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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3493
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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My Limited company has had in the post a winding up petition,

Customer Question

My Limited company has had in the post a winding up petition, we have paid our dept plus interest and legal costs in full, the hearing date is at the end of January, the solicitor acting for my supplier has not and does not seem to want to withdraw the petition and is asking for over £2000.00 in costs directly from me. The draft petition sent to our registered address was sent over a month after we received ours and was put through the letter box after normal hours with no mention of these additional costs. - What is my position ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question and welcome.

My name is AJ and I will assist you.

Did you receive a statutory demand before the winding up petition was issued? Or did the demand for payment you received include the costs?

Has a date been set or has the petition been advertised?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi


 


We received a statutory demand from the supplier prior to the petition, which detailed outstanding moneys and costs associated.


 


Myself and fellow director received in the post to our personal addresses a "draft" petition, (a month later) which we acted on and made a substantial payment which kept our supplier happy, since all costs have been paid.


 


A date has been set at the court, but it has not been advertised.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

Have you confirmed with the supplier that they instructed the solicitor to issue the petition?

Your right seems very strange that the supplier would send you the draft petition, accept payment and then issue the winding up petition.

Did you pay the full sum requested on the stat demand?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

AJ


 


Think we are going to be here all night lol, Yes the supplier has confirmed the instruction of the solicitor, but it seems that its one of these no win no fee companies, and the supplier says he is unable to instruct them any further.


 


Supplier is sending me a confirmation email saying we no longer have any liability with them


 


Have also been reading a bit more, seems the chosen court should be the one nearest our registered address ? (Milton Keynes - Liverpool court) and that if they could not serve the petition directly to a representative at our registered office that additional paperwork should be applied for at the court to allow them to post it ?


 


Full sum on stat demand has been paid.


 


Think I'm being had over.


 


What are my next moves ?


 


Cheers


 


 

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

Yes you are correct the petition should be at your closest court. However not all courts have company insolvency facilities. They should have issued it at the closest court that will accept winding up petitions.

I am going to go away and write an answer. It may be a little while so please do not be concerned if you do not hear from me right away - I may not respond until this evening.

Can you just confirm in the mean time if you have been provided with an invoice from the solicitor and/or a break down of costs?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

AJ


 


Not what I would call an invoice, but yes a list of costs which they sent through yesterday on email. The list is very none descript as far as I can see, all they have done is sent a couple of letters, applied to the court in the wrong part of the country and had a row with me on the phone.


 


I have got through to the court and they have advised me to write to them explaining all the details as my supplier can no longer get it withdrawn.


 


Look forward to seeing your advice later.


 


Cheers


 


David


 


 

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Many thanks

Kind regards

AJ
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your patience.

Generally if a creditor has been paid after a bankruptcy petition has been presented then the debtor must apply to court to have the petition removed if it has not been advertised.

In this circumstances you have potentially one of the grounds to challenge the petition which is a disputed debt on substantial grounds. This debt did not appear on the statutory demand and therefore you can use this as genuine grounds to persuade the court that objectively you dispute having to pay these costs.

What you should do is as follows:
1. Write to the debtor/solicitor explaining why the debt is disputed- it did not appear on the stat demand you have no liability to the solicitor, the petition is therefore frivolous and they have not provided any breakdown of how these costs where incurred;
2. Ask the debtor and solicitor to withdraw the petition;
3. Say that if they do not withdraw the petition you will apply to court seeking an injunction restraining its advertisement and seek to recover the costs of doing so from them.

If they still refuse to withdraw it, I am afraid you will have to go to court and explain to the court that the debt is disputed. I would strongly recommend that you take a solicitor with you to do so.

I would also seriously consider making a complaint to the SRA and Legal Ombudsman. If the solicitor is on a no win no fee arrangement then you should have been informed, also to not provide you with a copy of the bill that they have allegedly billed their client is potentially serious misconduct. A solicitor cannot just decide to invoice his client just because there is a chance a third party might pay.
www.legalombudsman.org.uk/‎

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

A J


 


Will rate your answer, and it will be a good rating.


 


For the mean time there have been further developments.


 


I wrote to the Petitioner and had no reply, I managed to speak to him on the phone, and he admitted that he had been told not to talk to me or it could cause the costs to fall in his lap. He is not directly in correspondence with the solicitor only an agent that he uses. (This petitioner is still using headed paper for chasing debts from his agents old company that was dissolved in 2010)


 


I wrote to the court and got no reply.


 


I then took a different approach and spoke to the solicitor on a "lets start again approach" - advice and information then began to spill. I asked him if we agreed costs could he withdraw the petition ? he said there was not enough time ( being that there is still 12 days to go-I know this is not true) but he assured me that there would be no advert and as there was no outstanding money with regard to the petition he could not proceed to wind up and the case would be dismissed at the hearing.


 


He also said that with our payment for his costs he could not issue an invoice.


 


I have since asked him to verify all this in writing, and told him I will pay his costs in 2 halves - 1 now and the other after the hearing.


 


My question is, if I attend the hearing am I allowed to address the judge and am I entitled to have copies of all the petitioners paperwork ?


 


Also if as it seems there is a case for abuse of process, can I set actions in place after the hearing and what would I be claiming for.


 


 


Hope that all makes sense.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

Firstly what the solicitor has told you is completely incorrect, they cannot recover costs from you that have not been properly charged and invoiced. Otherwise it is just pure conjecture as to whether these costs are even for work done. I would strongly consider making a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman after the hearing.

Secondly you are entitled to attend the hearing on behalf of the company. I would suggest that you play the sympathy card as the Judge is bound to appreciate you are a litigant in person. Tell the Judge how this has affected your credit rating and damaged your good will etc.

What you should focus on claiming if there has been an abuse of the process is your costs back for attending the hearing, those would be the only damages you could theoretically claim. If the solicitor is the one at fault for this then the complaint is best dealt with by the Legal Ombudsman.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ

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