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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I recently referred business to a Web design company worth

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I recently referred business to a Web design company worth £220K - I was assured by my first contact at this company that 10-20% referral fee would be payable I later negotiated with the MD to give me a contract for services worth £5KPM in lieu of this
fee. He is now reneging and refuses to pay me anything. I have no written contract - do I have a case?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I should add that I have a Skype conversation and emails which, whilst they don't precisely nail down ta deal, nonetheless illustrate copious activity between us to consummate the business between the agency and my client, and make my expectations clear.
The lack of written contract does not mean you have no rights in this situation. A legally binding contract may exist anyway because a contract could be implied in law, even if nothing in writing existed. For example, a contract could exist as a result of a verbal conversation, correspondence in writing, etc. What you need to show is that there was an offer by one party, i.e. they had offered you something specific, like the fees or the service agreement and you had in turn accepted it. In general this would create a binding contract. It is not necessary for any formal language to be used, or for your conversation to have specifically referred to an acceptance and the general nature of the exchange will be considered as long as it is clear that you had both agreed on some terms.
So you do have a case to take forward. If you want to consider taking this further, then whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps:
1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due.
2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action.
3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this.
Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far.
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I've been to the site suggested: but the fee is huge!! 5% of the claim. What's it for exactly??
Money claim is the portal for the county court. You are paying the courts to deal with the claim, there are many expenses associated with that - admin fees, judge time , sending correspondence to the other side etc
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