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Cover Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

14. Damages for breach of contract  

Robert Merkin, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Course-focused and comprehensive, Poole’s Textbook on Contract Law provides an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. Where there is breach of contract, the aggrieved party is entitled to the remedy of damages as of right. Contractual damages aim to compensate the claimant for losses suffered rather than punish the defendant. To achieve compensation the claimant is put in the position he would have been in if the contract had been properly performed and the breach had not occurred. In other words, the aim is to protect the expectation of performance (known as the ‘expectation interest’ or the ‘performance interest’). This may involve any difference in value between the promised and the actual performance, loss of profits, or reimbursing the claimant for any expenditure that had been wasted due to the breach. A claimant may not be fully compensated for his losses as a result of the remoteness rule, which limits recovery of losses and/or the duty to mitigate (minimize) loss. Damages may also be apportioned, in some circumstances, for the claimant’s own contributory negligence in contributing to his own loss. In general, non-pecuniary losses are not recoverable in a claim for breach of contract, but there are cases where a modest sum may be awarded for the disappointment resulting from not receiving the promised performance. The parties may include an agreed damages clause in their contract but in the event of breach only a liquidated damages clause will be enforceable; a penalty clause will not be enforceable beyond the claimant’s actual loss.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

13. Breach of contract  

Robert Merkin KC, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Course-focused and comprehensive, Poole’s Textbook on Contract Law provides an accessible overview of the key areas of the law curriculum. Where there is breach of contract, the aggrieved party is entitled to the remedy of damages as of right. Contractual damages aim to compensate the claimant for losses suffered, rather than punish the defendant. To achieve compensation the claimant is put in the position he would have been in if the contract had been properly performed and the breach had not occurred. In other words, the aim is to protect the expectation of performance (known as the ‘expectation interest’ or the ‘performance interest’). This may involve any difference in value between the promised and the actual performance, loss of profits, or reimbursing the claimant for any expenditure that had been wasted due to the breach. A claimant may not be fully compensated for his losses as a result of the remoteness rule, which limits recovery of losses and/or the duty to mitigate (minimize) loss. Damages may also be apportioned, in some circumstances, for the claimant’s own contributory negligence in contributing to his own loss. In general, non-pecuniary losses are not recoverable in a claim for breach of contract, but there are cases where a modest sum may be awarded for the disappointment resulting from not receiving the promised performance. The parties may include an agreed damages clause in their contract but in the event of breach only a liquidated damages clause will be enforceable; a penalty clause will not be enforceable beyond the claimant’s actual loss.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Textbook on Contract Law

14. Damages for breach of contract  

Robert Merkin KC, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Course-focused and comprehensive, Poole’s Textbook on Contract Law provides an accessible overview of the key areas of the law curriculum. Where there is breach of contract, the aggrieved party is entitled to the remedy of damages as of right. Contractual damages aim to compensate the claimant for losses suffered rather than punish the defendant. To achieve compensation the claimant is put in the position he would have been in if the contract had been properly performed and the breach had not occurred. In other words, the aim is to protect the expectation of performance (known as the ‘expectation interest’ or the ‘performance interest’). This may involve any difference in value between the promised and the actual performance, loss of profits, or reimbursing the claimant for any expenditure that had been wasted due to the breach. A claimant may not be fully compensated for his losses as a result of the remoteness rule, which limits recovery of losses and/or the duty to mitigate (minimize) loss. Damages may also be apportioned, in some circumstances, for the claimant’s own contributory negligence in contributing to his own loss. In general, non-pecuniary losses are not recoverable in a claim for breach of contract, but there are cases where a modest sum may be awarded for the disappointment resulting from not receiving the promised performance. The parties may include an agreed damages clause in their contract but in the event of breach only a liquidated damages clause will be enforceable; a penalty clause will not be enforceable beyond the claimant’s actual loss.

Chapter

Cover Contract Law Concentrate

7. Remedies for breach of contract  

Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. This chapter focuses on damages, the aim of which is generally to protect the claimant’s contractual expectation and put the claimant into the position they would have been in had the contract been properly performed. The lost expectation may be measured in terms of the difference between what the claimant expected to get and what was actually received. There are limitations on the claimant’s ability to be fully compensated for losses as a result of breach, i.e. remoteness, mitigation, contributory negligence, and the ability to recover for non-pecuniary losses in contract. This chapter also examines agreed damages clauses and the operation of the penalty rule.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

14. Damages for breach of contract  

Robert Merkin and Séverine Saintier

Poole’s Casebook on Contract Law provides a comprehensive selection of case law that addresses all aspects of the subject encountered on undergraduate courses. Contractual damages aim to compensate the injured party for the loss suffered due to breach of contract. Damages for breach are compensatory and not punitive so that it is possible to recover only for the actual loss suffered by the injured party. This chapter considers the different measures to achieve compensation for loss suffered as a result of the breach and the limitations on the ability to be fully compensated in a breach of contract claim. It also discusses agreed damages provisions and their enforceability.

Chapter

Cover Poole's Casebook on Contract Law

14. Damages for breach of contract  

Robert Merkin KC, Séverine Saintier, and Jill Poole

Poole’s Casebook on Contract Law provides a comprehensive selection of case law that addresses all aspects of the subject encountered on undergraduate courses. Contractual damages aim to compensate the injured party for the loss suffered due to breach of contract. Damages for breach are compensatory and not punitive so that it is possible to recover only for the actual loss suffered by the injured party. This chapter considers the different measures to achieve compensation for loss suffered as a result of the breach and the limitations on the ability to be fully compensated in a breach of contract claim. It also discusses agreed damages provisions and their enforceability.