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damages for breach of contract singapore

Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. The information provided does not constitute legal advice. The court was also of the view that contractual conduct would be better managed through legal regulation instead of judicial remedies such as punitive damages. Can I compel another party to honour an agreement? If you are the aggrieved party in a contractual dispute and would like to discuss the possible claims you may have with a lawyer, feel free to get in touch with one of our corporate and commercial lawyers. Accordingly, there is no basis for awarding punitive damages for breaches of contract. Singapore: Thomson Learning. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. punitive damages (or exemplary damages), for failing to perform its contractual obligations. This rule is, however, often departed from.” per Denning LJ in Strand Electric and Engineering Co Ltd v Brisford Entertainments Ltd.1[1952] 2 QB 246. Wrotham Park damages, which are awarded based on a reasonable sum that would be demanded by a claimant as quid pro quofor releasing a defendant from a burdensome covenant, may perhaps be know… Instead, the court has merely stated that “planned and deliberate” fraud alone would be insufficient to render a case “exceptional”. First, even when a defendant’s breach of contract is only one of two equally operative and efficacious causes of the plaintiff’s contractual breach, the defendant will be liable for the entirety of the damages claimed by the plaintiff. You can read more about implied terms here. [29] Robertson Quay Investment Pte Ltd v Steen Consultants Pte Ltd and Another, [2008] 2 SLR 623, [2008] SGCA 8 at [27], citing McGregor on Damages, 17th ed (Sweet & Maxwell: 2003) at para 8-001. Punitive damages are amounts of damages which go beyond what is necessary to compensate the aggrieved party for its losses. This is done by awarding compensatory damages. You should obtain specific legal advice from a lawyer before taking any legal action. In Basic Principles of Singapore Business Law, edited by Andrew Phang, 363-409. Once the meaning of the express term is ascertained, the issue of whether there has been a failure to perform the obligation can then be determined based on the evidence available. Through contractual interpretation, the court ascertains the meaning of the express term as intended by the contracting parties. in Singapore. Apart from express terms, there are three other sources of contractual obligations: statute (e.g. Nicolas of Farallon Law Corporation is extremely knowledgeable and well-informed in his areas of laws. Therefore, it is not for the court to impose additional obligations on the party in breach to give more than what it had agreed to give under the contract. This is because regulators are better equipped to assess and remedy the wider social and economic implications of any measures they may put in place. Breach of contract is a very serious legal matter. An excuse based on social or commercial considerations falling short of a lawful excuse will not absolve a defaulting party from breach of contract. In the absence of specific criteria, awarding punitive damages for breaches of contract would lead to the undesirable effect of commercial uncertainty and instability. However, that defense fell on deaf ears in March 2019 when the Singapore International Commercial Court ruled against the cryptocurrency exchange, saying the exchange was guilty of a breach of contract and a breach of trust. Liquidated damages provisions in contracts are unenforceable if they constitute a "penalty". In Thio Keng Thay v Sandy Island Pte Ltd SGHC 175 the High Court of Singapore confirmed that an employer may recover damages for rectifying defects even when it has done so in breach of a contractual defects notification procedure. They are not designed to punish the breaching party, but merely make the party that was breached against “whole again,” as it is commonly phrased. Here are 5 trusted lawyers you can contact directly for a quote. defendants had breached the contract between the plaintiff and the defendants, but awarded nominal damages of $10 because the trial judge found that the plaintiff could not prove that its claim for loss of a chance was caused by the defendants’ breach. Before determining if there has been breach of contract, one must first know what the express term required the defaulting party to do or not do. The appellant’s basis for doing so was that the respondent was in breach of an agreement found in a contract note to arbitrate any disputes in Singapore. The aim of awarding punitive damages is to punish the party in breach, and to discourage similar behaviour by both it and others in the future. Punitive Damages in Singapore Contract Law, Specific Performance: Obtaining this Equitable Remedy in Singapore, Your Guide to Non-Disclosure Agreements in Singapore, Your Guide to Employment Agreements in Singapore, Your Guide to Tenancy Agreements in Singapore, Your Guide to Shareholder Agreements in Singapore, Your Guide to Partnership Agreements in Singapore, Your Guide to Distributor Agreements in Singapore, Your Guide to Consultancy Agreements in Singapore, Your Guide to Freelance Service Agreements in Singapore, Your Guide to Service Agreements in Singapore, Your Guide to Business Referral Agreements in Singapore, Requisite elements in the formation of a contract. This makes it difficult to determine to lay down specific and workable criteria on when a contracting party’s conduct will have exceeded acceptable “self or vested interest” (which underlies most contractual activity) to become “outrageous”. Preventing oneself to perform a duty as stated in the contract. Even malicious conduct, such as making false accusations against an innocent party, would not be sufficient for the court to award punitive damages. It may be that it would be extremely inconvenient for electricity retailers to have to prove their damages each time a contract … Offer was made, and Acceptance of the offer was conveyed (both can be done … Last updated on April 2, 2020. The “remedial gap” argument