The reasons for changing suppliers are many and varied but there are a few points to consider before taking action.
First check whether you have a right to terminate. Most housebuilder template supplier appointments include broad powers to terminate, but have those standard terms been adopted and signed? Your suppliers own terms are unlikely to be as flexible. The law does not automatically give a party to a contract a right to terminate (other than for fundamental breach of contract). Unless you have an express contractual right to do so, you probably won't have the right to terminate for delay or for not complying with your brief. You are at risk of a damages claim from the supplier – for loss of profit for example.
So what should you do to reduce the risk of a claim for wrongful termination?
- Use your standard terms (and if you don't have any or they haven't been refreshed for at least two years, then seriously consider carrying out that exercise).
- Ensure the sub-contractor/consultant signs and returns them.
- Check you have a right to terminate and you have grounds.
- Follow the contractual procedure.
- Issue notices in the correct format, within the contractual time periods, by the correct method and to the correct address/contact details.