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Max Lowry
Max Lowry, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1457
Experience:  LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
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Hello I have a 12 month contract ending next month with a company

Customer Question

Hello I have a 12 month contract ending next month with a company working for me. They tell me that I have to give them 3 months notice after the contract ends to terminate (as in their T&C). Can this be right as then it obliges me to 15 months, when the contract was only for 12.

Thankyou in advance for any advice.

Regards

Matthew
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Max Lowry replied 3 years ago.

Max Lowry :

Hi, welcome to Just Answer. I will help you with your question.

Max Lowry :

Hi Matthew.

Max Lowry :

This doesn't sound right. if the contract is for a fixed term, then it's for that fixed term. Notice provisions are contained within the contract, and if the contract is over, then they cannot apply.

Max Lowry :

However, the key to this is the terms and conditions of the contract.

Max Lowry :

If they require you to give notice of 3 months to "end your legal relationship" and that you can only give that on or after the end of 12 months, then this would be legally enforceable and would, in effect, amount to a 15 month contract. So it's down to a careful reading of the relevant terms in the contract.

Customer:

Hello Max, this is what I was told today - '


Of course that’s fine – you launched with us on the 15th of April 2012 – which means your 12 month contract ends on the 14th April 2013. The terms and conditions of contract state a 3 month notice period from that time. However that is if you decide to end the contract and we could look at different options to take the contract forward i.e. opt out options / a shorter contractual agreement.'

Customer:

I don't understand how I can't ask to terminate until the contract ends?

Customer:

From the contract...

Customer:

Commencement and Duration
3.1 The Services supplied under the Contract shall be provided by the Supplier to the Customer from the date specified in the Order.
3.2 Subject to condition 11, the Services supplied under the Contract shall continue to be supplied for a period of 12 months or such other minimum period as set out in the Order and, after that, shall continue to be supplied unless the Contract is terminated by one of the parties giving to the other not less than three months' notice.

Customer:

Max are you still there??

Customer:

Max sorry I've rated you bad, feel like I've wasted my time here.

Max Lowry :

I'm still here ....

Max Lowry :

I can give you an answer on the specifics if you wish?

Max Lowry :

Hello!

Max Lowry :

Sorry about not responding immediately.

Customer:

Sorry I thought you'd disapeared chat is usually a little more responsive, yes more info please

Max Lowry :

No problem. Can you tell me what clause 11 says?

Customer:

Termination
11.1 Without prejudice to any other rights or remedies which the parties may have, either party may terminate the Contract without liability to the other immediately on giving notice to the other if:
11.1.1 the other party fails to pay any amount due under the Contract on the due date for payment and remains in default more than seven days after being notified in writing to make such payment; or
11.1.2 the other party commits a material breach of any of the terms of the Contract and (if such a breach is remediable) fails to remedy that breach within 30 days of that party being notified in writing of the breach; or
11.1.3 the other party suspends, or threatens to suspend, payment of its debts or is unable to pay its debts as they fall due or admits inability to pay its debts or (being a company) is deemed unable to pay its debts within the meaning of section 123 of the Insolvency Act 1986; or
11.1.4 the other party commences negotiations with all or any class of its creditors with a view to rescheduling any of its debts, or makes a proposal for or enters into any compromise or arrangement with its creditors other than for the sole purpose of a scheme for a solvent amalgamation of that other party with one or more other companies or the solvent reconstruction of that other party; or
11.1.5 a petition is filed, a notice is given, a resolution is passed, or an order is made, for or on connection with the winding up of that other party other than for the sole purpose of a scheme for a solvent amalgamation of that other party with one or more other companies or the solvent reconstruction of that other party;
Page 6 www.mediaworks.co.uk | T: +44 (0)191(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>11.1.6 an application is made to court, or an order is made, for the appointment of an administrator or if a notice of intention to appoint an administrator is given or if an administrator is appointed over the other party; or
11.1.7 a floating charge holder over the assets of that other party has become entitled to appoint or has appointed an administrative receiver; or
11.1.8 a person becomes entitled to appoint a receiver over the assets of the other party or a receiver is appointed over the assets of the other party; or
11.1.9 a creditor or encumbrancer of the other party attaches or takes possession of, or a distress, execution, sequestration or other such process is levied or enforced on or sued against, the whole or any part of its assets and such attachment or process is not discharged within 14 days; or
11.1.10 any event occurs, or proceeding is taken, with respect to the other party in any jurisdiction to which it is subject that has an effect equivalent or similar to any of the events mentioned in condition 11.1.3 to condition 11.1.9 (inclusive); or
11.1.11 the other party suspends or ceases, or threatens to suspend or cease, to carry on all or a substantial part of its business.
11.2 On termination of the Contract for any reason:
11.2.1 the Customer shall immediately pay to the Supplier all of the Supplier's outstanding unpaid invoices and interest and, in respect of Services supplied but for which no invoice has been submitted, the Supplier may submit an invoice, which shall be payable immediately on receipt;
11.2.2 the Customer shall, within a reasonable time, return all of the Supplier's Equipment, Pre-existing Materials and Deliverables. If the Customer fails to do so, then the Supplier may enter the Customer's premises and take possession of them. Until they have been returned or repossessed, the Customer shall be solely responsible for their safe keeping; and
11.2.3 the accrued rights and liabilities of the parties as at termination and the continuation of any provision expressly stated to survive or implicitly surviving termination, shall not be affected.
11.3 On termination of the Contract (however arising), the following conditions shall survive and continue in full force and effect:: condition 7; condition 8; condition 9; condition 11; and condition 21.

Max Lowry :

Give me a minute to look at this ...

Max Lowry :

Okay -so, clause 3.2 is pretty much the relevant part then.

Max Lowry :

You can give three months notice before the end of the 12 months.

Max Lowry :

Then, the contract would expire in month 12, ie. that's consistent with the minimum 12 month period you expected. There is nothing that says notice must be given AFTER the 12 months. It says it continues after that UNLESS terminated by 3 months notice.

Customer:

Are you saying I have to give three months notice even if I am out of contract?

Max Lowry :

Yes.

Max Lowry :

If you're out of the initial 12 month term, then yes. As it otherwise will continue month by month. That's the effect of clause 3.2.

Max Lowry :

But the minimum term was only ever 12 months, subject to notice being given under 3.2.

Customer:

But it could only be the minimum term of 12 months if i gave noticed before month 9?

Max Lowry :

Correct.

Max Lowry :

You always had to give 3 month notice. But the minimum term was 12 months.

Customer:

Thanks Max, one more thing the T&C says I cannot give notice by email or fax, do I have to abide by that?

Max Lowry :

Yes. Afraid so. You have to follow what's in the contract.

Customer:

Thanks Max happy with your service will rate accordingly.

Max Lowry, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1457
Experience: LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
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