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Understanding your contractual rights

Most of us enter into contracts on a daily basis, whether as private individuals or on behalf of a business. Sometimes entering into a contract is straightforward, such as buying something with a fixed price or paying for an uncomplicated service, while other contractual relationships require negotiation and this is typically the case within a business-to-business environment.

However, when these contractual relationships break down we need to know our rights. If a contract is in writing, one’s rights might be stated in the express terms of the contract, if not, they can sometimes be implied through laws. Knowing your rights as a consumer or business will allow you to take action if you believe a contract you have entered into has been breached in some shape or form.

If you pay for a service as a consumer you have implied rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Anyone providing you with a service under a contract has a duty to carry out the service using reasonable skill and care, and if the service provided falls below this bar, you might well have a right to a remedy.

As a business one has similar rights under the Supply of Goods and Services act 1982. If one enters into a contract with a supplier within a commercial setting and the service provider has not taken reasonable care and skill in executing the obligations that arise under the contract, as a business you should be entitled to take action in which you seek a resolution. Ideally one that takes sufficient account of the breach and acts to put you more or less in the position you should be in, had there been no breach at all – or compensates the injured party (for example in damages) where that remedy is unavailable.

A seemingly minor breach in the context of a contractual dispute can quickly become a litigated dispute, so it pays to be mindful of the potential options at your disposal, including settlements based on compromise on both sides that fall outside the strict statutory legal framework.

If you have experienced issues that have or might develop into a crystallised contractual dispute, please contact our specialists in the Litigation & Dispute Resolution team at Fosters Solicitors.

We offer cost-effective initial consultations to deliver tailored advice about how to move forward in a way that suits you. Please call us on 01603 620508 or email the team directly.

This article was produced on the 23rd January 2023 by our Litigation & Dispute Resolution team for information purposes only and should not be construed or relied upon as specific legal advice.