Contract Disputes

A contract is a legally binding promise (either written or oral) between two or more parties to fulfil an obligation. In today’s world, contracts, both big and small, are being entered into on a daily basis with people not always realising. It will therefore come as no shock that a proportion of these contracts are not being fulfilled, leaving the disadvantaged party with no option but to seek the guidance of legal advice. 

Even with the best intentions, various issues can and will arise in contract disputes, such as the quality of the services or goods delivered, the poor performance of one or more of the parties or other terms of the agreement that turn out to be unworkable for one reason or another. 

When do contract disputes occur?

Contract disputes may occur in both a commercial and personal sense. Each contract is likely to include different terms, depending on what the parties have negotiated. This ordinarily means that no one contract is the same. When a dispute arises, consideration has to be given to the circumstances surrounding the contract, which will include the intention of the parties, and this is where Birkett Long can help.

What usually happens in contract disputes?

The majority of the disputes we handle are settled during the early course and most do not proceed to a hearing before a judge or even get to the stage of the issue of court proceedings. An important part of our involvement is to assess the merits of your claim whether that be advice to the enforcer of the contract or to the party who are potentially in default. We provide a thorough and clear evaluation of your position, whether that be good or bad. It is far better to know at the outset whether your prospects of success in pursuing or defending an action are good before the dispute gets too far along the legal process and you are locked in a battle at court.

In some contracts, more often written ones, there is already a method in place which was agreed by the parties at the outset as to how disputes will be settled. However, in the majority of contract claims, there is no such agreement. In these circumstances, we may advise you to consider what is often described as alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution can come in many forms such as mediation, arbitration or even just a round table discussion. This method of resolving disputes can often be beneficial not only to settle the matter quickly, and, therefore, cost effectively, but it can also result in any commercial relationship being maintained and allowing the parties to continue working together. In any event, we will take the time to understand your position. 

What are the risks of a contract dispute?

As a priority, we will always attempt to minimise the risks that may occur, whilst also looking to limit your costs. Our goal is to reduce the disruption that a contract dispute may have on your working or personal life, whilst we consistently try to find a resolution between the parties which suits all. Of course, sometimes a resolution is not available and court proceedings are inevitable but we will be able to set out the options and avenues available to you very clearly and help you reach a decision as to how to proceed.   

What contract disputes does Birkett Long handle?

Our contract dispute lawyers assist parties who are either pursuing or defending contract disputes. These types of claims come in all shapes and sizes. As an example, our dispute resolution team can deal with disputes relating to: 

Consumer & Commercial contracts

  • Sale and purchase agreements
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Intellectual Property rights
  • Franchise agreements
  • Contracts relating to the sale and supply of goods and services

Landlord & Tenant matters

  • Recovery of rent arrears and evictions
  • Dilapidations 
  • Breach of lease covenants

Contract disputes like those mentioned above can have serious consequences for individuals and businesses. Without legal input, they can quickly take their toll both financially and personally. Our dispute resolution team boasts over 100 years’ collective experience. We tackle contract disputes on a daily basis, working with our clients to reach the right result for them. Clients’ goals can be different and we work with you to understand what it is you want to achieve out of the dispute.     

Of course, the above list is by no means exhaustive and we have dealt with many different types of cases over the years. Clients are often surprised at what types of contract disputes have come through our team over the years.   

Why choose Birkett Long for contract disputes?

Whatever the situation, and whatever the worry, our dispute resolution lawyers will give you the confidence that we have the ability to assist you in either pursuing or defending an action arising out of any contract dispute. Our expert team includes partners, associates, solicitors, trainee solicitors, paralegals and legal assistants. 

With a team with such a large breadth of experience and hourly charge-out rates, we are able to provide the most cost-effective and bespoke service to our clients. We are committed to ensuring you are comfortable and confident with your adviser and that we offer a service which reflects the utmost value to you. 

We provide a personal, attentive service, offering good availability and speed of response. We are informal where appropriate, whilst always professional. We have great strength and depth in numbers, with a wide range of experience, enabling clients and their issues to be matched to the most appropriate lawyer. We have lawyers who are true specialists in their chosen fields. We offer flexible funding arrangements, we enjoy excellent relations with assorted leading barristers’ chambers, enabling us to secure the most appropriate counsel on the best possible terms for our clients.


If you wish to discuss any dispute you have, whether this is current, past or impending then we would urge you to get in touch. 


  • Katie Ball
      • 01245 453863
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  • Linnea Griffiths
      • 01245 453828
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  • Georgia James
      • 01245 453831
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