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Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6750
Experience:  Solicitor
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I have a claim on a company via the small claims track. It

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I have a claim on a company via the small claims track.
It went to mediation
The defendant failed to pay in accordance with the agreement
I obtained an order from the County Court Business Centre for the full amount
I the issued a request for warrant of control on the company (mentioning that the owner's name and address might be helpful in recovering the sum.
Have now received a counter claim citing no personal contract with claimant, no privity of contract and regarding claim as vexacious and an abuse of the system.
I am a layman. What is the next step?
This company (and also known as) seems to have a long history of liquidations.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Please can you provide some background on the case so that I can advise. Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am a sole trader with a tiny turnover publishing specialist books on real tennis. Trading as Ronaldsons Publications.
I placed an order with The Printing House for standard editions and special editions for delivery in Nov last year. The former arrived late, the latter never arrived and it was claimed they were "lost". Subsequently it is clear they were never printed. I then went to a third party to have the special editions produced (by canabalising some of the standard editions).
After many attempts to recover some of the additional costs I eventually submitted a small claim for £3550. This was disputed so I went to mediation to save cost and stress. Settled with a mediated agreement of £2500 to be paid in instalments. THP's mediation party was Neill Stuart Malcolm John. THP failed to pay according to the schedule (only £150 ever received) so I asked for a court order for the full amount to be paid immediately. No result so then I requested a warrant of Control against The Printing House (possibly now known as House Print Ltd). I added a note to the bailiff that I believed the owner was Neil Stuart Malcolm John and gave his address in Wales and pointed out the the Director of the company was Clair Hunnisett of the same address. This has now prompted the counterclaim for the claim to be struck down. I also think that House Print Ltd is being wound up (in liquidation) although the company which was doing this for House Print has withdrawn its services.
On on line search reveals that John and Hunisett have left a trail of companies in the last 9 years. It is not so much the money but the fact that these people continue to trade.

OK, thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you at the earliest opportunity. There is no need to wait here as you will receive an email when I have responded. Also, please do not responded to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you.

I have looked into your query in more detail but unfortunately it is not something I can assist with. I will therefore ‘opt out’ and a colleague better placed to deal with the nature of your query should hopefully pick this up soon. Please do not reply in the meantime as that will just assign the question back to me and you will experience a delay. Thank you

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

For now please let me know how much is being claimed please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Jamie, The mediated amount agreed to be paid by The Printing House was £2500. They have paid £150.
The counter claim names Neill Stuart Malcolm John as the defendant. Not sure who, or what step, made him the defendant rather than THP. I have attached a scan of the N149A and N9B received this week.

Not sure who, or what step, made him the defendant rather than THP.

I dont understand what this means?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My mediation was with The Printing House (also known as House Print Ltd). Neill Stuart Malcolm John was the person who participated in the mediated agreement. However, the court order was to THP not Neill Stuart Malcolm John and the subsequent Warrant of Control was also directed at the organisation not the individual. However if you look at the scan I attached the CCBC now lists the individual as the defendant (as does the law firm sending the counter claim in to the CCBC).
Does this mean that the CCBC considers a breach in mediation to move the onus on to the individual rather than the organisation?

Ok, there are 2 claims.

One for Claimant v Print House

Then one from Neill Stuart Malcolm John against the Claimant.

If you already have Judgment on the main claim in default then the matter will just proceed on the counter claim.

Imagine they are 2 separate claims.

Then it will each go through the normal process, be allocated to track and then heard by a Judge

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
w.r.t. counter claim the N180 gives me 3 options
a) ignore it - risk the original claim could be struck out
b) contest it in court - additional stress, cost and time
c) agree to mediation - additional cost, stress and time
Surely the counter claim should not be allowed to affect the validity of the original claim/breach/court order as they concern separate defendants.
If THP/HousePrint is being liquidated it could all be a waste of time.
My instinct is to write a letter to CCBC setting out the circumstances rather than be driven by the rigidity of the N180.

But there is a counter claim, you need to apply to strike it out if you dont think it is valid.

You have those 3 options - yes

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To get it struck down do I have to counter claim myself or just write to CCBC asking that it is?

You have to make a formal application using form N244:

There is a Court fee of £255 to pay, which you get back if you win

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Shades of Bleak House!

I have no idea what that means I am afraid. Can I help with anything else today?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I thought every lawyer would have read this famous Charles Dickens novel about the English legal system in Victorian times. The case in the novel spans generations and bankrupts the plaintiffs and the defendants.My disappointment is that the Small Claims track doesn't seem to work without laying out more money at every step in the process and that it is easily obstructed by counter claiming.
Not sure you can help with this any more.

It is not required reading at Law School or Solicitor School.

If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, otherwise the site does not pay me for the time spent with you today. Thank you in advance and good luck!

Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6750
Experience: Solicitor
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