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Contracts are an integral part of doing business. Whether you are purchasing goods or services, leasing commercial property, hiring employees, or working with independent contractors, a contract is critical to ensure your legal and financial rights are protected. Well-drafted contracts can also minimize risk and help to ensure your operations run smoothly. Unfortunately, if a party with whom you’ve contracted with fails to meet their end of the bargain, your business could be harmed as a result.
At Litico Law Group, our breach of contract attorneys understand the detrimental impact a breach of contract can have on your business and bottom line. Our attorneys are adept at vigorously pursuing breach of contract matters in Illinois — and zealously defending them when necessary. Offering high-quality legal services for business owners in a wide range of industries, we strive to obtain optimal results for your long-term success.
A contract is an agreement entered into between two parties that creates a legal obligation. It sets forth specific terms and conditions that must be met. However, a party might fail to fulfill their obligations under the provisions of the contract. When this happens, the occurrence is called a “breach of contract.”
A breach of contract can arise under many different circumstances. A contract may be breached based upon a party’s failure to:
A breach of contract can be “minor” or “material.” When a breach is minor, the contractual obligations are ultimately performed, but a minor condition is not met. In contrast, a material breach undermines the entire purpose of the contract. These types of breaches occur when a party fails to substantially perform, or the result is significantly different than what had been specified in the contract. In such cases, the non-breaching party is typically excused from performing their part of the bargain.
Breaches can also be “actual” or “anticipatory.” An actual breach takes place when a party refuses to perform under the terms of the contract. An anticipatory breach happens when a party repudiates their future obligation to perform. These situations can arise when a party demonstrates through words or actions that they won’t be upholding their end of the deal.
In Illinois, five elements are required for a valid contract. These include: (1) offer; (2) acceptance; (3) consideration; (4) material terms; and (5) mutual assent. Simply put, there must be a bargained-for exchange between the parties. Additionally, the terms of the contract need to be definite and certain in order for it to be enforceable. The parties must also have the objective intent to be bound by the contractual terms and conditions — in other words, there must be a meeting of the minds.
While it’s best to have a written agreement to set forth the terms and conditions, oral contracts can also be legally binding under Illinois law. However, when an agreement is not in writing, it can be challenging to prove the terms to a court in the event a breach of contract action is commenced. Certain types of contracts — such as those involving real estate transactions or the sale of goods over $500 — are required to be in writing in order to be enforceable in Illinois.
If you are facing a breach of contract issue, it’s essential to take swift action to minimize the damage that can be done to your business. Litico Law Group offers comprehensive counsel and strategic solutions to clients who are involved in disputes regarding a variety of contractual agreements.
There are a number of remedies that may be available under the law for breach of contract matters. In many cases, a contract may also anticipate certain problems and specify remedies for such instances in the agreement itself. Depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding the breach, you may be entitled to cancel the contract, recover your monetary losses, or be awarded restitution. Other available remedies can include an injunction or the specific performance of the other party’s obligation.
Sometimes, there may be a valid reason a party did not satisfy the conditions of a contract. Common defenses to breach of contract matters can include duress, unconscionability, and substantial performance. A party may also be excused from a contract if the other side breached the agreement first, or there was a mutual mistake at the time the contract was executed. In addition, if a party revoked the offer before the other had accepted it, the contract would be void.
Not every breach of contract issue must be litigated in the courtroom — negotiation, mediation, and arbitration can be efficient alternative dispute resolution methods to reach a resolution without the expense of litigation. At Litico Law Group, we carefully evaluate each case to determine the best course of action to pursue to reach a positive outcome. Not only do we have a reputation for being skilled negotiators, but our attorneys are highly effective courtroom advocates when litigation would secure the most favorable results.
If you are a party to a breach of contract dispute, it’s crucial to have a diligent business attorney by your side who can advise you of your rights and remedies. Located in Rolling Meadows, Litico Law Group is committed to serving the needs of individuals, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in Illinois. Applying our wide breadth of knowledge and business acumen, we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. We welcome you to contact us or give us a call at 847-307-5942 for a consultation to learn how we can assist you.