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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I did an IT contract for a company in Canada (I am in the UK),

Resolved Question:

I did an IT contract for a company in Canada (I am in the UK), and it is now about a year into a "gentleman's agreement", i.e. no further contract was drawn up after a meeting in December 2013 by all parties, concluding that the time agreed in the initial contract had been fulfilled by me. After refusing a job offer from the Canadian company, they then threatened to sue over around £12K of outstanding payments from a completely different agreement with my partner's company, that I have proved with time sheets can be more than cancelled out with the extra time I have put into the project. Negotiations have pretty much broken down, and they are now threatening to sue me for being unprofessional, as I will not work without being paid (which I haven't for almost a year on the project), and now I refuse to work with the company, understandably I feel. Do they have any grounds to sue me for this ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

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

Customer:

Hi Alex, I'm Andy

Alex Watts :

You havent breached any term of the agreement, they just want to sue you for being unprofessional, is that right?

Customer:

That's the latest I've been told by my partner; they said last week they would sue my partner and myself for owing them financially, but I have sent over all my timesheets to prove I have gone way over what was outstanding, if you applied the rate in the initial contract. I get the impression they're threatening to sue over anything to get me to finish the project; I just want out now.

Alex Watts :

Yes indeed.

Alex Watts :

They can't sue you if you have done work claimed

Customer:

The initial contract was only for time, and an amount of money in remuneration for that time..

Alex Watts :

They can't sue you for being 'unprofessional'

Customer:

I have done around 150 extra days on top, unpaid

Alex Watts :

Ok.

Alex Watts :

Well I imagine all this is documented so I would not worry

Alex Watts :

They just seem annoyed you didnt take the job

Customer:

This is how I am proving we don't owe them financially

Alex Watts :

Yes

Customer:

Yes, they are being children about it but I am worried as you may understand. Where would a lawsuit take place if they launched one ?

Customer:

In Canada or in the UK ?

Alex Watts :

Its hard to say, it depends where the negotiations took place and were sealed.

Alex Watts :

If it was online that does create a jurisdiction issue

Alex Watts :

So it may not even get off the ground

Customer:

All in the UK; about 80% of development was here as well, I did about 60 days over there this summer

Alex Watts :

Ok, then it would be in the UK

Alex Watts :

But any claim under £10,000 would be a small claim and they wouldnt be able to recover any legal fees

Customer:

So do you think they have any grounds to sue for anything ? They claim they'e lost money through delays in development etc. could that come back to bite me ?

Alex Watts :

I dont, but that does not stop them trying!

Alex Watts :

If they issue a claim without merit then you can ask the Court to strike it out

Customer:

Roughly how much do you think it may cost to hire someone skilled in this area to review it further if needed ? What specific type of law do I require ? Contract law ?

Alex Watts :

Its a basic contractual dispute. There is nothing really unusual about it.

Alex Watts :

I can assist further if you ask for me in future. Whilst I am not permitted to represent you I can certainly answer further questions as they arise

Customer:

But the fact that it's gone a year without any further contract being signed goes in my favour ?

Alex Watts :

Yes that does help.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

It seems it'd just come down to my word versus theirs.

Alex Watts :

Indeed, but they have to prove the claim

Customer:

No thanks, ***** ***** most helpful. Thank you for your time.

Alex Watts :

They have to show that you didnt stick to any agreed contract. As that is oral this is hard in any event

Alex Watts :

Thank you and a happy new year.

Customer:

Likewise

Customer:

Thanks

Alex Watts :

If this does answer the question can I ask you to rate my answer before you go today - the button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

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