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LondonlawyerJ
LondonlawyerJ, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 803
Experience:  Solicitor with over 15 years experience.
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We had a retail art Gallery and were given a painting by a

Resolved Question:

We had a retail art Gallery and were given a painting by a client on SOR in 1995. We Entrusted it with another Dealer on SOR who claimed he had a buyer. However it went on for some time before the dealer asked if he could buy the painting at cost and then sell it later and share the profit with us rather than us taking it back. We agreed to this arrangement and he paid for the painting using two post dated cheques which we paid to the owner. We recently found his letters of promise (2) in our archive and wrote asking what had happened to the painting. The dealer replied that he would look in his records and pay us what he owed to us. He delayed for a few months and then came back saying he had sold the painting in 2011 but would not pay us our share of the profit because there was a limitation of six years on our original agreement. No time limit was ever stated on his original letters. Just when the painting was sold. The Painting now has considerable value and so our claim would be quite substantial. What can we do to recover this money ? We have all of the original documents.
I await your answer and thank you for your time.
David
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  LondonlawyerJ replied 3 years ago.

LondonlawyerJ :

Hello I am a solicitor with over 15 years experience. I will try to help you with this.

LondonlawyerJ :

This seems to be a very straight forward breach of contract in a business context. The verbal agreement and the letter sof promise almost certainly amount to a binding contract. How much do you think this man owes you?

Customer:

We think that he owes us at least 20,000 It could be a lot more because this was a major work by a very famous artist. It can only be confirmed by seeing the bill of sale which he will certainly not show to us.

LondonlawyerJ :

Ok you should instruct a solicitor in the orthodox way. This level of loss (£20,000 at the least and very likely a lot more) is outside the scope of the DIY small claims court. A miss-step could prove costly at this stage. The usual procedure would be to send a letter before action setting out your grievance and demanding that he tell you how much it was sold for and that he pay yuth emoney due. It would also contain a threat to issue proceedings if he did not comply with your demands. Although you could do this yourself it is much safer to use a solicitor. I would have thought you would be able to find a solicitor to do either a free or fixed costs initial meeting to check properly whether you have a claim or not. You should follow this link to the Law Society find a solicitor section http://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

Customer:

The tone of this man's replies and his obvious delaying tactics ring alarm bells in our minds.

LondonlawyerJ :

All the more reason to get "lawyered up" then.

Customer:

Before I finished.....Can I go straight to court without corresponding further with him?

LondonlawyerJ :

No you should send him a letter before action to give him a chance to pay up before you start a court case but this will have more power if it is written by a solicitor.

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