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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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, we are a recruitment company providing independent IT

Resolved Question:

, we are a recruitment company providing independent IT contractors to client assignments. One of our contractor, UK resident, was working in Germany and disappeared from the client's site over the christmas period. He never returned to work which is one issue but the other issue is that he still has in his possession the client's - Client Badge, laptop, 2 usb stick and a locker key.
what is the best way to recover the equipment please? a civil action?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Do you wish to get the equipment back or get compensated value of the items?


Our client wants to get the equipment back. There is confidential information on it.

Ben Jones :

The issue is that whilst you could make a civil claim to try and get the equipment back, no one can actually force the person to physically give it back, in which case you may have to turn to pursuing financial compensation value of the items and perhaps seeking an injunction preventing the employee from using any confidential information in the future.

Before you consider the legal route, I would suggest you that the process follows these steps:

  1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily return.

  2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the person must be sent a formal letter asking them to return the items within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the items or seek compensation. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need action.

  3. If they fail to return the equipment or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim alone can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the respondent and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. If you are seeking the return of the equipment then you will have to make the claim via post – you can contact your local county court on the forms needed but it would be Form N1 you would be after.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you


Thank you. Money is not the issue is. The client wants the equipment back. We have a contract with the umbrella company he was using, not with him directly. Can we still make the clain using N1 Form directly against him or do we have to sue the company he used and then they turn against him?


Also, when you say local county court, is it the one closest to my company, or closest to the defendant?

Ben Jones :

if you were pursuing a claim of contract, i.e. non-performance of the contract you had, then it would be the company you would be suing. But you can also make the person a co-respondent, so basically make the claim against both parties and the court will decide who should be responsible. You can contact your local court and issue it from there, it will then be transferred over to the defendant's local court


ok, thanks help.

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

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