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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Legal Expert, I have a county court claim against me

Customer Question

Attachment: 2015-07-10_064522_proposal_for_hr_support_contract.pdf

Hello Legal Expert, I have a county court claim against me filed by my business mentor in Jan 2015. My mentor is suing me for payment for a recruitment services which I contracted them for. I am disputed the invoice; as the services was not carried out as per our contract but my mentor went straight to the court. The contract was for 2 weeks to recruit 3 freelance hairdressers and barbers and 2 apprentices before my business launch date Nov 2014. But, I opened without any staff and the contract was not completed, yet I was billed. I have been left out of pocket with no staff to run my business. I believe my mentor is relying on the part of her contract that states no guarantee to recruit staff. But, I think the contract was designed in such a way that only favours them not me. By way of background, I have been self- employed for about 3yrs running my business from home until April 2014. I am trading within the hair/beauty sector selling hair extensions online. Later, I decided to expand the business by opening a hair store and salon locally so that I can serve my community and gain more business. Then, I needed some funds to bring my plans to reality. I already invested 70% of the funds on my own and need 30% funding. I opened a limited company in Feb 2014 but, started trading in May 2014 till date. I approached a loan company in April 2014 (delivery partner for start-up loans) and applied for a 30% funding in July/Aug 2014 with my supporting business plan, business accounts and cash flow statements. Then, I was granted a start-up loan in Sept 2014 to set up my hair store and salon as proposed. One of the terms and conditions of the loan contract included a mandatory business mentoring for 12 months which listed the lady who is suing me now via county court claim as my mentor. Other terms, were a debenture on company and a personal guarantee from myself to secure the loan. The funds were to be released after I the mandatory mentoring was in placed. That was how I met my mentor. My business loan manager arranged a meeting for my mentor and I in Oct 2014. Then, on our first meeting my mentor introduced me to a different mentoring scheme called the growth accelerator scheme. She said the mentor agreement I have with the loan company in relation to the start-up loans was not suitable; as I would only have 12 hours a year with her. She feels I would need more time with her. I replied that I have never been mentored before and running a business can be a very lonely place and I don't see anything wrong with the mentoring agreement. I believe it will help me. She then insisted that the Growth accelerator scheme is cheaper and cost £1700 for a service valued at £4000 +. She also advised that I will be able to claim 50% of the funding back from the government and also have access to more funding. This was how she got me to accept the growth accelerator scheme. Although, the contract did not continue once my mentor threaten to send me to court. Just to mention, that I already hold a sandwich degree BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance. I completed one year supervised placement in Human Resources. Plus, I have two existing diplomas in Accounting and business. This is obviously the knowledge that I have relied on prior to setting up my business and have benefited from this; in the way that I have successfully ran my business prior to approaching both the loan company and my mentor. Note 1: I later found out through the start-up loans company that I was entitled to free mentorship for 12 months. But, their delivery partner never offered this to me. Instead they offered the mentorship at a cost of £1800. Therefore, my mentor and the foundation east conspired to extort money from me. Note 2: I also found out from the growth accelerator moderators that the recruitment services which my mentor is suing me to court had nothing to do with the scheme and that I would not be able to claim any funding from them. Clearly, my mentor induced me to accept her HR contract knowing that I would not be able to claim the funding and now she is suing me to court to pay. Note 3: I found out through submissions of the loan company that they altered my mentorship contract. They replaced my signature page with a completely new contract tying me to a different mentor. So, that my mentor can proceed with her court case as a independent business. That is, having nothing to do with the loan company. I believe this is fraud and that they have discriminated against me from the beginning.


I have acknowledged the case and filed my defence which at the time I had money to pay for a solicitor to write my defence.  My defence was filed partially because the claimant (my mentor) did not submit detailed particulars of claim as they have stated on their claim form. I also attached a draft order to struck out the claim due to lack of particularity. A hearing date was set on 24 June but due to time on the day, the judge adjourned the case to 12 Aug.


However, the judge ordered the claimant to submit their witness statements (which they did not file) and mentioned the issue he had with their particulars of claim (which was not amended and submitted late without the court’s permission); by 01 July. The claimant has now submitted their witness statement but  did not re- submit a proper detailed particulars. The judge also ordered the claimant to pay me £25 for transport cost on the day.

