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What Is An Anticipatory Breach Of Contract?

Wondering what anticipatory breach of contract is? This is a question asked frequently of every litigation lawyer around.


Anticipatory breach of contract is a breach of contract wherein one party repudiates the contract agreed upon before their performance is due. In a breach of contract, the repudiating party indicates their intention that they will not fulfill their end of the contract in a few ways, including through express language, conduct, or implication.


The result of a breach of contract is that the other party, or innocent party, can either accept the repudiation, choosing to no longer be bound by this contract, and sue immediately for damages, or they can choose to wait and press for performance by the repudiating party and eventually sue when performance is not shown by the given date. In this case, the innocent party would have to accept performance if the repudiating party does eventually perform.


Anticipatory breach of contract can be a confusing subject and you will likely need to get in touch with a litigation lawyer to fully understand your rights and how to go about receiving damages for the breach.


In this article, we’re going to take a quick look at the requirements needed for an anticipatory breach of contract as well as a couple of examples of anticipatory breach of contract, to make the concept a little clearer.


Requirements Of An Anticipatory Breach

For an anticipatory breach of contract, there are three requirements that the plaintiff must show conclusive evidence of. These are as follows:

  1. Existence of a valid contract

  2. A breach of said contract

  3. Damages flowing as a consequence of this breach

Canadian law distinguishes between two kinds of contractual terms in these cases. These terms are conditions and warranties and their differences determine the kind of legal route you can take.


Conditions are a vital part of the contract and are a fundamental part of the problem. A breach of a condition constitutes a ‘repudiation’ of the contract which the innocent party may accept. In addition to this acceptance, they are also at liberty to claim damages.


In the case of warranties, they are defined as an important, but non-fundamental term and a breach of such entitles the innocent party to sue for damages only.


Examples Of Anticipatory Breach

Anticipatory breach of contract can be difficult to get your head around, so below are two simple examples of what could constitute a breach.

  1. A supplier and another party have a contract that states that the supplier will deliver goods by a certain date. The supplier then states that they can no longer supply the other party with the goods by this date and tells the other party before the date set out in the contract.

  2. Two parties agree on a contract wherein party A will perform their part of a project by a specific date for party B. Party A then states that they cannot perform said part of the project due to an unforeseen circumstance. They let party B know before the date on which they were supposed to perform their part.

Both of these instances would constitute an anticipatory breach of contract and the innocent parties involved may be entitled to damages under Canadian law.


How A Lawyer Can Help

In the case of an anticipatory breach of contract, a litigation lawyer can help you out in a few ways; these include offering you legal advice on whether or not a breach has occurred, helping you to get the damages that you deserve for a breach of contract, and representing you in court if going to court becomes an option in your scenario.


Need An Experienced Litigation Lawyer In Newmarket? Contact Baker Doodnauth Today!

Are you in need of a litigation lawyer in the Newmarket area? Baker Doodnauth is a team of experienced lawyers who are well-versed in dealing with breach of contract disputes, including anticipatory breaches of contract. Get in touch today to find out how they can help you.

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