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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
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There I enlisted the assistance of a company called Wise

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Hi There
I enlisted the assistance of a company called Wise & Co to secure an unpaid invoice on behalf of my company. The total debt was £27 000.
We agreed to their terms and conditions via email only (see below) I never signed any documentation....
‘By Continuing to work with us you agree to the following:
TERMS & CONDITIONS; (the small print)
1. You agree to tell us at the time you instruct us if the amount claimed is not accepted as due by the debtor. Disputes may attract a higher percentage charge. We are a busy firm. Accordingly we do not report to you until there is a development or we need help You undertake to tell us promptly if you receive any part of the debt direct. That saves us unnecessary chasing.
2. Some debtors can be difficult/aggressive. We collect debts using the trade name Watson Hope not as Wise & Co. You agree to respect this defence and not to mention me or Wise & Co by name OR THE FACT THAT I AM A BARRISTER AND A CHARTERED ACCOUNTANT to debtors. You are, of course, encouraged to speak of us to other creditors
3. We are entitled to charge and you agree to pay 15% on monies (or monies-worth) received from or on behalf of your debtor(s) at any time after we have been instructed. The service is completely free of charge until you get paid something. Then we charge 15%.(Minimum £20 out of sums you receive). There is a scale for debts in excess of £10,000.
4. Where the debtor needs chasing abroad (outside England and Wales) we reserve the right to charge and you agree to pay 25% on sums collected.
5. We reserve the right to charge and you agree to pay a £20 “wild goose chase” fee where we have been instructed by mistake (e.g. no debt due). Where you withdraw instructions within 4 weeks of instructions after we have acted we reserve the right to charge £40.
6. Court action is taken only with your specific agreement and after a full explanation to you of what is involved. We generally set it up for you on line free. If you ask us to sue, then you agree a) to pay the Court Issue fee; or b) failing to sue, you will recompense me for the time setting it up, i.e. £35. We do not charge 15% on court fees recovered. Lately collecting has become more difficult and I am having to sue more and more. That is fine, but sometimes the claim needs a lawyer in court. If you want me to appear for you, I generally charge £350 to appear and I would then continue only as your lawyer (you have these days the right of direct access). If you use your own lawyer my fee abates to 2.5% of sums collected. I can recommend a good and economic litigation lawyer.
7. On business to business debts we can also try to recover your entitlement to Statutory interest and compensation for late payment if significant. If we succeed, we go halves on this bonus recovery.
8. We accept and make payments to you by BACS. We render accounts by email generally at the end of the month. You agree to pay our account within ten days of presentation. We reserve the right to charge interest under the Late Payment of Commercial Debt (Interest) Act 1998 on late payment.
9. If satisfied you will recommend us - widely.
Wise & Co
Leslie M Wise
Chartered Accountant
POBox 2960
London NW3 7HX
0208(###) ###-####n
Fx 0208(###) ###-####
For good housekeeping please might you acknowledge receipt and acceptance. ‘
After some months by Wise & Co own admission in various emails they were having extreme difficulty securing the debt and requested me to send emails to company owing us money. In the end I lost all confidence in Wise & Co and decided to start communicating with the debtor directly myself. After some effort and lots of further emails (which never included Wise & Co) I was able to secure a payment of £22 000 of the £27 000 debt.
I truly believe Wise & Co had absolutely no positive impact with me securing this debt, so much so they only know that we have secured a particle amount of this debt (I wont confirm the final amount nor will be former debtor)
Am I obliged to pay the 15% that Wise claim that I owe? Despite the fact they don’t know the amount I finally secured and admitted they were having difficulty in getting anywhere with this debt.
I’m prepared to defend this in court if you believe I have a case.
Thanks
Lewis
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

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

Alex Watts :

For now please let me know whether the Company chasing you did anything to get the settlement or was it all you?

JACUSTOMER-5rqqq75e- :

They sent several emails however upon reviewing some of them I did CC them. Like I said they made very little impact with us securing this debt and I think it speaks volumes they don't even know the final settlement amount.

JACUSTOMER-5rqqq75e- :

Here is the final email thread...

JACUSTOMER-5rqqq75e- :

You really do write a good practical letter. Grateful.

