Contract Disputes

Civil Litigation

At its most basic, a contract is a legally enforceable agreement requiring one party to fulfil an obligation to another, often in return for the payment of money. 

Contracts are typically recorded in writing however, an enforceable agreement can be made orally and contracts are formed where the following ‘key elements’ are all present:

  • Offer
  • Acceptance
  • Consideration
  • Intention to create legal relations
  • Certainty of terms

An area of dispute that often occurs is whether a legally enforceable agreement has, in fact, arisen.  This can include arguments about, for example, whether the parties intended to enter into a binding agreement, or whether the terms of the purported agreement were sufficiently clear to allow one party to seek to enforce them.

Even where it appears obvious that a contract has been formed (for example, where the agreement is in writing and signed by the parties), disputes are not uncommon.  Typical arguments that we see relate to disagreements over the meaning of the terms of the contract, the failure of one party to perform its obligations, including parties not making payment in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

Contracts are used in a wide variety of situations in day-to-day life, from agreements for the sale of goods to multi-million-pound construction contracts. 

In certain situations, the law also implies terms into contracts.  The most obvious example of this is the terms that are applied into contracts for the sale of goods and supply of services under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which applies to certain ‘consumer’ contracts entered on or after 1 October 2015.

Where there has been an alleged breach of contract, the innocent party may have several options in respect of the recourse available to them.  This can include a monetary claim for damages, or possibly other relief, such as an order from the court requiring the defaulting party to perform their obligations under the contract.

Get in touch

Richardson Lissack provides civil litigation services to our clients in relation to a variety of contract disputes.  The first step is typically to establish whether a contact has been formed and, if so, we will assess the terms of the contract and your rights under it.  We will then seek to offer guidance on how best to achieve the desired outcome, whether that is by pursuing court proceedings or through the exploration of methods of alternative dispute resolution (or a combination or both). 

Our lawyers are available 24/7 to assist you and provide legal advice. Contact London 020 3753 5352 or Manchester 0161 834 7284. Alternatively you can email

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Stephen Reynolds
Head of Litigation and Dispute Resolution

020 3753 5352

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