We had a subcontractor order from Norton Mechanical to complete the Building Management System (BMS) system
Norton Mechanical were subcontracted by Heritage, the builder on the project - a very large residential property being newly built in Surrey, the property being worth around £20million.
Our contract is for £55k. We began working on this about 2 years ago, but the builder ran into financial difficulty, and our works ceased about a year ago. In the meantime, a previous employee of Heritage has formed his own company (Legacy) to take on the completion of the project, and requested Norton to continue. We, on many occasions over the last few months have asked Norton when we are required back, but were told there were money issues, and everyone was staying away. We were then asked to visit the site a couple of weeks ago to assess the scope of completion, which we did. However, the owner of Norton did not answer any of our calls following our visit, as we sought to gain assurance that we would be paid for our works, given the events of the last year. It is our belief that Norton must have suffered financially, which explains his subsequent behaviour. He initially assured us that we would be paid within 2 weeks, but then did not take our calls. We then received a 2 line email informing us that we were no longer required to complete the job. We have completed £41k of the total £55k, and have been paid for this.
However, our question is, presumably he cannot do this, we have not been given any notice, verbally or by 7 day letter. When Legacy heard of this, they were not happy, as our work is of a very specialist nature, and it would be very difficult for someone else to complete without knowing the locations of our cabling etc, which are now shut away in walls and ceilings. Legacy then decided that they would take the BMS away from Norton and employ us directly, but then Norton piped up and said that he could do it cheaper, and that Legacy should keep them and dispense with us.
Please can you clarify our position?
I hope that this is now more clear, but please let me know if you need further clarification. Thank you
Thank you very much, although I would like to clarify one aspect. Initially, we were subcontracted by Norton who were working for Heritage. Heritage, to all intents and purposes do not exist - they are in a CVA, hence why they did a deal with the project manager to complete the project himself as Legacy. We have never had a contract with Legacy, we only got as far as verbal discussions before Norton came up with their totally unrealistic costings for completion. As far as I can see, there has been no change to our contract with Norton, because I understand that he is using the excuse that our contract no longer stands because it was made when Heritage were the main contractor, so it no longer stands.
Are you saying that, although Legacy have not employed us directly at this stage, they would be responsible for breach of contract by Norton, by virtue that they are now the incumbent main contractor?
Also, what would be the basis of the claim - loss of earnings of the remainder of the contract?
Thank you for your reply. Sorry, I don't quite understand what you mean by mitigating the loss on the contract, or how we calculate what our claim will be? Will it be the remainder of the contract not carried out, or just our profit element of this?