How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
75100385
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

I am director and sole practitioner of a limited company working

Resolved Question:

I am director and sole practitioner of a limited company working with disaffected young people in educational institutions (clients).

Just this morning I have received a letter from a solicitor threatening potential legal action on behalf of their client (a school where I was formerly an employee before being made redundant in 2010 and then setting up my company) and threatening an action of informing some of my current clients about my 'apparent behaviour'.

This 'apparent behaviour' was that I dropped off 3 sealed envelopes with current staff names on via the public-use sports hall at the aforementioned school. This was done as a favour by me for a friend to whom I am loyal. These sealed envelopes evidently contained letters of a controversial nature (at least to the school, though the solicitors letter does not specify what); and, though I merely dropped sealed envelopes in, they are 'making the assumption' that I wrote the letters and distributed more on other occasions. I did not.

They are stating that 'before our client can identify the appropriate remedy it seeks by way of legal action against you in relation to the comments set out in that letter, it must identify the scope of the publication for which you are responsible' Again I am not responsible at all. This favour I did clearly has put me in a compromised position, though I feel that there surely is no reason for them to proceed with any legal action and certainly not with the threat they make of contacting my clients to, I don't know, undermine my good name maybe.

I am very concerned for my reputation, the risk they are posing to my livelihood and how best to proceed in dealing with this letter. They are stating that if the above ' is not the case then I should inform them immediately who wrote the letter and who asked me to distribute it'.

I need some sound legal guidance and advice.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

S
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts :

Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX 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. There is no need to wait here, you will get an email when I reply.

Alex Watts :

What exactly are they claiming? Defamation?

Customer:

They are not stating any claim, other than that I did enter the school's sport hall and hand 3 envelopes to a receptionist. Which I did; and, they were sealed.

Alex Watts :

On what basis are they seeking to claim? What have they lost?

Customer:

In addition, I guess they are suggesting that I wrote the 'letters' contained and that they 'assume' I am responsible for distributing them to other staff members at the school via home address and a box left n the staffroom on another date. I didn't do that.

Customer:

That is my point. I don't know. But there is threatening tone and a subheading regards XXXXX XXXXX my employer'. They state that their client (the school) reserves the right to report my apparent behaviour to my employers (actually they are , my clients)

Alex Watts :

You should write back and ask them to be more specific. You need to write and say that you deny any purported wrong doing.

Alex Watts :

Do not engage in protracted correspondence.

Customer:

they specify the name of one such client which is close in proximity to the school and the local authority in general.

Alex Watts :

Just say that you have done nothing wrong and provide evidence to support any claim.

Alex Watts :

Just write and deny everything.

Alex Watts :

Say they have no claim and if they seek to issue proceedings you will defend it and seek costs against them.

Customer:

I am worried though about getting tangled up. Do I acknowledge that i did drop the envelopes?

Alex Watts :

No.

Customer:

What if they do proceed? Not sure what their charges would be?

Alex Watts :

Just write and say you deny everything, there is no claim and you will not engage in further correspondence.

Alex Watts :

Exactly.

Customer:

I am unconfident to write something and not shoot myself in the foot

Alex Watts :

That is the whole point.

Alex Watts :

They can't just claim for something which is a maybe.

Alex Watts :

They need to have a concrete claim

Customer:

But i did drop the envelopes

Alex Watts :

That does not matter - this is not criminal.

Alex Watts :

This is a civil dispute.

Alex Watts :

You can deny everything and put them to proof - this is quite normal.

Customer:

Okay, i understand that. I guess I am feeling very vulnerable about the tone of the letter

Customer:

Don't really know how to word

Alex Watts :

That's their job.

Customer:

the letter

Alex Watts :

Just write back and say you deny everything and will seek to put them to proof.

Alex Watts :

And that you do not intend to engage in protracted correspondence.

Customer:

Do is ay i deny everything, even if there are people who saw me there and CCTV footage...regardless of any claim at resent, could this be an undoing if things go further?

Customer:

Sorry to ask so many things....i really am worried, never experienced threats like this befor

Alex Watts :

No of course not.

Customer:

e

Alex Watts :

In any event they have not actually suffered any loss.

Customer:

Can i access this conversation beyond now to reference your advice?

Alex Watts :

Yes you can come back to it at any time and once you rate the format changes so you can copy and paste it

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Phew...i still just feel at risk I guess...don't understand the law so much as to be so cocksure about my correspondence..could you clarify the best language to use in the letter...

Customer:

i.e. format

Alex Watts :

Keep it short, to the point, concise.

Customer:

Sorry, not being funny, but i am a little unsure what to say...do i ask them to provide evidence to support their claim or do i state i have done no wrong and that i will not enter into any further correspondence?

Alex Watts :

The later - just write and say words to the effect

Alex Watts :

"Thank you for your letter dated xxxxx. However I am unsure exactly what your purported claim is meant to be or what evidence you have. I have done nothing wrong and as such any puported claim and denied and I will not be entering into further correspondence."

Customer:

Okay, that is clearer...i still feel very unsettled by the whole thing and sending any correspondence is worrying. Further to this I am feeling a need to speak to the specific client who they state they will talk to about my 'apparent behaviour'..in fact, i think they already have....i want to be upfront with the headteacher of this establishment or i risk her questioning my integrity

Alex Watts :

Yes of course. But do not worry about that - just move on from this.

Customer:

move on?

Customer:

well, i think i will need to address it upfront...

Alex Watts :

Yes, with your business.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything about this question for you?

Customer:

I hear you...will certainly have to

Alex Watts :

Yes

Customer:

no i guess that is as clear as it gets at present..i am still just feeling quite adrift

Customer:

Thanks anyway

Alex Watts :

 


If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope 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/

Customer:

i think because they are basically employing bullying tactics, i am feeling bullied

Alex Watts :

Yes, which is why you should not give in

Customer:

I know...feeling like i compromised myself in some ways by helping a friend...

Customer:

thanks again

Alex Watts :

Have a good weekend.

Customer:

i'll try, you too

Alex Watts :

Thanks

Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Law Questions