated. Instructing the right firm can mean the difference between winning and losing a contract law dispute.
Commercial Contract Disputes Explained
What is a contract dispute?
A contract dispute takes place when the parties involved in a contract have a disagreement over its terms or definitions. It doesn’t matter whether the contract was made in writing, agreed orally, or a combination of both. As long as an offer has been made, accepted, and something of value has been provided, a contract exists, and its terms can be disputed.
How do you handle a contract dispute?
The first step in handling a contract law dispute is to establish the existence of the contract and its terms. It is often useful to instruct contract dispute solicitors to help you with this work, as it can be difficult to know if the contract is legally binding without their advice.
Once you’ve established your contract’s existence and its terms, there are a variety of remedies at your disposal. The most common solutions are either negotiation outside of court or going to court and letting it decide for you.
Typically, compensation is sought by the innocent party who has suffered a loss from the party who breached the contract. Whether you are the accused contract breacher or the innocent party, you should seek legal advice for negotiation or representation in court.
What are some examples of contractual disputes?
Contractual disputes can take many forms, but the most common examples are:
- Issues regarding an offer made in a contract.
- Issues when one party reviews a contract for the first time.
- Disagreements over the technical terms of a contract.
- One party claims they’ve been forced or coerced into signing a contract.
- The parties involved in a contract do not stand by their original agreements.
What qualifies as a breach of contract?
In commercial contract law, a contract breach takes place when either party involved in the contract violates one or more of the terms or definitions contained within it.
Arrange an initial, no obligation consultation with our commercial contract disputes solicitors in London
For a free, no-obligation, initial discussion of how we may be able to help, please contact us.