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Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Hi. I am in a bit of a dilemma. 6 months ago my good friend

Customer Question

Hi. I am in a bit of a dilemma. 6 months ago my good friend who plays in a band asked me to give a cd of his to a music producer friend of mine. I did that. We all signed contracts saying that the music producer would, produce, mix and consult for the band. He will also give advice on what needs to be done in order for the band to progress. My friend agreed and all band members agreed. 6 months later the band says they have broken up which is nonsense, the band had a member replaced. Problem now is that the producer guy and myself all signed contracts and we want to work with the band but for some reason my friend has decided to get a solicitor to call me and inform to to stop contacting him. All band members, including myself and producer attended rehearsals and we also had a website created for them. The website designer originally said when the band starts making money they can then pay him. Now I have personally put money into this venture, paying the producer as well as the web designer also paying the producer. We were all led to believe that the band was going to do some hard work and we would all make some money in the end. Our contracts that were drafted up were simple but it covered exactly who is doing what etc.
Now my friend had his solicitor ring me. I asked the solicitor to put it in writing that he intends to represent my friend. A call is not good enough. My former friend has not put in writing that the band has broken up or he does not want to do anymore. This is surely a breach of our agreement. Not sure what to do now. We want to make music but surely he cant just back out without notifying us. Web guy is now upset and has sent my former friend a bill and said if you not making music then you need to settle the account as the fee of the website was going to be deducted after we made some money from gigs and merchandising. Please give me some feed back a to where we stand with this. Thank you for reading this.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
What is your question?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I never asked you a question but to give me some feed back. But if you require a question I suppose it would be " Is it worth persuing? " Here is another, " Do I need legal representation to address this matter?" I am not sure how to get the band to honour their agreement we have. One can't just ignore ones obligations.
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

You obviously thought that he was a better friend than he actually is!
There is obviously no explanation for this but clearly there is an underlying

You did the right thing by asking for the solicitor to put everything in
writing. Trust me, if you said anything, he would make copious notes and, if
necessary use whatever you'd said against you in the future. Spot on.

The band may be in breach of contract either individually or

I appreciate that there was an agreement and the agreement was signed by
you all but you say that the producer would do this that and the other and
everyone agreed.

BUT did the agreement say about making music? Did it compel the band to
produce any amount of music within a period of time? If it didn't, it isn't
worth pursuing.

That's not to say that there is not an agreement and that's not to say that
the agreement is not enforceable because even verbal agreements are enforceable
provided there is no dispute of what was agreed verbally. That is the problem
with verbal contracts.

Further, a court would be reluctant to agree a contract which is half in
writing and half verbal is binding and is likely to think that the verbal part
was not meant to be binding because if anyone had gone to the trouble of
putting things in writing, they would have included everything and put not just
part down.

Whether the web guy is entitled to be paid depends upon the terms of the
contract that he entered into.

Who is liable for his bill depends on the wording of the contract between
him and whoever Ultimately, if it is not covered in the contract the person who
is liable to pay him is the one who instructed him.

There is nothing in English law which prevents you dealing with this yourself
provided you know what you are doing. A solicitor will charge you about £200
per hour and you will only recover that if you issue legal proceedings of the
legal proceedings are over £5000 (outside the Small Claims Court) and you win.

If dealing yourself you need to be very careful because you say things like
"we all signed" without actually specifying who "we" are. That kind of
inaccurate statement can drop you in it and mean that you lose a case.

On these facts, and they appreciate there are a lot missing, I would not be
rushing off to see solicitors or issuing legal proceedings any time soon.

If I were the web developer I might be more inclined to.

It is very difficult for me to answer any further based upon the very brief
facts that you give and of course in view of the limited time I have in view of
the level of fee you offered for the advice

I'm off-line shortly until early afternoon

Can I help further?

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