Q&As

What is the standard remedy for a claim for contractual interpretation or construction? Would it be damages, because specific performance is only granted as an equitable remedy where damages are inadequate? With a claim for rectification the remedy would be rectification and/or specific performance, but interpretation is different—would the remedy simply be damages?

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Published on LexisPSL on 13/05/2021

The following Property Disputes Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What is the standard remedy for a claim for contractual interpretation or construction? Would it be damages, because specific performance is only granted as an equitable remedy where damages are inadequate? With a claim for rectification the remedy would be rectification and/or specific performance, but interpretation is different—would the remedy simply be damages?

What is the standard remedy for a claim for contractual interpretation or construction? Would it be damages, because specific performance is only granted as an equitable remedy where damages are inadequate? With a claim for rectification the remedy would be rectification and/or specific performance, but interpretation is different—would the remedy simply be damages?

This question raises a variety of possible outcomes, much depending upon the nature of the dispute which the court is being asked to consider.

The court always has power to grant a declaration as to the meaning of a contractual provision. Quite often such a claim will come before it by way of Part 8 claim. The factual dispute between the parties will likely be limited, this can be seen under CPR 8.1(2). It will be common ground that there is a contract. Its terms will be common ground. The dispute will be as to the meaning of those terms.

The court can correct minor errors by way of construction. For this to happen, first there must be a clear mistake on the face of the instrument, secondly, it must be clear what correction ought to be made in order to cure the mistake. If those conditions

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