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

Dear Solicitor, We bought a 2nd hand car from a dealer 4th

Resolved Question:

Dear Solicitor,
We bought a 2nd hand car from a dealer 4th June 2013. The car was not "fit for purpose", after failing to obtain a refund, we followed due process, we obtained a County Court Judgement against the dealer and instructed the Sheriffs to recoup our claim of £4500. The Sheriffs visited the dealer twice. The 2nd time the dealer had dissolved his company and started a new business two doors away in the same yard and placed all his stock of cars in his new company name.
The Companies House documents we purchased show his newly created company and the old company were in his name.
Strategically it seems too easy for the defendant to avoid compensating us.
How would you advise us to recoup our claim? The Sheriffs have informed us they cannot proceed as the defendant is trading under a new company name.
Kind regards,
Anthony Clayton
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Is the new company doing exactly the same as the old company please?

Customer:

Dear Alex,

Customer:

Thank you for your prompt response. Yes the new company sells 2nd hand cars, just like the old one.

Alex Watts :

Ok - then you need to apply to the County Court to pierce the corporate veil.

Alex Watts :

This is clearly dishonest and if you can show this the Judge can make the dealer personally liable.

Alex Watts :

Therefore you could charge any assets.

Alex Watts :

You would need to complete form N208

Alex Watts :

http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n208-eng.pdf

Alex Watts :

You are seeking an Order that the corporate veil be pierced in light of the fraud.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Thank you,

Alex Watts :

Happy to help

Customer:

Can you assist with form CPR Part 8? Specifically who fills in the top 3 boxes? "in the" + "Claim no" + "Fee Account no"

Alex Watts :

Leave that blank

Customer:

Ok, who shall we submit this form to? Is there a cost associated with the process? In your opinion, can the process be conducted by a layperson?

Alex Watts :

County Court - the same one that dealt with your claim.

Alex Watts :

If the matter proceeds to a hearing you do want to make sure you have legal representation

Customer:

We submitted the original claim through MoneyClaimOnline. Northampton County Court ruled in our favour as the defendant did not contest. So I guess we submit N208 through them again?

Alex Watts :

Not Northampton, in that case your local County Court

Alex Watts :

https://courttribunalfinder.service.gov.uk/

Customer:

Ok thank you Alex. Is it possible then that we win the case without even having a hearing? (like our 1st CCJ)

Alex Watts :

No. There will be a hearing because this is not a moneyclaim

Alex Watts :

But if D does not reply then the hearing will go ahead without him being permitted to submit evidence.

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

Yes, thank you. Assuming we pierce the corporate veil, what next? Is it a case of re-instructing the Sheriffs to seize the defendant's cars to the value of our claim hoping he does not change company name again during the process?

Alex Watts :

Well he would then be personally liable.

Alex Watts :

So you go after him personally - his house, assets etc.

Customer:

I see. His personal assets would then be seized by the Sheriffs? By us obtaining a 2nd writ of fieri facias through the High Court?

Alex Watts :

Yes that is right

Customer:

Thank you. Are Company Houses documents sufficient to prove the defendant was Director of the old dealership and is now Director of the new dealership? Does that prove continuity?

Alex Watts :

Yes that shows that. I think that will be enough

Alex Watts :

You also need documents to show assets were transferred from one to the other too

Customer:

Thank you Alex. We can prove the Defendant dissolved and started a new company. Regrettably we cannot show assets were transferred from his old dealership to his new dealership. He sells 2nd hand cars so by nature his stock is in flux. We have a letter from the Sheriffs listing seized assets (cars) but none of them were registered to the Defendant's company (DVLA informed the Sheriffs of this). Would it be more fruitful to go after his new dealership rather than him personally? i.e. pierce the veil and instruct Sheriffs with a new writ?

Alex Watts :

The problem is the new dealership has nothing to do with your old complaint. I do not think that that claim would be successful

Customer:

I understand. Our only strategy then has to be to pursue him personally to recoup our claim. Unfortunately we may have difficulty proving transfer of assets even if we can show the defendant ran both dealerships.

Customer:

Thank you very much for your advice today Alex. You have been very helpful.

Alex Watts :

Great. Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

In your opinion, if we cannot show transfer of assets, are we defeated?

Alex Watts :

Well it might be worth trying.

Alex Watts :

But it would not assist your case.

Alex Watts :

But if you can show it is doing the same thing, using the same or similar name etc, that helps

Customer:

We will try then. When we fill in N208, is the Defendant the person or his new dealership? Do we put his personal address (obtained through Companies House) or the address of his new dealership?

Alex Watts :

Dealership and personally.

Alex Watts :

New address for him yes

Customer:

Sorry Alex, to clarify, both his home address and his new company address? i.e. 2 addresses?

Alex Watts :

The one for him to his home address, the one for the company at the company address. So two yes

Customer:

I see, we fill in two N208 forms then? I did not realise that.

Alex Watts :

No, one

Alex Watts :

But you name him personally

Customer:

Ok Alex, thank you.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

That is it for now. Thank you.

Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you