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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I have a question regarding a contract

Resolved Question:

Hi,
I have a question regarding a contract for temporary work.
I am a consultant working on a limited company basis. I recently discovered that my contract (from 1st Jan - 1st may), which was drawn up by the recruitment agency had the wrong payment rate (a higher one) applied to it. Are they legally obliged to pay this higher rate?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
Was this a genuine mistake/oversight on behalf of both parties?
Is there any other written evidence to show this mistake?
How much more would you actually be owed with the higher rate?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

hi AJ,

it was a genuine mistake made on their part, which i only just spotted on 29th of April. They have admitted via email that this was a mistake on their part. The amount that would be owed is £3753. My offer to settle was £2500

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.

Hi, Thank you. There is the argument that you are bound by what you signed, and for this reason you would potentially have a claim to sue at the higher right. That said they will have a defence of the Law of Mistake - that is neither party contemplated the higher rate when the contract was signed. Further they would presumably have correspondence or an offer to show that the higher rate was never actually agreed.

If you want to bring a claim on the grounds that the agency should be bound by what they signed, there is merit to this. I could not say with any certainty how a court would view this simply because there is potentially a defense against the claim being made (i.e that you quite clearly agreed something else).

Do you have any indication that they are willing to settle this? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi AJ,

thanks for the response. It is pretty much what i already anticipated in that they may claim that it was a genuine mistake, what i was unsure of, and i think you have confirmed is the legal stance on genuine mistakes and whether the contract trumps this or the courts might look favourably on the mistake.

Answering your last question, the only indication i have is the counter offer they have made, but nothing else, i dont know if this classes as a willingness to settle.

Would you have information on any similar cases that have gone to court so that i can view the outcomes? it may strengthen the case (should i choose to proceed) showing legal precedence.

thanks

Larry

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
This is covered by the law of mistake and there are two points to consider:
(i) If they can show there was a genuine mistake and the understanding between the parties is not reflected in the contract, then they will likely successfully defend the claim.
(ii) If they cannot prove this, then "Seller Beware" applies. They simply made a bad business bargain and they cannot unilaterally change this.
Ask yourself a) do you want to work with them again - if so I would not pursue this b) do they have any emails or negotiations that show what you actually agreed? If so this will be used as evidence.
I would suspect in all likelihood they wont want this to go to court - and if you tell them you had relying on this higher rate they will probably settle at a figure. The only way to force them to settle is to threaten to commence proceedings - but this will effectively end any future relationship.
Kind regards
AJ
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