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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71134
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have a client who has reneged on terms to settle

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I have a client who has reneged on terms to settle and close their account further to us providing a copy of their work (an app)
The client has stated invoices are not due as some have dates, however settlement was agreed separately in an email as part of a 50/50 payment terms on handover.
They have now gone on holiday and have said they will not do anything to close until they are back, at the earliest.
What can we do?
How much do they owe?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Not much, £561 but the principle has irked me, they are very litigious and not very nice to deal with. We made the agreement in good faith to close, however they are delaying which I find unreasonable
Ok. Did you agree a payment date?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We agreed by close of the week (11th Sept) and we had supplied the work by then. They said they would need to confirm all with their 'source' who raised a number of spurious questions (seemingly to delay). I responded to all nevertheless and in doing so was told that he (the client) would then need to check with his solicitor but was away for 2 weeks (back 12th October)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This is the main thread (the most recent email is at the top, I sent this morning):Justin/Jane,Please revisit below email thread without further delay as handover is already complete and terms very overdue. Maintaining resource for this continues to be costly for us as a small agency and my availability will become increasingly limited.TG has endeavoured to close in the spirit of the original agreement accepting 50/50 payment terms to undertake a final process as outlined in advance by DL:1: Log in details for the apple developer account / iTunes Connect
2: Take down the app
3: To transfer our domain name and hosting to our 1and1 account and to re-upload the website there (details to follow)
4: Provide us with a copy of the codebase (iOS app, app server, website and any master Photoshop/graphics files), distributed to us as private repositories via Bit Bucket. (I will shortly provide you with the login details via sms.Despite closing off twice with Tun Shwe we received a further email from DL on Thursday 24th September 2015 to state everything had been received yet was said to be incomplete; this is incorrect:I specifically am looking for the Java source files that have been compiled and distributed in the iMatcherSrc.jarAll files were exported and packaged from the working app and provided CLASS files will run the service, themselves implicitly containing all java source code and script referred to in points 1-3 utilising OpenCV Library. For the avoidance of doubt (and to be extremely clear) Part 1 is as confirmed. Part 2 where the web servlet application code is written to accept images from the user is in the main directory of the ZIP file archive. Part 3 is in the Util folder; this includes all of the background processing and the main image matching implementation. This is everything.These full app design & source code files were packaged and transferred to DL by Friday 11th September 2015 as was agreed. There are no inconsistencies on addendum; we have already distributed the full work to Tun Shwe whilst responding to questions.It is also noted that DL have already utilised the MVP development work for its proposed purposes of securing onward investment and to demo the app concept and functions to Alton Brook, Jab and others in the industry. In review of the prolonging of tasks by DL there is now an emerging concern for us regarding the motivation here as we have operated in good faith to conclude matters as agreed without reciprocation.DL has since reneged on closing handover and continue to delay matters despite taking possession of all agreed work including domain name, website, emails, CMS, Apple Developer account, image function source code, algorithms, script library, app workflows, PSD design files and raw source code IP over two weeks ago.***** ***** | Managing DirectorScreen Shot 2015-03-02 at 16.23.29.pnge ***@******.***
t (###) ###-####4936
m 0754(###) ###-####
Follow us @trendgravityThis email was intended only for the named recipient - views and ideas expressed herein are private and confidential, the property of Trend Gravity Ltd. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure you enjoy this email Trend Gravity Ltd shall not be liable for boredom. No pixels were lost in the sending of this email. This email shall self-destruct in 3, 2, 1.Reg No.(###) ###-####| Reg Office. 145-157 St. John Street, London, EC1V 4PWOn 9 Sep 2015, at 14:27, Justin Kandiah wrote:Please can you confirm that you agree to the payment terms of 50% balance after confirmation of handover.Please also confirm copies of invoices requested can be forwarded.Then we can accept, and hopefully close this week including all payments.On 9 Sep 2015, at 12:33, ***** ***** wrote:Justin/Jane,All requests of us have been responded to in good time.Revised invoice & statement of overdue account attached to facilitate this settlement without delay.To proceed we require your acceptance and agreement of INV000199 based upon provision of:* Cancellation of services provided.
* Unlock of domain name for transfer.
* Supply of app raw source codeThis will conclude any relationship or claim between DesignLife App and Trend Gravity.Please confirm.***** ***** | Managing DirectorOn 8 Sep 2015, at 17:08, Justin Kandiah wrote:Gary,Having reviewed this with the solicitor today I have decided to accept this as the final conditions except that:
We will not pay for the domain name release fee which was purchased for us under invoice reference INV000098 unless you can explain what work this requires from you not covered under 'copy and transfer administration'
We would pay 50% now and 50% balance upon confirmation from our source that all aspects of the requested transfer are complete.
Ok. Thanks.
What I need to know is whether you agreed a payment date?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We agreed payment by the end of the week - 11th September - once all had been sent over
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Which it was
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The point is that this is being perpetually delayed, after we have provided everything
I presume that you haven't sent her anything warning of the risk of being sued?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Nope, nothing of the sort
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They have been extremely litigious throughout however
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But I am running out of options and feel bullied here
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They have often boasted about 'having a very good lawyer'
Thank you.
They may well have a very good lawyer but that does not change the law.
Clearly you are owed this money. They are in breach of your agreement by not making payments.
The only way to force payments however is to sue. This is a small claims sum and so it would be cheap and easy to issue against them.
I would normally suggest sending them a letter before action first though. It might be ignored but it protects you from costs. I realise they are away and they are already late but it would still be a good idea to do this. It just needs to say that they need to make payment within 14 days or you will sue and seek costs and interest against them.
That might well lead to more threats but I wouldn't worry about that. However badly they behave they have still received a service and are liable to pay for it.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Jo, thank you. I appreciate that very much :)I am just concerned they are going to raise all sorts of legal challenges against me which are much more severe (with their amazing lawyer etc etc)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am pretty much a one man band coordinating a number of other developers and this is putting a real strain on me; I have provided everything in good faith but they keep citing an addendum for the project work (which was signed off and concluded on the 26th March 2015 at a final project meeting).
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We have not breached any agreement and the addendum formed a separate agreement for the actual work development, which was signed off at each stage. The current handover agreement is separate.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Attached is the addendum, but I don't think this is relevant as already signed off
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The current agreement is for hosting only, which is as per the previous messages
Well, they may do that.
It is quite unlikely that whatever they raise they are going to get a court to say that they don't have to pay for a service they have received.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Okay. But then I have a bigger problem to face in court...
Sorry, not sure what you mean?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well if they raise technicalities within said addendum I could just be tied up by their 'excellent lawyer'
It is quite unlikely that whatever they raise they are going to get a court to say that they don't have to pay for a service they have received.
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK, thanks.