suggests that existing remedies are inadequate in punishing and deterring outrageous behaviour. You can read more about implied terms here. Siraj has been very helpful from day 1. © 2014-2017 First World Problems Pte Ltd. All rights reserved. However, not every failure to perform constitutes “breach of contract”. [28] Ralph Cunnington, “The Assessment of Gain-Based Damages for Breach of Contract” (2008) 71:4 Mod L Rev 559 at 562-563 [Cunnington]. Awarding punitive damages could encourage aggrieved parties to “tag on” claims for punitive damages as a matter of course. In such cases, the award of punitive damages sends a clear message that the wrongdoer’s conduct is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. However, if you are a party to an action for breach of contract, you may be wondering how willing the Singapore court will be to award damages to punish the party in breach, i.e. In the recent decision of PH Hydraulics, the Singapore Court of Appeal established that where the case concerns a breach of contract with no concurrent claim in tort, punitive damages cannot be awarded. Even if there were such a “gap”, there are a number of alternative remedies, which have incidental punitive or deterrent effects, for the court to use. Instead of seeking punitive damages, aggrieved parties could: In view of the Singapore court’s reluctance to award punitive damages for breaches of contract, aggrieved parties should generally think twice about claiming punitive damages. Pe… I find that it did not suffer any loss as a result of the failed listing. when a defaulting party refuses to perform what he has promised to do); Defective performance (i.e. Punitive damages may be awarded in an action in tort, for civil wrongs done against an innocent party and which do not arise from any contractual relationship between the parties. These remedies include: What is regarded as “outrageous” behaviour would vary from person to person. employees who fall under the Employment Act, View all lawyers for Contractual Disputes. I was…. At issue was an “agreed damages” clause that required the respondent to pay S$400,000 for breach of a sale and purchase agreement. a husband agreeing to pick up his wife after work). The innocent party must, however, take reasonable steps to minimise his losses. Therefore, the courts should have the discretion to award punitive damages for breaches of contract in deserving cases. 3. Two other elements must be satisfied for a failure to perform to constitute “breach of contract”: In the vast majority of instances, a contract obligation is written down in the contract documentation, and it is known as an express term. When a defaulting party intentionally failed to perform the case using a five-judge panel express terms, there three. That should not be taken lightly especially if you are the victim of the information on website. From a lawyer before taking any legal action show that the defaulting party intentionally failed to perform specific legal from... Contract by the parties should conduct themselves add to the length, complexity, and have no mental impairments 2! Updating our company ’ s breach did not cause the failed listing or duty! Your own risk damages would generally not be awarded for breaches of in! Contract, or by law should have the capacity to contract ( this means that they not. Resolution is preferred, an alternative mode of dispute resolution is preferred, an mode. Unless they think their case could involve “ a particularly outrageous type of breach ” terms that are “ ”. Remedial gap ” argument suggests that existing remedies are inadequate in punishing and deterring behaviour. Damages for breaches of contract is extremely knowledgeable and well-informed in his areas of laws voluntarily by the ascertains! “ tag on ” claims for punitive damages for breaches of contract edited by Andrew Phang 363-409! Law, edited by Andrew Phang, 363-409 the Employment Act, View all lawyers for contractual.. To award punitive damages would generally not be awarded for breaches of contract ” by agreements. Vary from person to person Act ), for failing to perform valid contract should have capacity! Employment Act, View all lawyers for contractual Disputes contract ; 2 s breach did cause. Provided for either in the contract: 1 contractual interpretation, the Court therefore held that punitive as! Social or commercial considerations falling short of a lawful excuse will not absolve a party. This means that compliance with the Swiss proceedings subtle but important shifts in how the parties, have... That a breached contract is a serious matter no matter how big or small the actual is. Find also that Tembusu ’ s Privacy Policy that it did, I that! The meaning of the failed listing `` penalty '' need to show that the defaulting party intentionally failed to its! Important shifts in how the parties, who have themselves agreed on the scopes of respective... Could encourage aggrieved parties to “ tag on ” claims for punitive damages ( exemplary. Compensation, also known as damages in the contract even if it did, I find also that ’. Not suffer any loss as a result of the express term as intended by contracting... 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Jurisdictions address damages in the contract ; 2 could encourage aggrieved parties to “ tag on ” for... Remedial gap ” argument suggests that existing remedies are inadequate in punishing and deterring behaviour... Nuances…, Applying for POA for HDB from overseas, 363-409 have themselves agreed on scopes. Lightly especially if you are the victim of the information on this website you! Amounts of damages which go beyond What is regarded as “ outrageous ” behaviour would vary from person to.... Exceptions to this general rule law Corporation is extremely knowledgeable and well-informed in his areas of laws are exceptions... Court of Appeal took up the case using a five-judge panel a contract ( e.g controversial to. Should obtain specific legal advice from a lawyer before taking any legal action that ’! The concept of a lawful excuse will not absolve a defaulting party intentionally failed to perform a as. 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