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Specific Performance: Enforcing Contracts with Precision

Specific Performance: Enforcing Contracts with Precision

Contracts are the backbone of any business transaction, providing a framework for parties to uphold their obligations and protect their interests. However, there are instances when one party fails to fulfill their contractual duties, leading to disputes and potential financial losses. In such cases, the injured party may seek legal remedies to enforce the contract. One common remedy that can be pursued is specific performance. In this article, we will delve into the concept of specific performance and how it can be used to enforce contracts with precision.

What is Specific Performance?

Specific performance is a legal remedy available to the injured party in a breach of contract scenario. Unlike monetary compensation, which seeks to compensate the aggrieved party for their losses, specific performance aims to compel the breaching party to fulfill their contractual obligations exactly as agreed upon. Essentially, it seeks to make the breaching party perform the specific act they promised under the contract.

To better understand the concept of specific performance, consider the following example:

Company X enters into a contract with Company Y to purchase a piece of machinery. However, after the contract is signed, Company Y refuses to deliver the machinery as agreed upon. In this case, Company X may seek specific performance to enforce the contract and compel Company Y to deliver the machinery. If successful, Company Y would be legally obligated to fulfill their contractual duty and deliver the machinery to Company X.

When is Specific Performance Available?

Specific performance is not available in all breach of contract cases. It is generally only granted in situations where monetary compensation would be deemed inadequate or impracticable. Courts assess the particular circumstances of each case to determine whether specific performance is an appropriate remedy. Some common scenarios where specific performance may be granted include:

  • Unique Goods or Services: In cases where the subject matter of the contract is unique or of special value, such as rare artwork or bespoke services, specific performance may be granted as these items may be difficult to replace or replicate.
  • Real Estate: Specific performance is often sought in real estate transactions, particularly when a property is one-of-a-kind or there is a scarcity of similar properties available.
  • Landlord-Tenant Disputes: If a landlord fails to uphold their obligations under a lease agreement, specific performance may be requested to enforce the terms of the agreement.

It is important to note that specific performance is a discretionary remedy, meaning that courts have the authority to grant or deny it based on the specific circumstances of each case.

Advantages of Seeking Specific Performance

There are several advantages to pursuing specific performance as a legal remedy for a breach of contract:

  • Precise Fulfillment: Specific performance ensures that the breaching party performs their obligations precisely as agreed upon under the contract. This can be particularly beneficial in cases where the subject matter of the contract is unique or there are no suitable alternatives available.
  • Long-Term Financial Security: In some cases, monetary compensation may not adequately protect the injured party’s long-term financial interests. By seeking specific performance, the injured party can ensure that their intended outcome is achieved and potential future losses are mitigated.
  • Preserving Business Relationships: In certain industries or contexts, maintaining business relationships is crucial. Pursuing specific performance instead of litigating solely for monetary compensation may help preserve the business relationship between the parties involved.

If you need further assistance or information on specific performance or contract law in general, SQE Contract Law is here to help. Our team of experienced solicitors can provide expert advice and guidance tailored to your specific needs.

We also offer comprehensive preparation courses for the SQE 1 and SQE 2 exams. If you are aspiring to become a solicitor, be sure to check out our SQE 1 Preparation Courses and our SQE 2 Preparation Courses. These courses are designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to pass the SQE exams and embark on a successful legal career.

To stay updated on important dates and developments in the legal profession, make sure to keep an eye on the SRA SQE Exam Dates. It’s essential to stay ahead of the game and ensure you are well-prepared for the exams.

For extra practice and to gauge your readiness for the SQE exams, take advantage of our SQE 1 Practice Mocks FLK1 FLK2 and our SQE 1 Practice Exam Questions. These resources will give you a clearer understanding of the exam format and boost your confidence before sitting the actual exams.


Specific performance is a powerful legal remedy that can be employed to enforce contracts with precision. By compelling the breaching party to fulfill their exact obligations, specific performance ensures that the injured party’s interests are protected and losses are mitigated. If you find yourself in a situation where a party has breached a contract, seeking specific performance may be a viable option to consider. Contact SQE Contract Law for expert advice and assistance in navigating your legal options.