How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask JGM Your Own Question
JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11124
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
31090051
Type Your Law Question Here...
JGM is online now

I am pursuing a small claims case against my previous

Resolved Question:

I am pursuing a small claims case against my previous Accountancy provider (this is through my business). They prepared my accounts late which contained errors. The contract was with Y (not sure if this is all confidential), as part of the complaint process they wrote to me as X acknowleding that they had underperfromed and made errors. X is a sub division or similar of Y. When they did not offer a full refund I started the claims process with X as the defendant (I had intended to name Y as a co defendant). They have applied to have the case struck out today as X is not the correct legal entity and are intenting to pursue me for £1,000 bill for legal expenses. Do they have a case?Next question is can I discontinue the case against X and then start a fresh one? Having seen some of their points of defence I can better word the claim.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 11 months ago.

If you accept that the contract for professional accountancy services is against Y and not X you will have to discontinue against X and reraise the action against Y. You will be liable for X's costs.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
OK, if X are successful in having the claim struck out am I liable for their (Crunch Accounting Ltd) costs? From a laymans perspective if they have written to me admitting they were at fault and involving themselves it would be reasonable for me to raise a claim against them. If I didn't pay these costs and they tried to sue would I have a defence?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
From my perspective it is they that have introduced the ambiguity.
Expert:  JGM replied 11 months ago.

The relevant issue is with which entity the contract for professional accountancy services was with. The fact that they wrote to a different entity afterwards doesn't matter. There is no ambiguity about for whom the work was done presumably.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
There is no doubt that the work was done for the my company Into Risk Ltd. Re reading my original question I realise it could be ambiguous. They wrote from rather than to a different entitity,Into Risk Ltd (my company) has a contract with E-Crunch Ltd. When the dispute escalates they reply to me as Crunch Accounting Ltd and sign the letter as before and on behalf of Crunch Accounting Ltd. Both companies are at the same registered address and clearly part of the Crunch brand.I might prefer to give you a call this afternoon if possible as it is more time efficient to talk than type. I'm still hoping to avoid court - I think the big thing for them is reputation and they may settle and drop all costs etc if this can be kept confidential.
Expert:  JGM replied 11 months ago.

Which company issued a terms of business letter to yours?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
The terms of business are with e-crunch when I signed up. No question.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
If I withdraw the claim against crunch accounting am I free to pursue the same one against e-crunch?
Expert:  JGM replied 11 months ago.

Yes you are.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks - one final question. How likely do you think the court are to strike out the claim?They have provided a defence with their claim so I presume it is less than 100%.Stephen
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I just checked Money Claim on line. Does the following mean they have already succeeded?Crunch Accounting Ltd filed a defence on 16/08/2016
A bar was put in place for Crunch Accounting Ltd on 16/08/2016
DQ sent to Crunch Accounting Ltd on 16/08/2016
Expert:  JGM replied 11 months ago.

If the wrong party is sued there is no doubt it would be struck out although it is normal for a defence to be stated as well.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Jut to be sure - am I free to pursue E-Crunch if the claim against Crunch Accounting has been struck out?
Expert:  JGM replied 11 months ago.

Yes, they are two different companies.

JGM and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thanks; a difficult and expensive mistake for me that I didn't really need to learn. The only good thing is I can now finesse the claim going forward - if indeed I decide to pursue it.