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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 47418
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I want to ask about something connected to my company. I re

Customer Question

Hello ,
I want to ask about something connected to my company. I hire a self employed couriers to do some routes for me. I had one that did work for me for 4 months. After he moved to another client there were still 4 week that i need to pay him , but the problem is that i have give him some equipment to use and now this equipment is damaged and he say I cant proof that he did the damages . I made a quote for the damages and it will be almost the same amount as his payment for the 4 week. Now he is telling me he is going to bring me to court about his payment. The problem is that me and him we never sing a contract . I gave him one to read and sing and bring back ,but he never did. So what can i do now and should i pay him the full amount and cover the damage my self ? Does he have any legal ground to demand payment from me if there is no contract ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today. Can you prove that he caused the damage in question?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The only think that we have is the check sheet from the rental company showing that there were almost no damage to the Van when we took it from them on the 18 February , but he started working on the 29 February . So there is couple of week that he wasn't driving it , but i am sure that nothing happen to the van at this time .
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. The fact that there is no contract in place does not mean you cannot pay him for the work he has undertaken. Regardless of whether there was anything in writing or not, an implied contract would still exist the terms of which would be based on what was agreed between you and what ongoing practice was. So if you had agreed for him to do that work and be paid for it, he would be legally entitled to receive payment for it, even if no written contact existed.

If you had a written contract which said you can deduct any costs for damage from hi pay then that would have entitled you to do so. However, in the absence of a specific contractual clause allowing you to do so you cannot just make deductions for his pay, even if he had committed the damage in question. What you can do is as follows:

· You deduct the money for the damage from his pay anyway and then it would be for him to pursue you for what he believes you owe him. If he makes a claim then you can make a counter claim against him for these costs and a court will decide whether his claim will succeed. There is of course no guarantee he will go as far as making a claim or that the court will decide in his favour

· You can pay him what he is due and then make a separate claim yourself against him for the damage costs. However, again there is no guarantee the court will rule in your favour or that it will order him to pay you for the damage, especially if you cannot prove it was him.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the steps you need to follow should you decide to make a claim yourself, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK so i think i will go with the option to deduct what i think i am owned and see if he make a claim on it. My question is what is the worst that could happen for me or my business if I do that ?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

What are the amounts involved please? Please also quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process and will allow me to continue answering follow up questions, thanks

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
For parts I got quote today from main dealer for around 500£ maybe a bit more. And for labour it will be around 400£ maybe . They could not give me a quote today, because the service people are not working on the weekend.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

ok that's fine, as the amount is less than £10k it ill go to the small claims court. There each party pays their own legal costs. So worst case, they make a claim for the money owed, say £500 and they win. They will get the £500 back and you will have to pay the court fees, approximately £100-150 and some minimal interest, not more than £10 perhaps. As long as you pay what is ordered, there will be no further repercussions

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can there be a problem that he didn't sing a contract with my company ?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

No it is not a legal requirement