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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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I am a management systems auditor, a freelance. I work for

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I am a management systems auditor, a freelance. I work for various registrars on a contractual basis.
The registrar asks me if I am free to perform an audit (my qualifications have previously been vetted and approved, so the registrar will have checked that I am always competent to perform the audit.); if I say yes, a "Job Sheet" containing their client's details is sent.
I then contact the client and arrange a date for the audit. then I notify (either by signing the Job Sheet or verbally) the registrar of the impending date of the audit, and the registrar invoices the client.
I then prepare for the audit, perform it at their client's premises, and send the audit report and all ancillary documents to the registrar. I typically invoice the registrar (NOT their client!) monthly or immediately after the audit has been performed (this varies from registrar to registrar).
Occasionally the client decides at late notice (after the audit date has been agreed) that he actually doesn't wish to be audited (many different reasons but none of them due to me). I then have lost days' work (depending on how many days the audit was due to last).
My position (I believe) is that I can invoice the registrar for the lost days' work and associated unavoidable expenses, since through no fault of mine I have lost the remuneration for the days' lost fees, and I have by virtue of having accepted the registrar's invitation to perform the audit, and having arranged dates with the registrar's client and having suitably prepared myself for the audit (which usually includes hotel reservations etc....) formed a contract with the registrar.
If the registrar declines to pay, then can I pursue this as a contractual issue?
I have one recent issue in that the registrar offers to pay the hotel expenses but not my day fee, but that I submit is actually admitting liability)
Dr R J Murphy
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

Do you have details of any agreement/contract that you have with the registrar?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Apart from the usual requirements of confidentiality and independence (no financial relationship with the client), there are no written contractual requirements
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Here statement at the bottom of the job sheet (I have written "XXX" instead of the name of the registrar):
"XXX Registrars personnel are required to comply with all site rules when on a client site and should request a copy of information regarding the site rules when submitting an Itinerary and when entering a client site. Should the site or site rules be (in the opinion of the Auditor) unsafe, then the Auditor may cancel the visit, providing specific Health and Safety reasons for this decision and issue a documented statement to both the client and to XXX Registrars explaining these reasons. In signing this declaration I confirm that I have had no involvement with the company under audit (direct employment, commercial, business, financial or personal interests which may also include consultancy, second party auditing and training provided within the previous two years) that would constitute a Conflict of Interest. Please complete and return this form to the relevant XXX Registrars office with a copy of the Itinerary (if required)."
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Are you there?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

Hi there. Apologies for the delay and thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you in a short while. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your questions to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

Many thanks for your patience. You can argue that you are in effect working through an agency because the registrar is seeking work for you and engaging you to provide your services to an end user. So in effect your contractual relationship would be between you and the agency, that being the registrar. Therefore, your terms of work will be those which have been agreed between you and them. If there was no contractual provision for the cancellation of a job, without incurring any charges r penalties, you may indeed argue that they have acted in breach of contract for cancelling without having the express contractual right to do so. As you have suffered losses as a result, you could pursue them for these. A lot will depend on how far in advance the job was cancelled. If this was done after the event, then you cannot be expected to mitigate your loses by seeking other work as a replacement. However, if the work was cancelled in advance and you could have reasonably been expected to find replacement work, any potential compensation could be reduced.

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 take the matter further, 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

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46207
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Expert:  Ben Jones replied 7 months ago.

Thank you. Whenever a dispute arises over compensation owed by one party to another, the party at fault can be pursued through the civil courts. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:

1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the party at fault to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the party at fault must be sent a formal letter asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue the compensation due. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.

3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.

Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.

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