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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have done some work for a limited company, attending clients

Resolved Question:

I have done some work for a limited company, attending client’s homes for pension reviews and PPI (payment protection insurance ) claims.

For this we would be paid a fixed up front fee. In addition, if we were able to generate any additional leads – ie find any insurance policies or pensions which had not been previously identified – and these leads progressed to the client receiving a payout, the deal would be that I would be paid commission based on a percentage of the pension pot or compensation awarded to the client for the mis-sold PPI. The understanding was that there would be no fixed period within which we would receive the commission payment – this depended on how quickly the client received his/her payout, but that the commission would be settled at the same time as the client payout.
The company has a web-based portal which updates the progress made with regards XXXXX XXXXX additional leads generated.
On 25th March, I discovered 16 leads had been given a “paid” status. One of these had the further information that commission of £912.90 was due. The others had no information about the amount of commission due. The leads dated back to late 2011 and 2012.
I e-mailed the company advising that I had not received payment for these leads and asked them to look into this and advise further.
I was advised the e-mail had been passed to their accounts department but have as yet received no response.
On 8th April, I received an e-mail from Ideal Corporate Solutions (ICS) that the company was now in administration and that they were considering offers submitted by three prospective buyers. The company was still trading but had fallen foul with HMRC over unpaid VAT, they said. At this point, ICS said the purchase offers made provision for my outstanding March invoice and requested this be sent to them rather than the company. No mention was made of the lead generation work referred to above which I had done in 2011 and 2012.
Both this company and a sister company, who also went into administration, were part of a larger group of companies.
On 10th April, it was announced that the business and assets of the company had been bought by another company. The announcement said the new company had committed substantial financial backing to the new businesses and this would ensure all payments that would have otherwise been payable by the sister company this month will still be payable.
Before I go back to them, I would like some information on what legal footing I have should I be unsuccessful in securing the monies owed by them.
I understand that you can’t sue a company once they have gone into administration, but this would appear to be a less clear cut case as they continued to trade whilst in administration and have now been bought by another company.
If I can sue, who do I sue – the “new” company, or the chief honcho of the company I did the work for and which went into administration?
There then is the difficulty of ascertaining how much commission I am owed. If the company fails to provide this information, is there any legal recourse through which I can require them to do so?
I’m going to be out for much of the rest of the day, but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask and I will come back to you asap.
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, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : Had Administrators been appointed and they then continued to trade?
Customer:

I think so. The work for the company had pretty much dried up I think but I think they were still trading. Could get a definite answer on this from ICS.

Alex Watts : Ok.
Alex Watts : The situation is this,
Alex Watts : If administrators have been appointed they can continue to trade.
Alex Watts : Very similar to Woolworths and Comet when they went into administration.
Alex Watts : However all debts on appointment of an administrator are frozen.
Alex Watts : This means you can't take action, but the administrators can continue to trade.
Alex Watts : A line is drawn under the old debts and they would be subject to any proceedings or claims etc
Alex Watts : But if administrators are appointed the company can continue to trade but old debts are put on hold.
Alex Watts : I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer:

Just to clarify - even though the company has now been sold, and so presumably the previous owners/directors have made a bit of money, I can't take action against them.

Alex Watts : Sadly not. You just have a claim against the old company.
Alex Watts : Unless you had a personal guarantee.
Customer:

You say the old debts are now on hold, does this mean they are now in the hands of the administrators.? should I therefore invoice them.? What happens next?

Alex Watts : If there are any assets then you may be paid out something.
Alex Watts : But if the company was sold for £1 then you won't get anything.
Alex Watts : I am sorry
Customer:

On 10th April, it was announced that the business and assets of the company had been bought by another company. The announcement said the new company had committed substantial financial backing to the new businesses and this would ensure all payments that would have otherwise been payable by the sister company this month will still be payable. So could I therefore include the old commission payment, of which I only just became aware of in March, in my March invoice.

Customer:

My overall feeling is therefore that I can try and do what I can, but that I have no legal means with which to enforce the debt.

Customer:

Such is life - happens all the time I expect. I appreciate your kindness in answering my question. Please confirm that you have no further information/thoughts that you can provide

Customer:

and I'll be happy to provide a rating

Alex Watts : You could try and pursue this through the administrator. They may pass the claim to the new owners.
Alex Watts : But I suspect all the old debts are written off.
Alex Watts : But you can but try.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else?
Customer:

You have provided a full answer. I am very happy with the service you are providing - a very valuable one.

Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you