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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22401
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
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Hi, I went into what I thought was a partnership in a business

Customer Question

Hi, I went into what I thought was a partnership in a business with my boyfriend after he pursuaded me..This was over three years ago..I took out a substantial loan for the business which is on his land. I have continued to pay the loan from wages from my substansive post as well as working in the business and his home as I moved in to live with him. I have not seen any return from the business and he constantley tells me it has not made any profit and he refuses to put anything in writing such as a partnership agreement or his will.. I am becoming increasingly worried that my investment is not safegaurded and I have nothing in writing from him to say we are partners in this business. Can you advise what I need to do.. I will admit I am naive and he has been a business man for many years.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.


How much did you put in?

Is he working in the business
or doing anything else also?



Is he taking any money from
it, or do you not know?



Can you please explain the
background in fall and particularly the bit about the loan on his land?



We do need as much detail as
possible please. Thank you

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I took a loan our for £114 000,00 One hundred and 14 thousand pounds to put into a wedding business. He owns the land but I have provided a wedding marquee and fitted it out..I have also worked very hard in it..He has a Mill which he hires out to the brides and he has just got a civil wedding license..He does work in it..He shows the brides round and does all the paper work...as I work out of hours at my own job but I prepare the venue, work the weddings, clear up after, clean the Mill and do all the laundry and also get the cariages ready if the bride books a horse and carriage. We do all the catering for the weddings. I have asked him numerouse times to write a partnership agreement but he eith avoides answering or bluffs his way out of it saying we don't need one. He has left everything to his three children in his will..so if anything happens I fear I will loose my investment..

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Does this service charge me every time I respond to you? How does it work?

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

You pay once only and I dont get paid at all unless you give a positive rating.

You need to be firm I am afraid if you dont want an

argument with his family when
he dies, or with him if you split up, although there is probably the makings of
an argument now if you force the matter. That is obviously a legal issue, but
at the moment, you are at risk of ending in a legal battle

If he accepts that you are in
partnership (which he does not appear to do), then the partnership is covered
by the 1890 Partnership Act, which is to be frank, is an outdated piece of
legislation and probably causes more problems than it resolves.



I cannot help you with the
emotions of this and are the personal words that you may have between you.



If he is reluctant to go into
partnership with you, then it must give you a very strong message. I am sure
that you do not need me to tell you what that message is.



The least you could possibly
hope for would be fit to get him to sign a deed of trust whereby he agrees that
£114,000 (at least), is held on trust for you.



It might be worthwhile either
presenting him with a partnership agreement or a trust deed and sticking it
under his nose to see how he copes bluffing his way out of that.



None of this is probably what
you wanted to hear, but I imagine most of it is what you suspected



Can I help further?





Please bear with me today because I will be online and
off-line.

Please don't forget to positively rate my answer service (even if it was not
what you wanted to hear) and I will follow up any further points you raise for
free.

If you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0
for my time. It is imperative that you give my answer a positive rating. It
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livelihood!

If in ratings you feel that you expected more or it only helped a little,
please ask me for further info before rating me negatively otherwise I don't
get paid at all for my time and answer.

The thread remains open.

Thank you.





Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22401
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
Stuart J and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, again, I am sorry for not getting right back to you but my so called partner walked into the room as I was waiting for your answer, I am now back at work doing a night shift to pay that loan but I am able to speak with out him seeing this...

 

You can clearly see my dilema. I am feeling like I have been taken for a ride. After yet another argument and me refusing to get involved with the work of preparing for an up and coming wedding as the wedding season kicks off he has said he will put my name in his will should anything happen to him I can have a quater of the value of what is left when he dies. I am not sure what this means. As I raised my concerns with him last week he then met up with his three adult children again whilst I was out at work.. I am sorry but I am not business savy but have worked very hard all my life to earn what I have got and I am frightened that I am at risk of loosing it...Do I need to make an appointment with a local solicitor to discuss a partnership agreement / trust deed or is it something I can down load from here and print off..

 

I suspect that he has conned me so he can get the business he wants off the ground. We have been at it for 3 years now and he constantley says there is no profit but I know he wants to build a restaurant and I think he could be using the profits to do this...

 

I have rated you, excellent so you should get paid..I am just beginning to explore what is happening. I have been asking him question's and he either over shouts me, avoids me, gives me the silent treatment for months and months then is blaming me for making life difficult and all I have asked for is safegaurding...

 

Could you please guide me in what I need to do next?

 

Thankyou

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.


Don't worry, we all go off
from time to time. This is not an instant service so
sometimes you will get a response in minutes and sometimes it will be hours. We
all have clients and court and other users and travelling and weekends and
evenings and misc interruptions etc.

