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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9339
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Since the beginning of 2016 I have been assisting a property

Customer Question

Hello,Since the beginning of 2016 I have been assisting a property developer with his aquisitions and business development. We entered in to an agreement that I would be paid £2000 per month + expenses. Whilst a formal contract was not drawn up there has been email exchanges to confirm this and to date two payments as per the agreement.However he is now 2 months over due and I am owed £4205.00 in fees. Despite my many attempts to text, call and email I have had no response from him. Another 'colleague' has been paid.As he has not paid me I have ran out of cash as this is my ONLY source of income. I have now defaulted on my car insurance, car finance, credit cards, and two loans to the value of £3,000 making my total loss £7205.00.Additionally I have booked to go to Amsterdam tomorrow via Eurostar and I was awaiting payment for the hotel. I can no longer do this and therefore have to give up my tickets at a cost of £150 which are non refundable. I have also lost out on the option to rent a house as the rent and deposit of £1500 was due a week ago and the Landlord can no longer hold it.I stupidly put a lot of trust in this person and he is very well know for his poor practices having some years ago taken lots of money from brides for weddings at one of his properties then liquidated the business after not having permission to run these events in the first place.With no other employment or income I literally have £0 and very concerned about the impact it will inevitably have on my credit rating if I continue to default. A family friend suggested I should go via the small claims court but can not afford this or know anything about it.Please help!Thank you.Dan
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

As you say that your colleague has been paid, is there any reason do you think why you have not been paid?

Do you not want to go to court on this or is it just the process which you don’t know? We can assist you with that

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't think he's paid me because he's lazy and useless at communication and does things at his speed regardless of the consequences of his actions. I don't mind going through the small claims court it's just knowing what I can claim for and the process I suppose.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry I thought I had credit to call but I haven't
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Don’t worry about the phone call credit.

The link where you issue small claims court proceedings is here

the process is relatively straightforward.

Unfortunately, you will not be able to successfully claim for all the consequential losses if this gets to court but there is no problem in threatening that you will claim for them if he doesn’t pay up.

You need to warn him in writing to be does not pay you the amount you would within the next 7 days you will small claims court proceedings without notice and then list everything you’re going to claim. It is likely that the judge will only award the monthly payment figure and not all the consequential losses that doesn’t mean that you cannot add them into the claim and let the judge decide.

If he will not pay you, then court proceedings are your only course of action. Unfortunately, the process is not quick and it could be several months before it gets to court. Hopefully, the threat of court proceedings or, the eventual issue of would lead to him paying before it actually gets to court.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please do not forget to rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

Best wishes


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK so just to be clear of the following order:1. Send a letter to confirm I will be sending to court if payment is not made within 7 days (List everything, let judge decide).
2. If no response within 7 days complete the form for the courts
3. Wait for response from the court with any action etc.I'm going to have to complete the form to try and get help with paying the fees because of the lack of funds due to not being paid.My last question is, does it matter that there is not a formal contract? We agreed in person and then I sent an email to confirm our conversation, in the same way one might if they were having an informal chat with a collegue that needed clarifying.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Yes, that is correct.

You may be able to get help with earlier part of the fees if you fit the criteria.

Here is the booklet

and here is the form

and from the government website

Even a verbal contract is enforceable so it doesn’t have to be in writing. The fact that you appear to have been paid for several months at a particular rate would be proof enough for a civil court claim that the was some kind of agreement to pay you that fixed amount each month. In addition, you say you have the email exchanges which also assist you.

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much for all of your help
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HiI have taken your advice and wrote a letter as you suggested (Please see attached).I have given until the 16th June 2016. I sent this letter as 'signed for' via the Royal Mail but it has not yet been signed for us as the defendant was not in, he's not been to collect from the post office. I have of course sent an email copy also. If there is no response by the 16th what is my next steps please?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

If you have only sent it by recorded delivery and email, and it’s not been collected, you need to send it by first class post. Get proof of posting from the post office counter which is free. In law, the Royal mail is deemed to be 100% accurate and if you post a letter today, he is deemed to have had it the day after tomorrow. All you need to do is prove to the court that it was posted.

If you have proof that he opened the email, that would be sufficient warning to dispense with the extra letter by Royal mail first class post.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry I think you may have misunderstood. I've sent the letter via Royal Mail so that it had to be signed. I've tracked the letter and it said that they tried delivery but nobody was home so left a card to collect, which he hasn't done yet.I don't have a read receipt function on my emails which is why I sent a tracked letter.If he hasn't responded by the 16th do I submit my claim to the court? They ask me again to send notice don't they?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

I did understand exactly what you said. If they haven’t collected the recorded delivery letter, then they haven’t had it.

If you sent by first class Royal mail, and you get proof of posting, then legally deemed to have the letter two days later.

They may simply not recorded letters.

If you don’t have proof they opened the email, you need to send a normal first class post letter to get proof of posting from the counter.

It’s just a case of not issuing legal proceedings prematurely without warning that if they don’t pay, you will be issuing court proceedings.

At the moment, they haven’t opened the email or you can’t prove that they opened the email and they certainly haven’t collected the letter, and you wish court proceedings, they can claim that those proceedings prematurely issued they could ask the court to award costs against you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Isn't it silly that a signed for mail is not good enough but a 1st class is.If I reissue it do I have to extend the deadline. Currently it's the 16th
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

I can understand you feeling like that but the problem with recorded delivery of course is that people (particularly with debts) will simply not collect recorded delivery mail because of the chances of it being people chasing them for money.

I would certainly give them another ten working days. As I said earlier, it would be different if you could prove that they have the email.

You can always drop a letter through the letterbox. You might conceivably get away with seven days but I wouldn’t do less than that

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That makes sense thank you. I'll send it again by first class then or hand post it if you think that's more appropriate.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

If you do both, so much the better. If you get proof of posting from the post office, he can’t argue with that whereas he can say that you didn’t drop it through the letterbox! Getting someone else to drop it through the letterbox and getting them to sign a witness statement is better but to be honest, Royal mail, first-class, proof of posting, that will do the job.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HelloSo I sent the letter again as you suggested via Royal Mail 1st Class with certificate. I also emailed on Monday to ask whether or not he wishes to enter mediation (I thought the courts would prefer me to do this first). He has FINALLY replied today to say he is happy to do so.The only problem is I am so short of money because of him that I can't afford £300 for mediation, my court fee's have been waived. Do you know any other way to possibly sort this in the same proactive way as mediation?Many thanks,Dan
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, as mediators are privately paid in exactly the same way that solicitors are paid, there is no fee remission as there is for court fees.

The only other thing is to negotiate with him yourself but as that failed, the doesn’t seem much point.

If you can’t mediate, that it has to go to court. There is no absolute duty to mediate. You can tell him that you are agreeable to mediation but only on the basis that he pays the fee although, you could tell him that if you are awarded anything, the half of the mediation fee that you would be liable for you are happy to have it deducted from the award.

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