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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 44867
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Ben I am looking employment law advice please... My husband has his own busin

Customer Question

Hi Ben I am looking for some employment law advice please...
My husband has his own business and has had a contract for the last 2 years with a management service company. We pay a fee from all monies we make in return for office space, accountancy support etc. my husband has now decided to terminate his contract with the management service providers and handed his notice to them 2 weeks ago.
Upon receiving his notice, the management service company stated that my husband owed them £30k for fees they had expected him to make whilst he was in contract with them. The contract between my husband and the management service company does not mention anywhere that we need to earn x amount or that if we terminate the contract, we must pay x. However the CEO of the management services company put a lot of pressure on my husband in the meeting and they ended up shaking on the deal that we will pay them £30k over 6 months. This was witnessed by the HR director of the management services compan
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Not sure if your original query was cut short - could you p;lease check and provide any additional information there may be, including what you would like to know about this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben thanks for the response. Yes my message was cut short! Essentially I need to understand if a handshake is legally binding when witnessed. And if so, what are the instances which would make this something which would not stand up in court ie if my husband was coerced or misunderstood that he was shaking on a legally binding decision.
Thanks
Carla
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
A handshake could certainly amount to a legal binding agreement, whether there were any witnesses or not. It is not necessary for anything to be confirmed in writing and a verbal agreement could have the same legal effect as a written one. The key is whether the elements of a contract have been satisfied, these would include an offer and an acceptance by the parties. So if your husband had agreed to make an offer of £30k to pay for this and the other party had accepted then potentially there could indeed be a legally binding agreement. It is not necessary for the other party to have made it clear that this was going to be a binding agreement as long as he knew what he was agreeing to at the time. To be coerced would require quite serious actions where he is perhaps threatened or blackmailed into agreeing to the deal but I can’t see that such serious things actually happened. So there is indeed a good likelihood that this was something which had amounted to a binding agreement. However, as it was done verbally and only had a couple of witnesses including the parties, it is really your word against theirs. This is not solid evidence where it was clear cut that a legally binding agreement was reached and it could be open to challenge. Essentially it is for a court to decide whether it was the case that a legal contract was entered into and they would rely on the evidence available, which is really going to be the personal evidence of those who witnessed the deal. When it comes to assessing factual disputes, where it is essentially one person’s word against another’s, the courts have developed certain tests that would be applied that would help them decide how much weight to attach to each side's evidence. As a general rule, the following are some of the more widely used tests:{C}· Demeanour - includes matters such as a person’s conduct, manner, bearing, behaviour, delivery and inflexion. They are matters of impression, which are not necessarily revealed by reading a transcript of evidence. It is the more 'personal' side of the individual providing the evidence{C}· Inconsistency – mainly to do with any apparent inconsistencies in a person’s evidence{C}· Probability – this would ask of the evidence as a whole, or of a particular part of it: whose account is more probable in the circumstances? So the courts will apply these or other similar tests in coming to a decision that they believe is fair in the circumstances. That does not mean it is factually the right one, but what has been judged to be the fairest outcome based on all available information. I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.

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