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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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All I have been given two conflicting advise I asked

Resolved Question:

Hi All
I have been given two conflicting advise I asked this question some weeks ago and was told despite you agreeing to an email terms of contract (see below). The company never secured the debt themselves (we the company did), so you only have to pay them for part of the service.
Today we received a court claim form for £5000, do we actually pay him for the amount he is claiming despite him being a hindrance and not securing the debt or should we fight this....
Thanks
Lewis
Original question
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: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello Lewis my name is ***** ***** I remember this.

Alex Watts :

Did you defend the Court claim?

Customer:

Well done an acknowledgement of service and ticked box 1 - that I intended to defend all the claim.

Customer:

What would you recommend?

Alex Watts :

I would file a defence.

Alex Watts :

Saying why you dont owe it based on our previous discussions and you need to put the words: "Save for any admissions made above the Claimant is put to strict proof."

Alex Watts :

This means the onus is on them

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

That's great

Customer:

I have put this together as a defence, do you mind checking over it?

Customer:


  1. Save for any admissions made herein the Claim is denied for the reasons set out below and the Claimant is put strict proof.




  2. The Defendant will contend that the Claimant didn’t fulfil his obligations for the services undertaken. The Claim for £5,185.00 is denied and the Claimant put to strict proof.




  3. Paragraph 1 is admitted and we defendant will contend that the account with the Claimant operated under the claimant understanding that they would undertake all the work to recover the debt.




  4. Regarding to the remaining particulars of claim, no admissions are made and the Claimant is put to strict proof




  5. The law states a person (or a company) is entitled to a reasonable fee work done. Therefore Wise & Co are only entitled to their fee, if they actually done the work. On this instance Wise & Co. never actually did the work completely they were enlisted to do.




  6. The company had to do the majority of work to secure the debt.




  7. This can be demonstrated by the fact that Wise & Co are unsure of the final amount secured and they won’t demonstrate what work they actually did.



Alex Watts :

Yes that is very good and you are fine to file and serve this.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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