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James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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I was made to sign a lease agreement for the installation of

Customer Question

I was made to sign a lease agreement for the installation of telephone equipment in 2009 before the work was completed. The original company I signed the agreement it on 8th August 2009 subsequently assigned the lease agreement to another company on the following day. This was a 5 year term at £318.00 monthly payment. There are subsequent email correspondences confirming that the telephones were partly installed and also not properly installed. I notified the company about these faults but they kept on making promises. However, I was making payments to their bank account as per the agreement. I told them a number of time even within the one month period that I was no longer interested in going ahead with the contract. But they got back to me and promised that they would sort out the problems. There is a letter from this company stating that, they were happy with the meeting they had with me in 2010 and they would find solutions to the problems. These problems were never sorted out and i was then left with no option but to cancelled the direct debit. I also wrote the company and told them that I was also finally cancelling the contract. the next thing i noticed is a claim for £21,000 which is now in the county court. The failure of the company to do what they were contracted to do resulted me in considerable loss, which I communicated to the company, which was in the region of £25,000. I am due to send by defence and any counter claim. I need to know what legal legs I have to stand on in fighting this case. The claim against me is for a breach of contract.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Who is the telecoms co? Universal perchance? Who is taking court action?

Is the lease in yr name or ltd co name? I need full details please


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The Company that is taking me to Court is called SG Equipment Ltd. The lease was signed on behalf of the Sierra Leone High Commission for the supply and installation of electronic equipment in their 5 residence in London and office in London. one of the phones was installed at the High Commission and couple of days after we noticed there was a fault and I told the company straight away of the fault and they promised to put it right which they never did. This was also the reason wht the other telephones were not installed in the 5 residence.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

So, did the system ever work?

If you signed on behalf of the HC why are they sueing you?

Have you instructed solicitors on this?

Why isn't the HC dealing?

I need full background please

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

They are suing the HC but I am in the middle dealing with matter in question for the HC. The system never worked. The other systems were not even installed.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

So it isn't the leasing co wanting money?


So why don't HC instruct solicitors rather than have you DiY?


What did the HC do for phones?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I work for a firm of solicitors and we have instructed a barrister who has proved so unreliable and inefficient. I have paid my money so I can get a clear and basic understanding of the HC's position in the matter. I am also on the verge of drafting a brief to counsel to deal with the case.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I work for a firm of solicitors and we have instructed a barrister who has proved so unreliable and inefficient. I have paid my money so I can get a clear and basic understanding of the HC's position in the matter. I am also on the verge of drafting a brief to counsel to deal with the case. In relation to the phones, there is a letter advising the company to collect the phones from the HC and there is also a reply from SG Equipment confirming this.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The leasing company SG Limited wants their money.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Are you a trainee?


How come you work for sols but signed the lease agreement?


If instructing Counsel, I'm
sorry to have to tell you you are going to have to be much more concise in the
facts that you give because (I am sorry to be so blunt) it is like pulling
teeth trying to get information regarding this.

I need the full details from
end to end please.

There appears to be a
contract for the supply of a telephone system and that contract bill has not
been paid because the system never worked.

So the telephone Co is SG Equipment Ltd and Leasing co is SG Ltd? Do they do their own leasing?

Do you have any experts
evidence with regard to the current state of the telephone system?

Is there a telephone system
in now?

How much did it cost?

At this stage in time, I
appear to have about 10% of the total facts

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I really appreciate your honesty. however, I was not expecting that i would be required to provide detailed notes. The company is SG Equipment Finance and they it appears from the lease that they provided the equipment and the finance for a term of 5 years at £381. In the particulars of claim, the claimant is SG Equipment and there is nothing to suggest otherwise. Let me now precisely address your queries:

1. The agreement was for supply and installation of electronic equipment with a lease agreement for 5 years. There was never a seperate agrement in relation to the finance. There was only one agreement signed between the parties dated on 8th august 2009.

2. At present there is no expert witness to confirm the suitability of the telephone system. this is another area that we may possibly look at. Thanks for the indication.

3. The HC had to revert to the old system which is still costing them a lot of money. the HC claims that if the telephone system had been properly installed there would have been a considerable cut on their bill. there is a letter confirming this fact by SG Equipment.

4. The Equipment plus and the installation was charged as one for a fee of £17,000. there was no breakdown as to costs.


Please let me know if I could be of any further assistance.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

I am not certain how much
information you want.

You have a defence and

Your defence is that the
claimant is in breach of the Supply of Goods and Services Act in that the claimant
failed to carry out the job with reasonable care and skill or within a
reasonable period of time.

Alternatively (or actually in
addition), you have a claim in contract for breach of contract in that they
failed to carry out the contract in a workmanlike manner or at all.

You have a counterclaim for
whatever loss you have suffered (or rather the defendant has suffered)
consequential upon the breach of contract.

There is a potential problem
in that your client is under a duty to mitigate loss and your client appears to
have sat down for five years and done nothing. Your client should really have appointed
independent contractors to get the job working and then sued the original
company for the extra cost.

There is another issue but I
would need to study the contract documentation in depth which is clearly beyond
the scope of this site.

They are pursuing this as a
debt claim for the full contract value over five years although, they have not
provided the service so there is a defence that even if they are entitled to
any money at all, they are not entitled to the full contract value only
compensation/damages/loss of profit



Does that answer the

Can I help further? I am
happy to answer any specific questions.

don't forget to positively rate my answer J service
(even if it was not what you wanted to hear).

If you don't rate it positively, then the site keep your deposit and I get 0
for my time L. It is
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It doesn't give me, "a pat on the head", "good boy" (like ebay), it is my

If in ratings you feel that you expected more or it only helped a little,
please ask.

I am
offline shortly until later and will pick this up then if needed.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I strongly beleive that your answer has given me a head way. In response to one of the questions you asked earlier, SG Equipment provided the finance and the company that provided the phones and who were to do the installation was a subsidiary company of SG Equipment called Sabre Telecommunication. But overall i am very pleased with the expert advice. please kindly clarify the later issue and I will accordingly comment on the rating.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Who your
course of action is against is dependent on who the contractual documentation
is with.

It may be
that your contract was with SG and they sub contracted it to Sabre.

You need to
make sure that you have the exact details of the defendant correct, registered
office, limited company, company number, the lot, to make sure that it does not
get thrown out for being the wrong defendant.

As you are
defending, it is not really relevant but it is relevant with regard to the
claimant and your defence. You need to make sure that the claimant is the exact
entity that you had the contract you will agreement with otherwise, if the
claimant is not the exact claimant, you can get the whole thing thrown out and
put them back to square one (and ask for costs) because there was no
contractual arrangement with the claimant. Check

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

In this scenario, the contract for the finance was signed between SG Equipment and the HC. Sabre Communication provided the equipments and were supposed to do the installation, which they only did partially and was not properly done. In the above circumstances, who should have brought a case against the HC for a breach of contract?

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.
SGE provided Sabre aren't mentioned anywhere
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I just discovered that from a document I just read. It says that Sabre provided the and installed the equipments and the finance for the items and work that should have been carried out was provided by SG Finance Ltd. So who should have brought a case against the HC. Is it Sabre Communication or SG Equipment? I would be grateful if you could kindly reszpond on this matter so that I can start drafting the brief to counsel. i thank you for all you advice which has been extremely helpful.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

If in doubt send all docs to counsel and ask counsel to advise who proper defendant it. That's what you pay them for. Sabre might end up as a part 20 defendant

Whether it is SGE or sabre depends what the docs are. I cant be sure without seeing everything which is beyond a QA session