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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hi I recently asked a question about some wording in one

Customer Question

Hi

I recently asked a question about some wording in one of our client contracts. This wording stated that "Following the 12 month contract, should (CLIENT) wish to end the relationship, Smart Monkey request that we are provided with a 3 month notice period to ensure we can complete any activities underway and plan for the changeover."

I asked if this would mean that at the end of the contract in December, whether we are contracted to continue working until the end of March, even if the client gives us notice in October.

The expert that replied said that the client is legally contracted for 3 months following the end of the contract, so until the end of March.

The client is disputing our contract. They agree that they are contracted until the end of March, however, they are now saying that we have not fulfilled the contract because part of the services we provide are email marketing and they say that they have had a decrease in email click throughs. This is true, however, we have evidence in post meeting contact reports where we recommended actions for the email marketing, but these actions were never backed up by the client.

The other dispute they are making is that the paragraph before the one stated above about the three month notice period, says "Throughout the duration of the contract, quarterly reviews will take place to monitor progress, plan for future campaigns and if necessary, adjust pricing accordingly."

The client is saying that if they have to continue working with us until March, they would like to review what we are doing for them and reduce the pricing to pretty much nothing (we are currently invoicing them £8k per month).

My questions are whether they would have a leg to stand on with regard to us not achieving what we had said we would in the contract based on the fact that we have not been able to carry out what we have recommended to be able to achieve what we said in the contract?

And secondly, whether they can drop the amount of work based on a quarterly review so that they are only paying us say £100 for the final three months of the contract? Does this have to be mutually agreeable or not as we have not stated that?

I am trying to decide whether to continue pursuing the full contract until the end of March, whether pursuing this would be an absolute nightmare and cost lots of money, whether to try to agree a pay-off, or whether to just walk away.

Advice would be very gratefully received!

Please let me know if you need any more information.

Thank you!

Beth Nash
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply as this is not an ‘on demand’ live service, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return.

Alex Watts :

Yes this was me.

Alex Watts :

Why could you not achieve the desired result please?

JACUSTOMER-ketnjb0r- :

for the email campaigns?

Alex Watts :

Well you said you have not been able to carry out what was recommended - do you mean you have not been able to because your customer has ended it early?

JACUSTOMER-ketnjb0r- :

Well, we made many suggestions for content to include within their email newsletters, however, to be able to do this, we needed support from them to help provide base content. As such, we didn't get any help on this so the emails that we sent out were never really that great.

Alex Watts :

I see. So their contributed to their own failure, is that right?

JACUSTOMER-ketnjb0r- :

When the new manager started a few months ago, we went through a whole presentation of ideas that we wanted to work on, but we haven't been able to do any of them as I think they knew they just wanted to end our contract right then anyway, even though we had another 4 or 5 months left

JACUSTOMER-ketnjb0r- :

yes exactly, but i'm not sure if that would stand up in court (if I even wanted to go that far)

Alex Watts :

Yes.

Alex Watts :

They may try and defend and counter claim saying that it failed. But they would have a duty to co-operate and assist in the efforts. If they did not then it is their own fault that it failed.

Alex Watts :

Even if that point is found against you a Judge can say that there is contributory fault.

Alex Watts :

That is, it is their own doing that it failed.

JACUSTOMER-ketnjb0r- :

Okay good I did think that would hopefully be the case

Alex Watts :

Indeed. Ideally you want to avoid Court especially with family disputes as it can be very messy.

JACUSTOMER-ketnjb0r- :

what is your advice regarding the adjusting pricing accordingly paragraph within the contract?

Alex Watts :

What doe that clause say please?

JACUSTOMER-ketnjb0r- :

"Throughout the duration of the contract, quarterly reviews will take place to monitor progress, plan for future campaigns and if necessary, adjust pricing accordingly."

Alex Watts :

Well the same point applies, if you are doing the work and they are not helping then it is their own fault for any failure.

JACUSTOMER-ketnjb0r- :

so could i contend that they want to reduce the pricing for January - March? on what grounds?

Alex Watts :

I can't see how - it is their own fault things are not working.

JACUSTOMER-ketnjb0r- :

would you recommend i put this to them and try to come to a pay off agreement?

Alex Watts :

Indeed I would. They haven't helped themselves so I can not see how they can blame you!

JACUSTOMER-ketnjb0r- :

last question - how much would i be looking at if this did go to court?

Alex Watts :

Depends on the value of the claim. If it is £10,000 or below it would be a small claim and costs are very limited.

Alex Watts :

They can not claim legal costs either.

Alex Watts :

Above £10,000 then you would need a Solicitor to represent you.

Alex Watts :

Typically legal fees would be £10,000 for a contested trial.

Alex Watts :

If you win though you can ask the Judge to award you the costs of the action.

JACUSTOMER-ketnjb0r- :

crickey okay

JACUSTOMER-ketnjb0r- :

thank you

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today?

If this answers your question I hope my service has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.

Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.

Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/

JACUSTOMER-ketnjb0r- :

thank you

Alex Watts :

No problem Beth

Alex Watts :

All the best

Alex Watts :

Please do take a moment to rate my service before you leave today, thank you.

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