How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50198
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

Hi About 11 years ago my boss gave me a dated hand written

This answer was rated:

About 11 years ago my boss gave me a dated hand written piece of paper stating "You will assist me with selling the business at some stage in the future assuming you are still employed. For this I will pay you through the payroll 15% of the total net Sale Proceeds received." Also on the same page was details of an annual Bonus scheme for me which has followed to the letter. The business has now been sold. This first i had of it was in the official TUPE meeting 2 weeks before it happened. I was therefore prevented from 'assisting the boss from selling the business' through no actions of my own. Is my piece of paper enforceable as a breech of contract?
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. have you spoken to your boss about this agreement
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, a week before the sale of the business happened. I provided him with a copy of his hand written agreement. He ignored it and I did not pursue at that time as he was quite stressed with the whole process of selling.

Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you

Thank you for your patience. Whilst you have this note that was issued by the employer, pursuing it as a breach of contract may not necessarily be that easy. The note itself could have contractually binding effect because it was a formal promise, accepted by you but to show that there was a breach you must be able to convince a court that there was a guarantee that you would help in the sale of the business and that this is specifically what the employer had meant. From the wording you may believe that to be the case but legally it may not necessarily be. A lot will depend on the employers evidence should this matter go to court. Also it would depend on what the court believes the situation to be and what they decide a fair outcome is. So as in any legal case, there is no guarantee of a successful outcome but if needed you can of course make the claim in the county court. Before you do so I would strongly recommend that you approach the employer directly and ask them for a resolution, even threatening legal action, but only actually proceed with claiming if you cannot resolve it in any other way.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your answer. My feeling is that my ex Boss provided me with this hand written note to ensure my loyalty over the years, and essentially locked me into the company whilst he was there on the promise of some 'financial reward' upon his eventual sale. The note is over 10 years old. I also feel that by preventing me from being able to assist in the sale (by not even telling me until it was all done) I have not been able to fulfil my side of the arrangement through no fault/action of my own. If I am prevented from performing my side of the deal by the other party to the contract surely that is a breach?

Thank you

The key here is whether you were guaranteed, unconditionally, to be part of the sale. The note itself may not necessarily be able to answer that and a lot would depend on the employer's evidence, including oral evidence that they may be asked to give if this went to court. So that is where the main issue lies - was there an unconditional guarantee that you will be part of any future sale, or did this promise apply only IF you were involved in the sale, without there being any guarantee that you would get involved.

So as mentioned you can challenge this if necessary but of course the success of any such claim would depend on what the employer can show the promise actually was and if it was breached. It is not just the note itself that is important, it is also the intention of the parties when the promise was made

If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
Ben Jones and 4 other Law Specialists are ready to help you