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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71154
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I signed a contract with drive dynamics in April. They wanted

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I signed a contract with drive dynamics in April. They wanted me to sign a 12 month and I refused and said I would only sign a 6 month one which I did. When I read the Contract it said 3 months notice was required, so in July I sent me notice in which they accepted. A couple of weeks ago they contacted me to say that my leaving date would be January 2016 because the 3 months notice is required after the 6 month contract. Can they do this to me because I now have to pay them nearly £2000 and I will get no work from them.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Did they guarantee a specific amount of work?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

As far as I am aware the guarantee you 50 pupils in a year, I would say in the last 8 months of being with them I have had around 25

Is that guarantee conditional upon anythinng?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

On the contract it states that they will use reasonable endeavours to provide 50 enquiries from potential pupils over a 52 week period. But, on the term of the 6 month contract it says ' the agreement shall start on the 13/04/2015 and continue for an initial fixed period of 6 months, then it says ' thereafter this agreement shall continue until either party terminates it by giving the other not less than 3 months written notice of termination. I believe that the way this is worded could be interpreted in a few different ways. As far as I understand I must do the 6 months contract period but nothing states that I can't hand my notice in during this time. I have done 3 months and handed my notice of 3 months which means that I will finish in October at the end of the 6 month contract. Surely if I am allowed to hand my notice in inside them 6 months because I can't see anything on the contract stating that I am not allowed to hand my notice in during that time.

I am really sorry but I cannot agree with that.
Contracts are often unclear and you can take advantage of that but this says that this is a fixed agreement of six months which is generally interpreted by the courts to mean that notice cannot be given. Thereafter it demands three months notice. In any event, use of the word 'thereafter' could not be clearer.
The question is whether they are in breach of a material term striking at the heart of the contract and therefore repudiating the contract. it is unclear here what is guaranteed. On the one hand they guarantee you 50 pupils but then they seem to qualify that with saying no more than that they must make 'reasonable endeavours'. If it is the former then they are clearly in breach. Whether it is a material term is another matter. You would certainly be entitled to claim compensation but it might not be sufficient to allow cancellation.
In the light of your claim against them they might not pursue a claim against you. The onus will be upon them to do so and although they may be aggressive debt collectors whether they will sue is another matter.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Could you just clarify what you mean by a breach of a material striking term and where they are clearly in breach of contract please. Sorry for the questions but I just need everything clear. Thanks

Something that strikes at the very heart of the contract. A good example would be a mobile phone provider with no coverage at all ever.
If they weren't providing any pupils at all then you would certainly get over the hurdle. You may anyway but it is a risk.
It is not all that likely that they would sue.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Just one last question please, so if they have stopped supplying pupils now that they know that i wish to leave, and I am supposed to pay them until january 2016 then is that a breach of contract on there side, otherwise I have to pay them for 6 months knowing that I will not receive anything for the money that I am paying them.

If they have stopped supplying pupils completely then you do have a challenge on the basis of a breach of a material term.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you very much

No problem and all the best.
Remember that I am always available to help with your questions. Even if I am in Court I will usually pick up a question within 12 hours. For future information, please start your question with ‘For Jomo1972’.