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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3844
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I own property in London. I live in South Africa. I have

Customer Question

I own property in London. I live in South Africa. I have to pay income tax on the property in London. In April 2015, I asked a firm of accountants in London (namely "Taxagility") to complete my tax returns for the year of 2014/2015. Taxagility then sent me a letter by way of email to me in South Africa, with my South African residential address on it. In that letter, they set out their terms of business. They required GBP 600.00 for the work. They did not require that I sign it, nor send a deposit.
I then agreed to their terms of business and asked them to proceed with the work. They failed to complete satisfactory tax returns, despite every effort on my part to provide them with the correct information, to the extent that I had to employ another firm of accountants to attend to my tax matters in order that I would not miss the deadline for filing.
Yesterday, "Taxagility" instituted proceedings from England in the small claims court and they claimed that I owed them the money set out in the claim, with an additional GBP 200. My question is; in which country was the contract concluded? Where should the matter be heard? In a court in England, or in South Africa?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. As the matter relates to a service concerning English tax affairs in relation to English property (and presumably their terms of business contain a jurisdiction or choice of law clause - can you confirm this?) they are entitled to commence proceedings in England - they also know you have property here and income here that they can enforce any Judgment against, if they won the claim. On the flip side you do have a counterclaim against them for (i) Potentially Professional Negligence and (ii) Under the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 - S.13 - and breach of the implied obligation to provide a service with reasonable care and skill. I would note that even if there was a jurisdiction issue, the amount of time and money it would cost you to challange the jurisdiction would make it completely futile (as you would certainly not recover the time or money spent) - you are better off just disposing of the matter in the UK Courts. Kind regards AJ