I wrote to the court to request for permission to amend my defence since the claimant was allowed to amend their particulars and witness statements. Also, I asked to be able to claim costs back from the claimant for amending my defence. The was mentioned in my  defence submitted earlier. The court now invites me to apply and pay £155 so that they can consider either of my requests above. But, they have not mentioned that I will be claiming costs back for amending my defence  due to the claimant’s fault.  I am not sure what to do now? I don’t have money to hire a solicitor! I do not understand how the county court works or how I should proceed from here?  I am considering counterclaim for loss of business if I amend my defence.  Please advice.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
How much is being claimed please?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Alex,The claim is for £3910. Although, in their witness statements they have claimed up to £6000 +.Kind regards
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
If I understand your question you want to know about the Court process.
A claim has been filed, you have filed a defence.
Claimant wanted to amend the claim and you file an amended defence.
Given the value it will allocated as a small claim. 14 days before the hearing you need to file and serve statements and all documents which you seek to rely upon.
There will then be a Court hearing and a Judge will decide who is right and who is wrong.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Alex,No, you have not answered my questions.As per my question, I already acknowledged the claim within 14 days of receiving the claim form and filed my defence within 28 days from the date of the service of claim. My defence was written by a solicitor at the time and was a partial one because the claimant did not submit their detailed particulars of claim.In my defence, I requested that the court struck out the claim due to lack of particularity and attached an order. Or that the claimant submits their detailed particulars of claim (of which the defendant can then defend the case properly) and the claimant pays on an indemnity basis the cost of this action. I filed my defence by myself online (after it was written by my solicitor). The case was allocated as a small claim and transferred to Cambridge county court.A hearing date was set for 24 June 2015. We all attended the hearing but the judge was unable to proceed with the hearing as he was limited by time. So, he spoke about the particulars the claimant have submitted and mentioned that without a proper particulars of claim, I would not be able to defend the case properly. However, the judge also noted that the claimant failed to summit their witness statements and ask them to submit this within 7 days by 01 July. The claimant have filed their witness statements. I wrote to the court upon receiving copies of the statement requesting that they stuck out the case as the claimant have not filed a proper particulars of claim. And that as the court have allowed them to submit their witness statement. I should also be allowed to amend my defence and filed for costs from the claimant. Then court have responded to my letter and have invited me to file amend my defence or apply to struck out the case. The court ask me to apply and pay £155 for them to consider any of my above requests. But, I don't know how to proceed with this? Not sure what this means especially as the court did not confirm if the claimant will be paying costs for this action? Plus, I don't have money for court fees. Hope this is clearer.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
I see. You need to apply using form n244:
http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n244-eng.pdf
The court fee is £155 for this. Sadly unless the Court orders otherwise each party bears their own costs. But apply for a strike out using the formal application.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Alex,
How do I apply for a Stike out? What evidence would I need to do this?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did you see the contract that I attached? What are your thoughts on the contract?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You would do that on Form 244.
You can apply for strike out based on the fact they dont have permission. You file a witness statement saying what they should have done and what they did do.
They have not applied for relief or varied the Court order and it should be struck out.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Alex,
Please can you be a bit more clearer. What exactly are you referring to when you said that I can apply to strike out based on the fact that they do not have permission?
And I file a witness statement stating what they should do? Are you referring to the witness statement I filed in before the first hearing? Or do I have to submit a new witness statement with the strike out application?
Also, what do you mean by they have not applied for a relief or varied the court order and it should be struck out?
If the case gets struck out, will I be able to claim for loss of business or damages?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
They have breached a Court order, not asked the Court for relief and therefore you can apply to strike out.
You file a witness statement in SUPPORT of this application.
Relief means they havent asked the Court permission.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What happens when the case gets struck out? If the case gets struck out, will I be able to claim for loss of business or damages?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes you will, assuming you have claimed that.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Alex,
No, I have not counter claimed yet!
Would the claimant be able to clam again once the case have been struck out?
Regarding the witness statement that I will be submitting with the application to struck out, what format should this be? Any points to note?
Also would I need to submit a draft order with the application even when I have already attached a draft order with the defence I submitted earlier?
What should the draft order include?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
No the claimant can't claim again once struck out, the statement should just set out procedural history. You don't need to attach a draft order.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Regarding the witness statement that I will be submitting with the application to struck out, what format should this be? Any points to note?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
The usual format which can be searched online case name, claim number, parties, county court etc. then just put the history and why you want a strike out.
Does that help?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. I received the letter from the court on 6th July inviting me to make the application which we talked about. The court did not mention any deadline for doing this. As you already know the case was adjourned to 12th August. Until what time do I have to apply to strike out?
Lastly, you have not answered my question about the contract which I attached for you to see. What are your thoughts on the contract?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You need to strike out sooner rather than later.
The contract is basic and many holes in it. Its not complete, does not have what to do in the event of a dispute etc.
Does that clarify?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Alex,
What other holes are you referring to? Please clarify.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Its generally a poorly drafted contract. There is nothing about survival clauses, third party rights, bankruptcy etc.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So, based on this type of contract what rights do I have against the claimant?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes you do.
Does that clarify?
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
On what grounds please?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Breach of contract.
Alex
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Hi
I am just following up to see if there is anything else I can help with?
If this answers your question might I ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen.
If you need more help please click reply.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Alex,
Have been very ill since we last spoke. Just about completing the strike out application. Do I have enough time to do this? The adjourned hearing is scheduled for 12 August.
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Yes you have time.
Alex
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Pls how much time do I have exactly?
I am not sure what to fill in from numbers 5, 6, 7, 8 & 10 of the N244 (strike out form. Please advise?
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
You should do it sooner rather than later. If you need help on the n244 that is a separate question and can I invite you to post a new one please.
Thanks
Alex

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