On 13 Oct 2014, at 17:09, LEWIS HONNEY (ORG) wrote:

Without Prejudice

Hi Steve,

Further to a board level meeting today, we have agreed to extend our timescale for a response from the Department of Health to 31st October 2014.

Should we consider seeking a legal option after the above date, can you clarify which address we ought to send any future correspondence?

Thanks

Lewis

From: Verdon, Steve [mailto:*****@******.***]

Sent: 10 October 2014 15:04

To: ***** ***** (ORG)'; 'Watson Hope'

Cc: Billam, Sara; Inglis, Kate; Farress, Ben

Subject: RE: Letter re LHonney/Realfundraising

Dear Mr Honney

Thank you for your email. I regret that I can only reiterate what I said in my earlier email and am unable to offer a timetable for this matter at this point. This is a complex matter, of some age, which has required us to undertake significant investigation and research, and which we wish to give the consideration it deserves. I can say that we will undertake to reply once that work is completed and we have received the appropriate advice in order for us to respond fully to the points you have raised.

Yours sincerely

Steve Verdon

From: LEWIS HONNEY (ORG) [mailto:*****@******.***]

Sent: 10 October 2014 13:16

To: ***** *****; 'Watson Hope'; Farress, Ben

Cc: Billam, Sara; Inglis, Kate

Subject: RE: Letter re LHonney/Realfundraising

Without Prejudice

Firstly, I don't concur the comment of 'organisational neglect' made by our legal representative. We made every effort to communicate with NHS surrey and was simply ignored at the time. This comment was made by our legal representative before he was fully furnished with all the facts regarding this matter.

In response to your email below, we are also looking to avoid placing this matter into the legal process. I however must insist that we agree a reasonable timescale for completion with your investigation. Should we not agree a deadline regarding this matter today, then regrettably I see no alternative but for us to explore legal action without delay in order to settle this dispute.

If you wish to suggest a deadline date as indicated above, then I will advise if that is acceptable.

Regards

Lewis

From: Verdon, Steve [mailto:*****@******.***]

Sent: 10 October 2014 12:09

To: ***** ***** (ORG)'; 'Watson Hope'; Farress, Ben

Cc: Billam, Sara; Inglis, Kate

Subject: Letter re LHonney/Realfundraising

Without Prejudice

Dear Mr Honney

Thank you for your email and I am aware that you sent further email traffic to Ben Farress, my EA, whilst I was on leave. I did say in my previous letter that I would respond and I have been liaising with litigation colleagues to investigate the matter. This matter has been passed to them to do that and I have, following receipt of your email, asked Kate Inglis to deal with the casework on this matter. I understand that Kate contacted you yesterday.

I do not accept that the lack of communication has been ridiculous. We have responded to previous requests and I have tried to explain that you are raising a matter which is several years old and which, as admitted in your representatives’ correspondence, was not properly progressed at the time due to organisational neglect. The organisation with which you might properly have raised this issue whilst it was in existence was abolished on 31 March 2013. The correspondence you provided also indicates that there was a concern over the submission of requests for payment and I am obliged to pursue that issue before considering payment. Our enquiries are continuing and regrettably I will not be in a position to conclude the matter by Monday 13 October 2014 as you suggest.

As I have indicated previously I am not seeking to place the matter into legal process but, given your letter providing notice that you wish to place the matter into legal process this coming Monday, the matter lies with you and any application will be dealt with by my team and Treasury Solicitors.

Yours sincerely

Steve Verdon

From: LEWIS HONNEY (ORG) [mailto:*****@******.***]

Sent: 10 October 2014 11:47

To: ***** *****; Farress, Ben

Cc: Verdon, Steve

Subject: RE: Letter re LHonney/Realfundraising

Hi Ben, Steve

My position is that we are willing to explore a compromise in recovering this debt, however the lack of communication from the Department of Health has been ridiculous.

If we don't receive a response by 5pm Monday 13th October 2014, I ask our legal team to explore other avenues to recover this debt.

It's my objective to find a harmonious resolution to this matter.

