How do I sue for breach of contract?

Breach of Contract is a common claim brought in the English Courts, whether a small claim worth less than £10,000 or a multi-million pound claim in the High Courts.

To understand how you can sue for breach of contract, there are few fundamentals to consider first.

  • Is there a contract?
  • What are the terms of the contract?
  • Has there been a breach of contract?
  • What are the losses/damages suffered as a result of the breach?
  1. Is there a contract?

A contract can be formed either in writing or orally (words spoken). The basic requirement for a contract is that there must be an agreement by both parties, usually for one party to pay and the other party to supply services or products. In legal terminology, there is an offer and acceptance, intention to be bound and consideration.

  1. What are the terms of the contract?

What was agreed? Usually, in simple terms, it is that Party A will pay £x and Party B will supply Y service or product.

If it is a product, the terms will also include that the goods will be satisfactory quality, fit for purpose etc.

If it is a service, the terms of the contract are usually that the service will be provided using reasonable skill and care.

  1. Has there been a breach of contract?

A breach of contract is simply where the contract has been broken or not properly carried out.

It could be the product is defective, or unsatisfactory quality.

It could be that the service has not been delivered – it took too long, or the workmanship was poor.

  1. What are the losses suffered / damages / consequences?

The claim in a breach of contract is usually for a sum of money, and that is typically the cost of putting right the breach. This is called the direct losses. There can also be consequential losses, that is losses that flow from the breach. These could include things like loss of profit, loss of reputation, loss of opportunity etc.

So how do you sue for breach of contract?

Once you’ve worked out (or been advised) that there is a breach of contract, then the first step is to write to the other party and set out your claim in a letter of claim. This letter should state what the contract was, what the breach(es) was and what the damages you seek are.

If there is no response or they deny that there was a breach of contract, then your next step may be to issue County Court proceedings.

You can issue a claim online yourself via Money Claim Online, or a Litigation Solicitor will be able to help you.

In short, issuing a claim is a matter of including your details, the other party details and details of what the contract was, what the breach was, and what the damages are you seek.

Steven Mather, Solicitor, is a specialist Litigation Solicitor in Leicester, but he acts for clients throughout England and the UK. If you require specialist advice from a solicitor on breach of contract claims then get in touch.

Please note this article is not legal advice and should not be relied upon by you. If you are unsure of your legal rights, you should seek independent legal advice from a solicitor.