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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 30929
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I had a verbal agreement with a fellow self-employed person

Customer Question

I had a verbal agreement with a fellow self-employed person in which we would buy some clothes and sell them, we got our money back but we still have clothes left which is our profit she kept all receipts and we dont work in the same place anymore we estimated we would at least double our money on our outlay of £500 each but now she's denying everything she has the clothes and the receipts we paid cash the only way i maybe can prove the purchase is to try and find where we went to get them from but I'm not 100% sure i can find the place as it's far away do i have any hope?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 2 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I clarify that you paid the other party for clothes you intended to sell. You collected some of the clothes which you have now sold but left some of the clothes with the other party which she is now refusing to release to you on the basis she claims she remembers nothing of the agreement.

Joshua :

Is that correct please?

JACUSTOMER-nattjbnp- : No we joint sold some and then she took the rest home so technically i still own halve of them
Joshua :

Sorry for the delay in reverting to you. Do you have any emails from the other person or any other documentation that could be of relevance? Did anyone else know of the arrangement?

Joshua :

Can you show a withdrawal from your bank in respect of the £500 you paid?

JACUSTOMER-nattjbnp- : Yes others did know about the arrangement im not sure about the bank as i dont keep money in banks but I will have a look through statements as we diddnt spend 500 in 1 go it was approx 300 1 week then 200 the week after as the first week we accidently left some behind so we went back in which I have a txt saying we left some bits and we were going back
Joshua :

thank you. Based upon what you say, you have what in effect is a very straightforward joint-venture agreement with his other individual and the other individual would appear to be both in breach of that joint-venture agreement and also holding stock which in part at least belongs to you.

Joshua :

Both of these actions amount to a breach of contract and would result in damages being available to you both for the value of your property stock she is holding and also loss of profit

Joshua :

the difficulty as you quite rightly identify is proving the arrangement given the complete lack of any written correspondence or formal contract. Was no need for a formal written agreement in order to evidence contract however in the event of disputes, written evidence can be very useful to show intentions of the parties

Joshua :

the risk of proceeding with litigation in your case is the in the event that the other party outrightly denies your claims, in the absence of any evidence beyond your own statement, a judge would be faced with a situation of effectively deciding who he believes. The test applied by the courts is the balance of probability and so it is not a particularly difficult test to satisfy however proceeding to court with just your own statement by way of evidence would be little better than flipping a coin in terms of the result. If you were able to attend court and were able to be very convincing as a witness and answer all of the judges questions clearly and fully, you may be a will to succeed however for obvious reasons, a judge cannot order individuals to make payments for debts lightly and must be satisfied that an agreement existed in this case in order to do so

Joshua :

accordingly, in the absence of any written correspondence or evidence as to your agreement, you will need to consider obtaining statements from independent third parties the new of the arrangement that can support your own statement. In addition, if you have any evidence of payment. In question or any documentation surrounding either the purchase of stock or communications between you and the third-party, this would improve your position significantly if contemplating litigation. In addition, if you have not already done so, consider writing to the third-party setting out the facts and requested that she returns the stock that belongs to you within 10 days failing which you will have no option but recourse to the courts. You can mention that you have the benefit of witness statements from third parties with regards to your agreement and are assembling other supporting documentation in the event the matter proceeds to court (you may need to exegerrate the evidence you have every so slightly in order that she may believe you have more evidence against them perhaps is the case). finally, you may remind her that in the event the matter proceeds to court, you will be claiming in addition to the value of the stock in question, court fees and expenses, loss of profit and interest at 8% per annum under section 69 County Courts act.

Joshua :

The purpose of the above letter is on the one hand to encourage her to return the stock she presumably those belongs to you and on the other, in the event you decide to proceed to court, demonstrates that you have attempted to make contact with the individual and resolve the matter prior to proceeding to court (the courts require you do attempt to resolve matters amicably before proceeding to litigation) and also the individual's response or lack thereof could potentially serve as useful evidence is to conduct

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Joshua :

I am very sorry that you have had cause to rate my service to you as poor. It is very important to me that you are satisfied with my service to you and I would welcome the opportunity to both change your mind and to assist you further and fully in this matter. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards

Joshua :

I am sorry you have rated my service to you as bad a second time and have not been willing to provide any reasons for doing so. As you obviously do not wish to engage any further I shall not contact you any further. Kind regards

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