Many thanks for your patience. Please find edited defence below:
The Claimant has not provided details of the full terms of business with the Respondent (“Gaia), which consisted of 3 separate elements as follows:
(i) Commission of 10% of salary of person employed;
(ii) For all placements over a 6 months’ period;
(iii) with 28 days’ payment terms.
Once the initial placement was made (with a salary of £45,000pa), on the following day the Claimant reneged on term (ii) and refused to assist Gaia with further placements that were presented to them. The Claimant had requested that Gaia does not offer requirements for recruitment to any other recruitment company for at least 1-2 weeks after they were presented to them. Accordingly, Gaia cancelled its dealings with other recruitment companies. Gaia then had a delay in recruitment activities and needed to hire expensive contract staff to fill the gap left by the lack of full time recruitment caused by the Claimant’s request.
The Claimant then sent Gaia an invoice with a 30 days’ payment term instead of the 28 days agreed upon in the contract. The invoice was approved in good faith by Gaia against a purchase order of (£4,500) and was paid as per the specific 30 days payment term requested by the Claimant.
The Gaia accounts department then raised a dispute with the Claimant’s Commercial Factoring Services before payment was due as to the amount invoiced not matching the PO and did not receive written explanation from the Claimant themselves until after the agreed period for invoice payment had expired. The difference was £500 + VAT which the Claimant wanted for a £5k car allowance given to the person recruited. This was not believed to be part of the agreement but was dully paid after the explanation was given.
The Claimant had a whole month to correct its stated terms on its invoice but failed to do so. Gaia’s accounts department operate on purchase orders and stated supplier terms on invoices and not background business contracts, therefore they followed the newly issued terms by the Claimant. It is also worth noting that the Claimant was quick to make corrections to errors made in their other invoices sent to Gaia.
Notwithstanding the lack of response to the disputed amount of £600, their reneging on the 6 months’ services element of the agreement and Gaia making payment as per the latest invoice terms, the Claimant argued that Gaia had breached the agreement. They therefore claimed that they are due a 30% commission on the deal instead of the agreed 10% because Gaia did not adhere to the initially agreed terms of 28 days.
Gaia went into business with the Claimant on the basis of 10% commission in good faith and paid its dues on time. We believe that claimant had no intention to fulfil the agreed terms of business as they breached them early on in the commercial dealing. The Claimant also appears to have suffered no losses for receiving a payment 2 days after initially the agreed timeframe for payment, despite varying the payment deadline in their subsequent invoice and are now unreasonably relying on this to pursue an increased commission entitlement, which we strongly oppose.