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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street Practice
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I have recently resigned from job as a estate agent to go and

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I have recently resigned from job as a estate agent to go and work for a landlord of the estate agency. Whilst I was still employed by Abbey Properties (previous company). whilst still employed by Abbey i began to sign up new vendors and negotiate commission for the new company (Prime Metro Properties) The old company now want to take legal action against me although I have not received any commissions from these transactions. What can they do?

They also claim that I tried to defraud a client. The new company bought a flat for £800 000 that I found a buyer to take over the completion at £920 000. They had not informed the primary seller. They decided not to sell in the end and completed the transaction themselves but I am now being accused of deceiving the original seller for personal gain.

Unless there is a covenant in your employment
contract not to approach members of staff or clients, then you can carry on but
please read my later comments. Even if there is a covenant, they are only
enforceable under limited circumstances.

Is there a restrictive covenant in your
previous employment contract preventing you working for a competitor for a
period of time? If so, I need the exact wording, please.

If they are convinced that you tried to
defraud a client, then they should go to the police.

What you are referring to with regard to the
flat is an assigned contract whereby one by ex-changes, but another buyer
completes. If the eventual completion buyer had a mortgage lender and the
mortgage lender was not advised of this, you are likely to be party to a
mortgage fraud. You need to be very careful.

If the landlord is acting as an estate agent,
introducing buyers to sellers both he and you are probably in breach of the
Estate Agents Act unless you advise the original seller what you were doing.

I appreciate that this is not the answer you
wanted, but I can only tell you the situation and there is no point in me
misleading you.

I am off-line now until Friday, when I will
be online and off-line all day

Can I help further?

I am off-line now until tomorrow, Friday, but
will be online and off-line all day Friday

Please bear with me today because I will be
online and off-line

Please don't forget to positively rate my
answer service (even if it was not what you wanted to hear) and I will follow
up any further points you raise for free. If you don't rate it positively, then
the site keep your deposit and I get 0 for my time. If in ratings you feel that
you expected more or it only helped a little, please ask me for further info
before rating me negatively otherwise I don't get paid at all for my time and

The thread remains open. Thanks

Stuart J and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi I have been thinking about your response but am still concerned about the attempted defraud issue.

If the original buyer completed his sale and voluntarily chose not to sell on can I still be accused of anything ?

The original agency have now made a claim for commission for the sale would they then be also responsible for any defraudment claim?

I was giving you the worst case scenario.

I am now a little confused with the facts. The original buyer was the new
company you said.

If the company bought the property and then sold it, that company is at
liberty to do so. However, you now say if the original buyer completed his sale
on voluntary chose not to sell.

If they took commission from the sale, they are a party to any wrongdoing.
There might be an angle there.

If buyer number one bought the property and it completed and then sold it
on nanoseconds later for an extra1£150,000 I cannot see that you have done
anything wrong and I wouldn't be paying the agent anything.

I need to know the exact mechanics of the sale and purchase process to explain properly.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Sorry, I shall try and be clear. I worked at abbey props who sold to prime metro props a flat for £800k . Abbey received commission for this sale. I then found a buyer to undertake a sub sale at £950k from Prime Metro, without the knowledge of the original seller with an almost simultaneous completion (thus avoiding stamp duty).
There are email s from me to Prime Metro's putting an offer forward and a contract was sent out to the sub sale buyer but Prime Metro decided not to sell on and completed at £800k themselves as originally agreed. Can I be charged with attempting to defraud ?

So, it as as I originally said, don't try to cloud the issue with this wonderful phrase, "sub sale".

Prime was buying the property for a £800,000 and exchanged contracts , and you found another buyer at £950,000 who took over the contract from the Prime and would havecompleted on it but in the end did not . Presumably, Prime still own the property

If you worked at Abbey , you were the agent of the seller and you are under a duty to act in the sellers' best interest which you could not possibly do if you found another buyer who was willing to pay more and there was going to be a Private secret profit between buyer number one buyer number two .

However this was only an attempt and whilst it might be an attempted breach of the Estate Agents Act I think it unlikely that anyone would take any notice. At this stage,

I would not be too concerned, but it is a salutary lesson . To be honest, it is probably as well that the assigned contract did not complete.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The problem is that I have now left abbey to work at prime metro and the director at abbey is stating he wants to take action against me for attempted fraud, do I need to get legal representation?

Fraud is a criminal matter. There is no civil action of attempting something.

If he is minded, he needs to go to the police, but to be frank, I don't think the police will be the least bit interested