I can understand
exactly how you feel, and there is no easy way other than head-on confrontation
if being subtle has not worked.



A quarter of the
value of what is left is nothing (without an argument) If in his will he has
left everything to his three children . I'm sorry to be so blunt but you can
see where his priorities lie. I don't know whether his children are capable of
running the business, or would be running it into the ground.



The first thing
you need to do before you see a solicitor is to get him to agree that you need
some protection in the event that he shuffles off the mortal coil tomorrow. You
are older hundred thousand pounds and obviously, who have put a lot of time
into the business and that has a value.



I would also want
to see his will as it exists today. If he will not show you the will, then it
should raise your suspicions. Just because he doesn't bother want, but may say
in it what you want, does not mean that he cannot make another one in secret,
the day after. The last will is the one which is effective because each new
will revokes the previous one.



I cannot help you
with the emotion or the arguments but only give you the legal answers. There is
a quotation from the Shakespeare play Hamlet. I am not a Shakespeare lover but
you will get the gist. Although it refers to a lady in the play I have changed
it to make it fit "the gentleman doth protest too much me thinks."



I am sure you get
the gist them, I am not telling you anything that has not gone through your own
mind.



You asked me what
would I do.



If he will not
speak about this or blames you from being paranoid, et cetera I would suggest
that you try to get hold of a mediator who can look at this with a completely
divorced view and take a balanced view from each of you. If he will not agree
to that, then you have answer I think about what is intended.



I apologise if I
have thrown too much opinion in there (which I probably have)

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He sort of threw his will down at me the other day which said everything goes to his 3 adult children. They are professional people and would not be interested in running such a business.


In terms of his will I as much as said to him today that he could change the will anytime he wanted to which of course he refuted this. I also said that I have been with him for nearly five years and have committed myself but he still has not protected my investment. Without going into detail I found he had cheated on me with two different females this happend not long after I had drawn down on the loan. I was mortified and did not know what to do because of the financial investment I had made. Where would I stand if I walked out? Would I loose my investment? or is there something I could do to get it back... I am now at the point where all I want is my money back as I feel physically sick at the thought of what he has done to me..He continues to tell me I should trust him...I really want out but feel very trapped....

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He sort of threw his will down at me the other day which said everything goes to his 3 adult children. They are professional people and would not be interested in running such a business.


In terms of his will I as much as said to him today that he could change the will anytime he wanted to which of course he refuted this. I also said that I have been with him for nearly five years and have committed myself but he still has not protected my investment. Without going into detail I found he had cheated on me with two different females this happend not long after I had drawn down on the loan. I was mortified and did not know what to do because of the financial investment I had made. Where would I stand if I walked out? Would I loose my investment? or is there something I could do to get it back... I am now at the point where all I want is my money back as I feel physically sick at the thought of what he has done too me..He continues to tell me I should trust him...I really want out but feel very trapped....

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.


I will put my
Judge's hat on. Either you are in partnership or you are not. Ask the question
direct. "Are we in partnership, am I part of this business or not? A one word
answer is sufficient. Yes or no".

If he starts
qualifying his answer, emphasise that the answer you want is yes or no. If the
answer is no, that you are an investor and you need to take steps to get your
money back. It then becomes a debt on the business and on him personally because
he is a sole proprietor not a limited company. You would probably end up sueing
the children. The business will probably go down the pan.



If the answer is
yes, then under the 1890 partnership act all profits are split 50-50. (Don't
tell him that until he has answered you) regardless of the investment that each
of you put in and regardless of the amount of work that you put in, and you are
therefore entitled to see all the business records and accounts.



If he dies there
is no provision for the partnership to carry on and the partnership is
dissolved and the asset is sold. You get the money back in your capital
account, which is your original investment (if there is enough) and the rest is
sold off. You can of course buy it but that would be for you to argue between
the executors of his will.



There is no easy way in to say
this but you have a decision to make. Either you force the issue or you have to
consider your options and if you decide to walk away from this, you will end up
having to sue him to get your money back.



There are lots of legal
solutions, but unless he will actually speak to you and deal with it, there
will be a parting of the ways.



If he
says no you are not in partnership, you can always simply say okay then, let me
have my money back now. That might focus his mind.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your answer, I think it is now urgently the time for me to see a solicitor...I have been done hook - line and sinker!! I am now under no illusitions....Thankyou very very much..Your advice is exactley what I needed to hear...Once again a very big Thankyou...


 

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Glad to help. If you need me agaian, put my name at top of thread and other experts will tell me that you are waiting. Thanks.

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