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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
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I had a bill from a supplier. I refused to pay it because they

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I had a bill from a supplier. I refused to pay it because they broke a channel agreement and took a new prospect that I had declared to them and served it direct. This loss of revenue and supplier, put my business in serious difficulty. They are now claiming the unpayed bills plus interest from me.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

How can I help with this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Jo, I am Michael. I have been served by Norwich County Court for a claim for £21k (outstanding billing and interest).


The supplier provided me with a survey software tool that I sold in support of a project called Right First Time. They allowed some flexibility on billing because mine was a new enterprise.


I started to secure new clients and we agreed a prospect declaration process. They broke this process and refused to honour my claim to this new client (value £19k). This client had proposals from me visited other clients of mine etc. The Sales Director of the supplier knew I was closing the deal. At the 11th hour when I told them I had the deal they said they had already closed it and their MD when consulted said they would not walk away.


Because of this I lost the £19k revenue. It was untenable to work with the supplier again and my whole business process was left without a backbone. It took me months to re-establish a credible supply source. It put my business back a year.


The supplier, claimed past outstanding bills from me and on April 4th issues a County Court claim against me.


I wrote to their solicitor without prejudice and offered £10k to settle.


I also said if they did not accept it I would consider a counter claim. I have not replied to the court and as a month has gone by am worried now.


What can I do next? I feel they were greedy and left me in a bad position.



Did you send the offer after the proceedings were issued?

Did you send a cheque?

Have you heard nothing?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Attachment: 2014-05-06_132523_letter_to_cozens_hardy_15april2014.pdf

Hi Jo,


I sent the offer the day I received the proceedings.


It was a written offer to their solicitors, no cheque was enclosed.


I have heard nothing.




I suggest that you send a cheque for the £10,000 saying that it is in full and final settlement of their client's claim against you and that if they do not accept it in full and final settlement with regard to the claim on their costs, they should return it to you.

Make the cheque payable to a solicitor and it should come from a third party such as your accountant or friend. There are legal reasons as to why it should not come from a third party.

If they then cash the cheque you can then go to court and argue they have already accepted payment.
Be sure to mark the covering letter "without prejudice save as to costs" which means they cannot produce the letter in court as any kind of admission.

You can produce it however if the matter goes to court and they get awarded less than the £10,000 that you offered.

In the body of the letter say that this is an offer made under Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules and is open for 21 days from the date of the letter and it is in respect of all of their claim and costs. Say that it is intended to have the effect of a Part 36 offer.

What that means is that if they go to court and get awarded less than £10,000, they will have to pay all the court costs from the date of the offer, both your costs and their own

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Jo.


In terms of the court. They present several choices on their form. One of which is "Counterclaim." Which of the options should I tick please?


Thank you

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Jo, were you able to answer my question within the original query please.


Regards Michael

Sorry for the delay. I was in Court this afternoon.

If you admit that all the money that they are claiming is owed then you take the box that says you admit all the claim.

If however as a result of their failings you have suffered loss you then issue a counterclaim for whatever your loss is.

You do not just admit the net amount otherwise the court will not know how that figure has been arrived at
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