Regards

Lewis

From: Watson Hope [mailto:*****@******.***]

Sent: 10 October 2014 11:26

To: ***** *****

Cc: 'LEWIS HONNEY (ORG)'; Verdon, Steve

Subject: Re: Letter re LHonney/Realfundraising

I wonder if you found time to do that.

l.m.wise

On 22 Sep 2014, at 16:26, Farress, Ben wrote:

Lewis

Thanks for your note.

As you may have seen from Steve’s out-of-office response, he is on leave until next week. I will raise this with him on his return.

Thanks

Ben

Alex Watts :

OK, Let me look a few things up

Alex Watts :

The law says that a person is entitled to a reasonable fee for reasonable work done. Therefore they are only entitled to their fee if they have actually done work.

Alex Watts :

If they have not done the work, then they are not entitled to a fee. If they have done some work then they are entitled to some fee, or administration costs - but if they have not done anything substantive then they are not allowed the full fee.

Alex Watts :

You can refuse to pay

Alex Watts :

The matter is them for try and pursue you. If they took it to Court anything for £10,000 or under would be a small claim

Alex Watts :

This means that costs are limited and they won't get legal fees

Alex Watts :

As such the onus is on them to show you they did actually do something

Alex Watts :

But clearly they have not - you did most of the work

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

JACUSTOMER-5rqqq75e- :

Thanks - very interesting. Wise and Co want me to disclose the actual amount we secured from the NHS. Should I disclosure this amount my argument is they don't even know how much was secured so why should we pay them a fee for debt recovery.

Alex Watts :

No I dont think you need to.

Alex Watts :

They didnt do any work. If they did they would know the exact amount!

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

JACUSTOMER-5rqqq75e- :

That's fantastic - thank you!

Alex Watts :

Great. If I could 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

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Again

I received this email from the debt collection company. I offered them £1 500 and feedback your advice they replied with this email. Are they correct with what they say?

Thanks

Lewis

Watson Hope & Co

Accounts & Debt Collectors

POBox 2960

London N.W.3. 7HX

Tel: 0208(###) ###-####

*****@******.***

12/2/15

Dear *****

Thank you for your without prejudice email. Its offer is rejected.

I do not dispute your input. It was essential in negotiations since the debtor disputed the invoice(s). Thank you for acknowledging that my effort is to be rewarded. The contract sets out what that reward is to be. It provides for 15% - so much better than the uncertainty of an estimate..It is a simple question of contract. It will not surprise you that I disagree with Counsel.

Accordingly I write this Letter before Action. It is designed to comply in substance with the Practice Direction for Pre-Action Conduct.

In accordance therewith it a) sets out the basis of the claim; b) advises you that the subject is not suitable for ADR; c) requests a response no later than

noon on Thursday next; and d) warns that failing reply I will just sue.

The Particulars of Claim will read:

The Claimant trades as a debt collector and contracted in writing to collect a debt originally in the sum of £29,996 for the Defendant.

It is a term of the contract that the Claimant is:

3. ........ entitled to charge and you agree to pay 15% on moneys (or moneys’-worth) received from or on behalf of your debtor(s) at any time after we have been instructed. The Claimant will rely on the contract for its full terms and effect.

In the event the debtor paid a lesser sum to the Defendant. The Claimant invoiced the Defendant on 19/1/15. Despite regular demand the Defendant a) refuses to say how much he received; and b) declines to pay 15% thereof AND THE CLAIMANT CLAIMS

15% of £29,996 or 15% of such lesser sum as was paid by the debtor, being £4,499 or less toegether with his entitlement under the Late Payment of Commercial Debt (Interest )Act 1998 to compensation £100 and interest, being £ ...... [tobe calculated].

Our standard letter adds:

You will also have to pay court issue costs. UNLESS you pay now to: Barclays 20-66-11 a/c Wise Watkins Hope & Co A/c No 00339105.

In your case however I am prepared to temper the wind and accept full payment in three tranches of £1,533 at monthly intervals. The first being made to our account on or before.Monday 23rd February

In addition to the above in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules we are required to refer you to the Practice Direction particularly Para 4 concerning the Court’s powers to impose sanctions on parties for failing to comply with the Practice Direction. It can be found together with the Civil Procedure Rules on www.justice.gov.uk. Counsel will understand it all.

Please will you now share this with the board and I hope arrange the first payment.

