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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3495
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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O dont have a p.o. it seems a bit hard but they dont have

Customer Question

O don't have a p.o. it seems a bit hard but they don't have anything to say what work I carried out when I was in service. Can I not say my code was done after the contract was over? And show different code as what was done during my service?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

Can you prove that the second of work clearly did not fall under the first round. Is it a distinct piece work?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes its a distinct piece of work, which was not related to what service I was providing them. Only thing they have is my mails saying my company worked on something ( mails I have shared with you). And this work was carried out over weekends and mornings,on normal working time I was still working for them on different piece of code. What will be taken as proof or what wikl be considered as evidence is what I am not clear.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Sorry proof and evidence are the same thing.

Just to go back to one point, so this piece of code does not actually fall within the definition of "the Services"?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No it doesn't fall under the definition of 'the service'. As a head of product development I was working for their UI (HTML). The 2nd piece of work was for a different product and not a UI code (it was c# XXXXX).However, I feel it will depend of the skill of solicitor to prove or disprove it, how may I get it verified? They always claimed that since I'm under contract with them, any work I do outside the office hours will still be theirs. This is the bit I am not sure about.

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

Thank you.

I only have snipets of the contract, but the contract seems to suggest that only IP created in the provision of the Services (as defined) will be owned by them.

If this work was not done during working hours and was outside the scope of the services, I cannot see how it will belong to the IT company.

Did the contract have any restrictions on your ability to work?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I dont see any restriction on my ability to work.


Here is the full contract .














 



 



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

Thank you.

Ok bare with me, I will need to have a look at this.

I will revert to you asap.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sure, Thanks

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

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex,

did you get a chance to look at those pages? Actually they are not accepting the mail with 'without Prejudice' and they persist with assurance request.

 

"

Thank you for your email. However, the fact that you have headed your email as ‘Without Prejudice’ is both unnecessary and unacceptable. Please therefore provide me with written confirmation of the assurances requested in my email to you dated 10 January 2014, by both email and post which will confirm that you have and will continue to abide by the terms of the agreement between your company and Kovai Limited. As I am sure you are aware, your company is already bound by these obligations, but in light of recent events, the renewed assurances are necessary.
I trust that the above is acceptable and look forward to receiving the assurances from you.

"

 

What would be the logical next step for them if I dont respond to them? Can they delay my payment on basis of me not replying? If they do that what would be my options?

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

Thank you.

This email is only for their comfort I cannot see any obligation on you to give the email. They are asking you to confirm that you havent breached the agreement. If you havent breached the agreement I do not see why that is necessary.

Being paid is a separate obligation and they should not withhold payment from you.

You could argue that writing this letter is unnecessary and unacceptable as you have not done anything wrong.

Going forward for the sake of getting paid for the second tranche of work I would just send them an email confirming you have not breached the agreement.

At some point you will have to decide how far you want to push this and from what I have seen it is not going to take alot to fall out with them. Are you prepared if push comes to shove to allow this to develop into a full dispute if they wont compromise?

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Well, if its not too complicated and clear of any breaches , I would want to develop my second tranche of work for my benefit. I have already told them many times they could pay my work and I will move on with something else. They are on the point that they wont pay and would continue to threaten me with legal complexities. I would just move on for now and when the agreement dies off after 12 months I may pick this work again if it still makes sense.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.

Hi, Thank you. I think you should work to the end of this contract and then take one of the following options: 1. You sue them for payment of the work on the basis that they are claiming ownership of it. If they do this then it would be admittance that they had commissioned you for it; 2. You take the view that this work was produced in your own time and did not form part of the services. It will then be their prerogative if they want to sue you. If they do sue you they will have to admit that this work was commissioned. Your argument will then be a counter claim that you werent paid or that the work did not fall within the definition of the services. You have potentially six years to bring this claim. Could you just reconfirm how much you believe you are owed? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

At least £6000. is it worth suing them for this money? Where I find more info about what it takes to sue someone? My other concern is I am a self employed / consultant, if I have to take off to fight this case in court, then that's going to cost me in terms of my pay as well.

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

Thank you.

For £6k, you start a money claim here https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

I would suggest you get a solicitor to act for you though, you would be able to claim your costs back.

I would wait until after your contract with them has ended before pursuing the claim though.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The contract ended last week. I will send them an invoice and wait for the payment. If I don't get paid in 15 days I will find a solicitor and raise a claim.


 


Thanks

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

Thank you.

I would discuss this with a solicitor first.

You need to make a commercial decision here, do you want to a) stand your ground and keep the code or b) get paid?

Once you have instructed a local solicitor you will have a better idea of their costs as well which may help guide your decision.

Kind regards

AJ

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