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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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I own a small family run business and employ representatives.

Customer Question

I own a small family run business and employ representatives. These reps are provided with a car to do their jobs. In January of this year one of our reps had the car stolen from off his drive. He had left the keys in the ignition and the car running in full view of the street, and then went into the house and left the car running. He came out and the car had gone, smashing through the gates. This apparently is on cctv which is on the house, this video footage is with the police apparently.
We had a row of sorts with this individual the week before, regarding his turnover. A week later at approximately 8 am he text us to say he was ill and would not be in work that day. The very same morning the car was stolen, at approximately 8.15 am along with the company computer, which apparently was in the car as well. Our insurance company refuse to pay out as they said it was negligence on his part. And although I cannot prove it, I believe he had this car deliberately stolen. We are still paying monthly for this vehicle at is on lease, and because we cannot return this vehicle at the end of the term we will have to find £14000.00 as the blow payment. We can ill afford to pay this money, as I said we are a small family run business and business is extremely tight at the moment. We also cannot employ anyone else to cover his area for business as we cannot afford to lease another car for a new rep. What are the chances of recovering this money I believe to be in the region of £18000.00 at this present moment excluding any legal fees we would incur.
This is very worrying and upsetting to us as we haven't got the money.

Yours Sincerely,
Rita
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name isXXXXX and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.

Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case. I will be online and off-line all day most weekdays and weekends.

Why do you believe this was done intentionally?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Because he has now started his own company and taking business from us, and he did not like the fact he was being confronted about his turnover. His father is the boss, and I think he thought he could get away with anything.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.




He has clearly been negligent. As
a result of his negligence you have suffered loss. You cannot recover that through
insurance (understandably) so you have a claim against him.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How much roughly do you think bringing this case to court would cost? and what percentage chance do we have of winning in your opinion.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.


Nothing is ever a foregone conclusion in court but I think you
have an excellent chance of winning and it is certainly worth taking to court.
The amount you are claiming is over £10,000 and therefore unfortunately, it
will not be small claims court, and if you lose for any reason, will probably
get costs awarded against you.

In all honesty, I cannot see how you can lose but sometimes even
the 100 to 1 outsider wins!



I would start by sending a solicitors snotty letter threatening
court.



There is no reason why you cannot deal with any litigation
yourself to save your own legal costs at least, until you end up out of your
depth (if you do end up out of your depth.). These facts are relatively
straightforward and therefore I can see no reason why you cannot conduct the
litigation yourself.



My very broad rule of thumb is that if you lose, expect to pay in
costs, about the same amount as the amount of the claim although, because this
claim has no particular complicated issues of law or fact, there is no reason
why it should be unnecessarily protracted



Does that answer the question? Can I assist further?





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PS Experts on here are online and off-line all day each day and weekends
so please bear with me if I do not get back to you immediately.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Would it also be worth trying to get back money for not being able to cover his area and get the business he has taken from us over the last 10 months.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.


To be honest, I thought of that before answering you and I think
the chances of getting anything back with regard to his inability to do the job
is remote.

If he was setting up his new business while he was working for
you, that is a breach of trust but it is a very difficult one to bring. We had
a solicitor do exactly the same to us who left on a Friday and started his own
firm on Monday and talk and massive chunk (I am talking really massive in fact,
obscenely massive chunk of business with him). We took Counsel's advice (cost
us a grand) and his advice was that we should have paid him more in the first
place! That was a waste of 1000 quid.



Unless there was a covenant in his employment contract, you have no
chance almost of bringing a successful action. Even if there is a covenant,
courts are very reluctant to enforce them if the period is longer than three months

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.

So how do I go about bringing an action against him in the courts for the recovery of the stolen car, and performing the litigation myself. Do I have to register a case at the courts first and get a case number? and can I charge my litigation costs against him should I win?

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.


The first thing you have to do before issuing proceedings is to
warn him that if he does not pay up, you are going to sue him.

You then need a valuation for the car and you issue proceedings
for that amount of money.



You can do it online here www.moneyclaim.gov.uk



it is then simply a case of following the process.



You can apply for an order for delivery up of the car but the
court cannot enforce an impossibility which is what it is if the car has been
stolen and not recovered.



If the car has been stolen and not recovered, the amount of your
claim is the difference between what the car was worth before it was stolen and
what it was worth when recovered

 

 

If you DiY you can charge time at £18 per hour

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.
Glad to help
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you so much, I have found this to be informative and instructive.


 


Well worth the £47.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Glad to help. Regards

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