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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I am currently in an uncomfortable situation. I am a

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I am currently in an uncomfortable situation.
I am a self-employed bathroom fitter and until August last year, done work for a local designer constantly over a period of two years.
I have since started up my own bathroom business, much to the dislike of my former employee.
Every opportunity he has got to discredit and humiliate me he has taken. I have received threatening and abusive emails, text messages and voicemails saying how rubbish and useless I am and how he knows where I live so I can’t hide.
Recently a client of mine posted a google review on a product they bought from him (a £6000 freestanding shower). He supplied the goods, I fitted them.
The designer has given me 7 days to get my client to withdraw his review or face the consequences.
I have also received this email:
"To whom it may concern
It has come to our attention that you are displaying photographs on your website that are the property of ...............
You have seven days to remove these images or we will commence legal action for which we will be pursuing costs and compensation.
You can respond to us direct at this email address - seven days from this date you will need to speak to our legal representative. "
The images in question are of all my own work but were taken by the company in question. I was given verbal permission to use these images before but I am guessing that after this email, that is no longer the case.
It’s really unfair that companies like this get to profit on the hard work of others. I intend going round all of the jobs in question and taking photos of my own as I am on good terms with all of these customers.
I have recently had to go to the police because I feel threatened. I am getting abusive and threatening text messages from him and they are currently investigating malicious communication. Their advice was to not reply to him.
How should I proceed?
How should I respond to this email?
He is a bully and I don't want him to walk all over me.
Regards Rowan

Hello Rowan my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Do you know who the images belong? Has permission been sought to use them?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The images were taken by his employee that works in his showroom so they are his. Im not disputing this but he had given me verbal permission. He is just trying to make my life difficult. I can go around to all the jobs in question if need be and take my own photos but I don't like being bullied by menacing demands.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I also thought Pre-Action Protocol gives you 14 days?

Indeed. Then in reality if you have been given permission at worst this person can take you to Court. You can say who and when permission was given and it would be up to a Judge to decide whether to believe you or not.

But the upshot is that he would have to take you to Court and in any event if any claim was for £10,000 or less it would be a small claim so you wouldnt need a lawyer.

Yes pre-action says generally it should be 14 days but that does not invalidate any claim. I would just respond and say you were given permission and that you are going to refuse to take him down.

Its a commercial decision for you - you can either take your own photos or call his bluff.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What should I do about the threatening demands he has made to get me to force my client to remove a google review of his product? This is absurd and I would not even dream about asking him

I agree - I just wouldnt be bullied. Just ignore it. Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Does he have to withdraw permission in writing or is that permission still standing?

Unless the permission was conditional he cant even withdraw it. I assume the permission wasnt. But yes it should be in writing. Alex

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
he has to write to me withdrawing permission? Does this make the "Notice of impending legal action" invalid? The more time I have to replace the images with my own the better so if he has given me 7 days is this legally binding?

Yes in writing and no it doesnt invalidate. It just means there is no claim. He should give you 14 days that is reasonable. Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thanks Alex, you have been very informative. One last thing, how do you think I should proceed in the future with this person as Im sure I haven't heard the end of him. What if the threatening continues?

You could report threats to Police or seek a civil injunction against him if this continues.

If I could invite you to rate my answer before you go today please, otherwise the site does not credit me for the time spent with you today. Thanks and good luck. Alex

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