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Michael Holly
Michael Holly, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6541
Experience:  I have 20 years of experience as a solicitor in litigation and other areas
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We are a small limited company and had a temp helping out in

Customer Question

We are a small limited company and had a temp helping out in the office. She was not an employee of the company but was paid a small amount on a self employed basis. Whilst working in this role she arranged for window cleaners 'LaddersFree' and signed a contract without authority, in her own name and designated 'administrator'. The contract is for three years with quarterly payments of £190.+Vat. It is a long and complex document and clearly from a business whose business model is borderline fraudulent. The temp was only briefly with us and not authorised to sign for the company. We are now being threatened with proceedings to recover the fees for cleaning we don't want and for the full three years of the contract. Is this legitimate and would a county court find against us if we simply do not pay.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Michael Holly replied 2 years ago.
This is covered by an area of law called implied or ostensible authority. It is a complicated area of law but to try to put it simply if it reasonably appears to the seller of services that a person has the authority to bind a company then the company will be bound.
As such if the temp either told the window cleaners she had authority or failed to say that she did not have authority then the company is bound unless it should have been obvious to the window cleaners that she could possibly not have the authority, for example, a seller cannot reasonably expect someone who looks they are doing a Saturday job to be able to bind the company.
I would run the argument that the temp did not have authority and that it was obvious she did not however you might lose this one in court. You do have the legal right to recover any loss from the temp herself and can join her as a third party to any proceedings started
I hope this helps, if there are any further points please reply
Best wishes
Michael

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