The agreement is silent with regard to any advance of commissions. It is also silent with regard to refund of expenses.
You may currently be charging £750 for half a day as per your website but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you would recover that there that you have been receiving that. The website is dated 2016 and you would have to prove that historically, that was the kind of remuneration that you would get on a regular and consistent basis.
It is highly likely that if this ended up in court, the court would find that all the time that you spent in the preamble to this agreement were speculative and hence, not recoverable.
However the email is sufficient to explain that this £15,000 was a loan in advance of commission.
It also quite clearly says that repayment will be from future commissions and your point is well made that if there are no future commissions there is no repayment.
I am aware that many life insurance companies in the UK made development loans to life insurance brokers. The was to be repaid from commission and agreements, drafted both solicitors in the UK were extremely clear on that point.
The life-insurance companies subsequently withdrew from the market, closed the agencies and the life-insurance brokers had to go to another company. However the time was that they could not do that until the finance had been repaid. Catch 22. The loans to be repaid from commissions. The agencies had been closed. They got normal commissions.
Many got taken to court and lost. Even though the term was quite clearly that the repayments were to be made from commission (and there was no commission) the courts still found in favour of the insurance company and the brokers had to repay. Some went bankrupt.
The situation that you are in is very similar. It is clear that the agreement is that the money was a loan and that the loan was in advance of commissions and that the commissions were to be repaid as they were earned.
There is no mention in the agreement of the applicable law that it is likely to be in the United Kingdom/England & Wales is that is where the contract has been substantially performed. That might be difficult for the Panamanian company if they have no agents in the UK and no representation. However they could issue proceedings in Panama and get judgement in Panama and then enforce the Panamanian judgement in the UK.
I think you should avoid going to court and try to come to an arrangement to repay at least something even if it’s not the full amount. My suggestion would be about 50% although that decision is yours. If you are making an offer, I suggest that you get the offer made through a solicitor who can word it correctly as a Civil Procedure Rules part 36 offer which cannot be produced in court if the other side wish to try to assert that you have admitted that you owe this money and the only dispute can be over the terms of repayment.
If you don’t feel that you have to pay or don’t want to pay, and they are adamant they want their money back, then it would be for the court to decide if either you or they want to go that far.
Can I clarify anything for you?
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