Contract law disputes are the most common disputes in business or commercial dealings. Contractual disputes can arise between suppliers and retailers, contractors and subcontractors, in between partners, in between parties to a land contract or in a joint venture agreement. Contract law disputes can be a complicated aspect of the law, which is why we encourage you to contact our team of expert commercial lawyers should any questions arise.
What are contract law disputes?
Contract disputes arise as a result of a breach of contractual terms by any of the parties to the contract. Non-performance according to the terms of the contract is considered one of the most common causes of any contract dispute. Differences in the interpretation and understanding of contract terms can also be a major source of conflict.
Contract disputes may occur in any of the following agreements:
- Service agreements involving contracts for the supply of goods and services or contract to render a particular service
- Contracts relating to lease, sale or purchase of land and property
- Construction contracts
- Government contracts
- Finance and loan agreements
- Joint venture agreements
- Shareholders agreements
- Licensing and franchising agreements
- Employment agreements
- Commercial agency agreements
- Marketing and sponsorship agreements
How do you handle a contract dispute?
While considering a contract law dispute, one should be mindful of the following factors:
- Application of the standard term to the contract
- If standard terms of trade are not specified, then on what grounds the claim is established
- Effect of oral agreement in the dispute
- Presence of limitation of liability of either of the party
- The recourse taken by both the parties for resolving disputes.
What is contract dispute resolution?
Contractual disputes may be resolved by adopting any of the three options outlined below:
Negotiation is considered to be one of the easiest forms of dispute resolution. It is where both of the parties come to a resolution that is agreed by both, without the need for formal mediation. However, our solicitors always recommend turning any verbal agreement made into a written agreement during such negotiations.
2. Mediation and arbitration
Mediation or arbitration is an option available to resolve the dispute(s) if negotiation fails. It can also be voluntarily initiated by the parties. Mediation and arbitration are usually considered a cheaper and quicker method of dispute resolution compared to going to court.
The Arbitrator will hear both sides of the dispute and make a decision which is legally binding on the parties. All the proceedings of mediation and arbitration are very similar to court proceedings, including accepting evidence, questioning witnesses and deciding appropriate remedies.
3. Court proceedings
If a dispute cannot be resolved by ways of negotiation or mediation and arbitration, it will need to be taken to Court. The Court can try a dispute falling under its jurisdiction, depending on the monetary valuation of the claim made by either of the parties to the dispute.
Contract law disputes are common in the running of a business and our team at Owen Hodge Lawyers can offer expert advice and take all necessary steps on the client’s behalf to ensure a speedy and effective resolution. When involved in a contract law dispute that involves property of any sort, we also recommend seeking advice from one of our experienced commercial property lawyers.
If you find yourself in need of legal advice in regards to contract law disputes, or any other legal service or issue, please contact the law offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. At Owen Hodge, we are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs. Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780.