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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30929
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hello, I have a friend (X) facing possible claim for supposedly

Customer Question

Hello, I have a friend (X) facing possible claim for supposedly "fraudulent" action, where he took over the venue bookings that were previously under his employer's name (he is an independent contractor). The LLP that he works for requested him to pay rent on their behalf (previously rent was paid consistently by one of the partners). Also, X was under no prior agreement to pay rent of bear that as one of his responsibilities. He refused by saying that it was inappropriate for him to pay LLP's rent, with LLP's credit card and use the personal log ins of one of the partners. The request was to take this over on an ongoing basis because one of the partners "did not have time" to do this. The partners did not pay in time as a lot of time was wasted in sending messages back and forth with them insisting that X takes this over going forward and X raising his concerns (which were ignored), contract effectively became forfeit. X took it over straight away under his own name after confirming with the venue. The LLP now claims fraudulent breach of contract and damages to the business. I would really appreciate if you could provide feedback on whether you think LLP claims have any legal basis. Thank you!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Why are they saying that there was a fraudulent breach?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

they say that he did not make it clear to them that he was acting on his own behalf. However, he could not have possibly done so as he is not a partner in LLP. Also, the venue now saying that they did not understand that him and the partners of LLP were two distinct entitites. they assumed that since he is teaching there and signs a tick box that the space was used for the hours rented that he was acting on their behalf. Even though he clearly stated to the venue that he cannot pay on their behalf and will only pay f the contract is transferred into his own name. This was done by the venue so that he could pay. But after being scared off by the claims of the LLP partner that was forcing X to pay, the venue is not "backtracking" and saying that they did not fully understand who is who. We are about to go to the meeting with the venue manager in 10 mins...


 

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer.

I've been asked to look at this by my colleague.

What do the provisions of his contract say about termination?

The likelihood of a fraud claim being successful is remote. They would have to proof some kind wilful attempt by your friend to hide what he was doing. The evidence threshold is so high, that it is far more likely it would just be straight forward breach of contract.

The owners of the venue that have leased it to your friend - are they happy to continue the arrangement with your friend?

Does your friend have any emails or correspondence from the LLP telling him to pay the rent or consenting to him taking over the venue?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello, yes, we have al the email trails where they ask him to pay and he politely explains why he feels this is inappropriate, several times, and asks the partner to please continue paying her own rent as usual. He is not really under any official contract, as he does not think he signed any. The other teachers contracts (teaching agreements) do not have anything on termination at all, just information on how they need to behave, dress and pay their own taxes.


 


The venue I think does not really care under whose name the contract is as long as it is paid - we are about to find out more at the meeting with them shortly.


 


The LLP reacted in opposed manner to the contract changing hands saying they never intended to let go of the rental (even though they were past due date of payment and effectively in forfeit). It is because they were in forfeit that the venue agreed to transfer into my friend's name. However, everyone is backtracking now saying they did not understand what was happening. My friend is disheartened by the treatment he received and no longer wishes to work for LLP and would like to use the space for his own purposes. If you need any more detail, I am happy to provide as much as needed, but will be back in a couple of hours. thank you again for your help

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

At this stage other than the meeting what are the LLP demanding?

If your friend is not under any contract has he at least sent a letter terminating what ever arrangement they had?

Kind regards

AJ

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

LLP demands that he takes his name off the rental agreement or otherwise they will sue him for fraudulent actions while in their employ and for damage to the business. He already met with the partners on Monday 18th of Feb advising that he no longer wishes to work for them and it has been acknowledged by them in a letter they sent him where they threaten to sue unless he takes his name off and releases the booking to be taken back by them.


 


kind regards

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

Exactly at what point did the rental agreement go into his name?

Do you have an email from the LLP telling him to put the agreement in his name?

Kind regards

AJ

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