Practice areas Contractual Disputes

Contractual Disputes can be quite common. Whether aware of it or not, we enter into contracts every day. There are three components to a contract: (i) an offer, (ii) acceptance and (iii) consideration (or payment). A contract can be oral or writing. It is important to be aware that an oral contract is equally as valid and enforceable as a written contract.

If one party is unhappy with the outcome of the agreement the contract may have been breached and you may be entitled to a legal remedy such as compensation, rescission of the contract or specific performance (enforcement) of the contract.

Lawlor Kiernan LLP have represented the following clients in breach of contract claims against their insurers:

Case Study 1 Breach of contract in relation to mortgage loans

We are representing numerous clients in High Court proceedings against banks such as Permanent TSB plc and AIB Mortgage Bank in relation to the tracker margin of the interest rate being charged. For more information in relation to these cases, click here.

Case Study 2 Income protection policy

Our client took out an income protection policy when taking out car finance. She subsequently suffered an injury in an accident and became unable to work. She made a claim under her income protection policy, and it was declined by her insurer on the basis that she had not disclosed a “material fact” on the proposal form. Our client was unhappy with this response from her insurer, and we issued court proceedings for breach of contract. Before the hearing, the insurer agreed to honour the policy in full and pay her legal costs.

Case Study 3 Breach / Termination of an oral contract

Our client was a potato farmer and supplied to a multinational grocery retailer. Over the course of their trading relationship, our client incurred significant expense in business improvements. There was only an oral agreement was in place (there was no written contract). The retailer terminated the contract without reasonable cause or notice causing our client to suffer considerable financial losses. Despite no written contract being in place, we issued proceedings against the retailer and negotiated a substantial settlement in advance of the hearing.

Case Study 4 Public Liability Insurance (Children’s soft play)

Our client is a business owner that operates play zones for children. An accident took place on one of their premises in which a child suffered injuries. Our client’s insurer refused to cover the personal injury claim on the basis that a safety statement had not been furnished. We sued the insurance broker and the underwriter. The case settled with the insurer providing our client with cover for the accident and paying our client’s legal costs.

Case Study 5 Public Liability Insurance (Beautician)

Our client operates several beauty salons. A customer had a hot wax hair removal treatment on the premises and later claimed that she suffered burns and scarring to her face. She brought personal injury proceedings against our client. Our client contacted their insurer who refused to provide cover for the incident despite a valid policy of insurance being in place. We issued specific performance proceedings against the insurer and also defended the personal injuries claim on behalf of our client. The insurers agreed to honour the insurance policy in advance of the hearing and took over the defence of the personal injury action. The insurance company also covered our client’s legal costs.

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