Claiming damages—tort and contract claims compared
Claiming damages—tort and contract claims compared

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Claiming damages—tort and contract claims compared
  • General principles
  • Recoverable losses

This Practice Note serves as a quick reference guide for practitioners comparing the law of damages as it applies to claims in tort and in contract.

For the basic principles of the law of damages, see Practice Note: The remedy of damages—general principles.

For detailed guidance on the law as it applies to contract claims, see: Contractual breach damages and remedies—overview.

For detailed guidance on the law as it applies to claims in tort, see: Damages in tort claims—recovery and assessment.

General principles

  Contract Tort
Compensatory function ’...where a party sustains a loss by reason of a breach of contract, he is, so far as money can do it, to be placed in the same situation, with respect to damages, as if the contract had been performed’ (Robinson v Harman (1848) 154 ER 363 at 365). The court may occasionally depart from this general policy and award some greater sum, but only in exceptional circumstances (eg gain-based damages in A-G v Blake [2001] 1 AC 268, [2000] 4 All ER 385).
See Practice Note: Contractual damages—general principles.
The aim of damages in tort is to ‘put the party who has been