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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46794
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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=== Seeking help in UK Business and Contract Law == We have

Customer Question

=== Seeking help in UK Business and Contract Law ==
Hi there
We have a recruitment company claiming that we didn't live to the agreed terms of business and paid their commission on the 30th day instead of the 28th day. They now want to charge the full rate of commission of 30% instead of the discounted rate of 10%.
----
We are looking for someone to assist us in responding to their money claim in the small track court. We have prepared a first line defence as follows:
===== 1st Draft Statement of Defence ====
The claimant did not provide the court with all 3 elements of the agreed terms of business between the two parties. We (Gaia) agreed with the claimant recruitment services (1) at 10% of salary of person employed (2) for all placements over a 6 months’ period with (3) 28 days’ payment terms.
The following day to the first placement (salary of £45k p/a) was made, the claimant reneged on term (2) and refused to assist us (Gaia) with further placements that were presented to them. The claimant had requested that we (Gaia) do not offer our requirements for recruitment to any other recruitment company for at least 1-2 weeks before after they are presented to them. Accordingly, Gaia cancelled its dealings with other recruitment companies. We (Gaia) then had a delay in our 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.
The claimant then - deceitfully? - sent Gaia an invoice with 30 days’ payment term instead of the (3) 28 days agreed upon in the contract. The invoice was approved in good faith by Gaia accounts department against a purchase order of (£4500) and was paid as per the 30 days stated terms.
Gaia accounts department then raised a dispute with the claimant 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 which was not believed to be part of the agreement was dully paid after the explanation was given.
The claimant had a full month to correct its stated terms on its invoice but did not and our accounts department operate on purchase orders and stated supplier terms on invoices and not background business contracts. It is worth noting that the claimant was quick to make corrections to errors made in the other invoices sent to Gaia.
Notwithstanding the lack of response to the disputed amount of £600, and their reneging on the (2) 6 months’ services element of the agreement and Gaia paying making payment as per the invoice stated terms, the claimant conveniently proposed that Gaia has breached the agreement and claimed that they are due a 30% commission on the deal instead of the agreed (1) 10% on the 30th day because we didn’t adhere to the (3) agreed terms of 28 days. A mistake they seem to intentionally cause to trap Gaia into the situation and claim more money.
Gaia went into business with the claimant on the basis of 10% commission in good faith and paid its dues on time in good faith. We believe that claimant had no intention to fulfil the agreed terms of business as they breached them early on in the commercial dealing and intended deceit to unfairly gain money through legal quarrelling instead of normal business dealings.
=========
Can you help? Do we have a defence?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

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

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
thank you Ben
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Are you okay going through my questions?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Is it possible for me to see a copy of their terms of business please?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
sure
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I assume you are reading - just in case we get cut off. My email is***@******.*** / mobile:***********
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hi there. Thank you for your response and for sending me the attached documents. 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 9 months ago.

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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46794
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you Ben and will do. Do you think we have a good defence against their claim?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Thank you. Yes there is a reasonable defence based on the information provided. Obviously I cannot comment with more certainty just because there is very little detail here and we are ot allowed to give more precise prospects of success but it something that is certainly worth defending

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
excellent - thank you Ben.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

You are most welcome

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi Ben,
my boss want me to appoint a solicitor to help deal with this case as he doesn't want the company to have a CCJ against it. What can I say to him? Do you think that it is necessary to appoint a solicitor to respond to this claim? Are they actually going to do more than put the reply on the portal at this stage? Also, how does the court work. Will a judge review our answer and issue a judgement or allow the other party to respond and we in turn need to respond?sorry about the many questions.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 8 months ago.

Hi there, if you want to make sure that you have the best chance of defending this then you may wish to appoint a solicitor. You will be responsible for these costs though so consider it first from a financial point of view. They will do what you instruct them to – if you want them to do any specific work, like looking at the case in full detail and advising on prospects f success, drafting the defence, considering he best approach to defend this, etc – they can do it all as long as you instruct them and agree it with them.

The court process is as follows:

· Claim issued by claimant

· Respondent allowed to submit a response/defence

· Both parties exchange documents relating to the case

· Parties prepare and exchange witness statements

· Court holds a hearing with a judge where the parties can cross examine each others’ witnesses if necessary and the court can ask uestions

· Decision made

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