Contractual damages—pecuniary losses
Produced in partnership with Zainab Hodgson and Kavidha Clare of CMS

The following Dispute Resolution practice note produced in partnership with Zainab Hodgson and Kavidha Clare of CMS provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Contractual damages—pecuniary losses
  • Contractual damages—categories of pecuniary loss
  • Pecuniary loss—expectation-based damages
  • Pecuniary loss—reliance-based damages
  • Expectation and reliance-based damages distinguished
  • Pecuniary loss—damages for wasted expenditure and management time
  • Pecuniary loss—damages for consequential loss
  • Pecuniary loss—gains-based damages

Contractual damages—pecuniary losses

This Practice Note considers the different categories of contractual damages that may be available for financial loss (pecuniary loss), ie expectation-based damages, reliance-based damages and gains-based damages.

For guidance on contractual damages generally, see Practice Note: Contractual damages—general principles.

For guidance on claiming damages for non-financial loss for breach of contract, see Practice Note: Contractual damages—non-pecuniary losses.

Note that contracts often seek to limit or exclude the type of losses that may be recoverable in any particular breach scenario, which can lead to significant disputes and should be a key consideration for lawyers when drafting agreements. For further guidance see:

  1. Practice Note: Exclusion and limitation of liability

  2. Q&A: How do the English courts interpret the term ‘special damages’ in the context of a contractual limitation of liability provision? How is US-specific terminology interpreted in this context?

  3. Q&A: Is there any authority on the meaning of ‘loss of revenue’ and ‘loss of business’ in the context of exemption clauses in commercial contracts? What factors should be taken into account when considering their inclusion? Would ‘loss of revenue’ or ‘loss of business’ cover different types of loss than those covered by an exclusion of ‘loss of profit’?

  4. Q&A: Does the prohibition to exclude or restrict liability for death or personal injury resulting from negligence in section 2 of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 include the death

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