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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71135
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I am a small design business who was contracting to a company

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I am a small design business who was contracting to a company who worked in the charity sector (called 'Choose MAD'). I had a hunch they weren't doing well, so I stopped working for them last october but they already owed me £3,400.

After many promises of payment and many weeks went past, I hired a debt collection agency to chase the company. 'Choose MAD' then caused a stalemate by threatening to counter sue for poaching of clients. This was fabricated to stall things and 'Choose MAD' was unable to produce any proof of this when asked by the debt collection agency.

The debt collection agency have said they have done all they can apart from issuing a county court claim. But they have advised me not to do this as 'Choose MAD' have now made a pheonix company and are transferring all their assets into it (meaning they will soon have no assets left, so there is no point in spending more money suing them). There are also many other people suing 'Choose MAD'.

With this all in mind, I'd like to go directly to the companies I did the work for (through 'Choose MAD') and ask for the payments. These companies / charities are using the work and are probably unaware that it hasn't been paid for. I have proof that I did the design work and can show them that proof.

My question is:
Is it legal for me to do this? (I had no contract of any kind with 'Choose MAD')

kind regards

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

Do you know whether any of those companies have paid MAD or not?

With regard to the intellectual property/copyright of the work you did what does it say in your contract with MAD about who owns the copyright?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,


Thanks for your reply.


The model was that if the Charities signed up with MAD, and sold / auctioned MAD products, MAD would give a high percentage of the profit back to the charities.


I don't think the charities paid MAD as I think MAD offered them the 'party packs' (which I designed) free to encourage them to have jewellery parties (selling MAD jewellery).


I had no contract of any kind with 'MAD' - never signed anything. I have the original files for all the artwork and proof that MAD asked me to produce the work.


I'm more worried about MAD suing me as they won't want the charities to find out that they don't pay their suppliers. I've since found out that the man who runs it has gone bust 5 times and is very used to court procedures etc..


I hope that's enough info for you. Let me know if you need any more.


Many thanks






This is the only company I can find that is still trading

IG10 4DP
Company No. 08602954

If it is in liquidation or dissolved then all the assets including the right to any money from customers vests in the liquidator.

At that stage, they lose the right to sue you.

However they have no cause of action to sue you even if they are not in liquidation if you tell a customer that you have not been paid if that is the fact. It cannot be defamatory if it is true. It can be defamatory if you say that you have not been paid and leave it like that in isolation without mentioning that the reason that you have not been paid is because there is a substantial discount.

Nonetheless, if the company has gone bust company cannot sue you and nor can the new company because the new company has not been defamed.

They may threaten it but it would not succeed if they went to court.

If there is no agreement to the contrary then all intellectual property and copyright vests in the author which means that although they paid you to do the work and they sold it on to their customers the copyright belongs to you.

So, whilst you are not able to asked the customers to pay you for the work that MAD did not pay you for as you own the copyright/intellectual property you are able to ask them for payment to continue to use it and it is then for them to dispute that with whoever supplied the artwork to them (MAD).

Unless there was a restrictive covenant in your agreement whereby you were not supposed to poach clients notwithstanding the fact that the company may be about to go bust, they also have no cause of action to sue you for poaching clients either.

Can I clarify anything for you?

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