Y/s

Leslie M Wise

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
They did not do any work as we have discussed.
Even if they try to issue a claim I think they will fail.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex

Last question, I received this email from Wise & Co. I offered him a without prejudice payment of £1 500 he want £4500. Its unlikely we are going to reach an agreement, therefore should I say he ought to take this matter to court. He is sticking to his point this is a contractual obligation...

Thanks

Lewis

______ Previous two emails_____

Dear Mr Honney,

I am not willing to detail emails, letters and phone calls to the NHS. All may perhaps be disclosed at trial, but until then, as presently advised I see no basis for your request. As I have tried to explain my reward is not based on effort What I did is, as I have regularly said, in terms of our contract irrelevant.

Of course I accept that I am entitled only to 15% of what you negotiated. I apologise for not having made that clear. When you let me know what you received I will accept 15% + late payment divided into three tranches.

I look forward to your reply within 7 days. If it helps I am prepared at this stage to waive all claims to interest for late payment.

Y/s

leslie M Wise

On 12 Feb 2015, at 12:25, Lewis Honney wrote:


Hi Lesley,

I will need to seek legal advice on your letter below and will advise you with their feedback. Considering we didn't secure the full amount I will have to reject your offer of £1,533 at x3 monthly intervals.

In the meantime can you detail exactly what you did to help us secure this debt please? As requested in my previous email. I was advised to ask you for this information. Therefore I will require to know how many emails you sent to the DOH. In addition please feedback how many telephone calls and letters were made to DOH. Can you also send me a copy of these letters please?

I will give you my reply within the next 7 days

Regards,

Lewis

Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Indeed. You should remind them of the law and their obligation in that they are only entitled to a reasonable fee for reasonable work done.
They did barely anything.
Alex
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Alex


 


I'm very sorry to bother you again regarding this matter, I received two emails from Wise & Co (See below). He isn't interested in my without prejudice offer and was wondering if I should suggest that he makes his claim via the county courts?


 


Thanks Again


 


Lewis


 


WITHOUT PREJUDICE SAVE AS TO COSTS


 


 


Dear Mr Honey,


 


I am back from abroad and had hoped to find waiting for me a reply stating the exact amount recovered. You will be aware there are no ambushes in civil litigation. It can be no secret.


 


This matter has been unduly protracted and the Letter Before Action having set out exactly the issues, unless there is good reason, I intend to issue proceedings on Tuesday.


Of course if I obtain judgment the whole sum will need to be paid "immediately" rather than in easy tranches.


 


Y/s


 


Leslie M Wise


 


 


 


 


WITHOUT PREJUDICE SAVE AS TO COSTS


 


 


Dear Mr Lewis,


 


Thank you for reminding me to remember the law. You will appreciate that I am a barrister. It seem so to me that you have not taken proper Advice. Years ago i heard Judge Leon opine that Advice was worth what you paid for it.


It is clear that either you did not give Counsel the full picture or failed to brief one at all.


 


You will have seen the Particulars of Claim. We are now arguing over the full entitlement. I am not particularly anxious to litigate and since i am abroad for a week I extend you that further time. The real question to ask Counsel is why he believes that the terms of the contract are not clear or need to be varied. Also perhaps why he introduces quantum meruit as a red herring. You might also ask whether these days a company, yours, will need to be represented by Counsel - an expense which is not generally recoverable in the Small Claims Court..


 


For my return i require to know how much you collected. I will calculate 15% thereof, and at this stage still the interest for late payment I may waive and also the compensatioin for late payment.


 


Y/s


 


Leslie M Wise


 



 


 


On 17 Feb 2015, at 10:09, Lewis Honney wrote:


 


Hi Leslie,


 


I have been advised accordingly, and have been told to remind you of the law. We strongly feel at stages of this process, you were more a hindrance than a benefit with securing this debt, furthermore you wasn't doing the work that was required hence the reason you asked me to actively take control on the situation.


 


Why would we have enlisted your help, if it meant we had to do the majority of work to secure the debt?


 


I'm prepared to offer you £1 500 for the partial work you did, however you are unsure to the final amount secured and wont demonstrate what work you actually did, therefore regrettably this matter may have to proceed to court.


 


Regards,


 


Lewis

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