Actual Breach and Anticipatory Breach

A contract is an agreement between two or more parties that creates legally enforceable obligations. Each party to the contract is bound to perform their obligations as set out in the contract. A breach occurs when one party fails to perform their obligations under a contract. There are two types of breach as follows:

Actual breach: An actual breach of contract occurs when one party fails to perform their obligations under the contract at the time that performance is due. This can occur in a number of ways, such as failing to deliver goods or services, delivering goods or services that are defective, or failing to pay for goods or services that have been provided. When an actual breach occurs, the non-breaching party has the right to claim damages for any losses that they have suffered as a result of the breach. They may also have the right to terminate the contract if the breach is serious enough, such as a fundamental breach.

Anticipatory breach: An anticipatory breach of contract occurs when one party indicates, before the time for performance has arrived, that they will not perform their obligations under the contract. This can occur in a number of ways, such as by explicitly stating that they will not perform, or by actions that make it clear that they will not perform. When an anticipatory breach occurs, the non-breaching party can either treat the contract as terminated immediately and claim damages, or wait until the time for performance has arrived to see if the breach actually occurs. If the non-breaching party chooses to wait, they must be ready and willing to perform their own obligations under the contract.

In both cases, the non-breaching party has the right to claim damages for any losses that they have suffered as a result of the breach. However, the remedies available may be different depending on the type of breach and the circumstances of the case.
Back to blog

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
INSEAD
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham
ESSEC Business School

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law

    Terminology

    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory

    Exam-focused

    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.