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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3772
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I run a small business and a contractor who had a contract

Resolved Question:

Hi, I run a small business and a contractor who had a contract with me was supposed to submit timesheets and invoice as specified in the contract each month. They stopped doing this in 2011 and the last invoice I had and timesheet was a few years back in 2012 - I hassled them for many months to submit timsheets and invoices but they never did. They stopped doing any work for me back in August and have now come to me for payment going back to October 2011. Where do I stand on this? I acknowledge they did do some work for me but I have asked them for their timesheets and invoices and I intend to settle one invoice per month as will take time to verify that they did that work they are claiming for as so long ago. I presume I must honour these claimed invoices? Thanks
Submitted: 26 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 26 days ago.

Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Did they have a contractual obligation to submit the time sheets each month? Approximately how much are they claiming in total?
Under Limitations Act 1980 they wont be able to claim anything that is old than 6 years. I look forward to hearing from you. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
they did have a contractual obligation to sumit timesheets each month. I estimate the claim to be 40k.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 26 days ago.

Thank you. Technically speaking he does have a claim against you, but that said he is also in breach of contract for failing to submit the time sheets on time. While you still owe him the money up until the limitation period runs out, I would use his failure as a grounds to negotiate down what you owe - perhaps you either agree a smaller lump sum to take into account the loss you suffer from the time and administration taken up by his failing. Do you have the exact wording from his contract that requires him to submit time sheets? Could I possible review this? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
I do will send to you in about 15 mins
Expert:  Alex J. replied 26 days ago.

Thank you - I will look out for it. I would be most grateful if you would take a moment to rate my response when prompted. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
9. TIMESHEETSThe Company will supply timesheets to the Client on the last working day of each month for the previous month and the signatory for this purpose shall be an authorised representative of the Client.10. PAYMENT
Hi Alex - please see belowPayment will be made by the Client for each calendar month, work performed by the Company in arrears. The payment will be made upon the invoice of the Company and will be paid by the Client within fourteen days, as per the invoices payment details.
Customer: replied 26 days ago.
He had his own company
Expert:  Alex J. replied 26 days ago.

Thank you. The wording is fairly clear her "The Company will" submit time sheets - that is a definite obligation and he is in breach of the obligation - what it does not say is that payment becomes barred from non submitting of time sheets. I would write to him and say that he has not submitted the time sheets and accordingly this is a breach and has caused you a loss (wasted management time) - I would try and negotiate down the figure on this basis. Is the company still trading or is he making the claim in his own name? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
I think it is still trading as far as I know
Customer: replied 26 days ago.
Am I right in assuming therefore that as long as I acknowledge he has completed some work for me and given the length of time that has passed and that he was in breach for not submitting timesheets, I can offter to attempt to settle an invoice or partially settle an invoice per month? This would be on my companies schedule not his as will depend on cashflow.
Obviously I do think it may as you suggest be worth attempting to negotiate a figure as well.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 26 days ago.

Thank you. Given the delay you should be able to use this to negotiate some settlement or payment structure. Making a demand like this would put pressure on most companies - that is why your contracts contain a requirement to submit time sheets.

Customer: replied 26 days ago.
If he does submit the timesheet with each invoice there will be substantial administrative overhead in verifying the timesheet is correct from say late 2011.
Customer: replied 26 days ago.
Ok thank you - I think my assumptions were correct.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 26 days ago.

That in itself could be a loss from his breach. You have to make clear to him that he had an obligation to submit time sheets, he has not done so in breach of the contract and the delay may have caused a loss for you - in which case you will have to consider to what extent you prepared to accept liability for what he is claiming.

Do not for get the limitation period - it is 6 years to the day, so if the demand came in November 2017 anything from October 2011 could be statute barred. Can I assist any further? Kind regards AJ

Alex J. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 26 days ago.
No that's fine thank you
Expert:  Alex J. replied 26 days ago.

Thank you. I wish you the best of luck with this. Kind regards AJ