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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Subcontractors agreement not signed by me the subbie can the

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subcontractors agreement not signed by me the subbie can the contractor start using clauses in that contract with it being not signed. refusing to pay for jobs as im not following clause but has not ask for this on other jobs he has paid on, i never signed any contracts on any other work that he has paid nor as he ask for these clauses now before

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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
hi ben whats your take on this, refusing to pay for work now and using clauses in his sub contractor agreement that ive never signed any of them nor as he ask me for documentation that ihe is asking for now, contradicts himself

Hi there. How long has money been owed to you and please can you also tell me whether the contractor has asked for you to sign and return the agreement to them?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
money been owed on jobs for over 3 months sub contractor agreement states at botttom i need to sign and give back before work commences, never signed any others before and his paid. now we have ended working relationship he has now using clauses in contract which ive never signed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
got to pick daughter up from school back in 20 mins

OK thank you, ***** ***** it with me. I am in court for the remainder of today so will prepare my advice in a while and 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. Thank you.

Many thanks for your patience. A contract can be legally binding even if it has not been signed by the parties. There could be an implied acceptance to its terms if all parties were issued with a copy of it and were aware of its contents and had started to work under its terms. So for example, if you were given a copy of the contract and had started to do the jobs under it and to receive pay as per its terms or adhere to any other of its clauses, there could be an implied acceptance by you to this contract even if you had not signed it. So a formal signature is not always required for the contract to be legally binding and enforceable.

Saying that it does not mean you should just accept the situation and if needed you can challenge the other party’s actions and try to apply some pressure to get them to change their tactics and to pay you, at least for some of the work. Whilst you can go to court if needed, this should be a last resort and in the meantime there are other steps you can follow if needed to try and twist their arm a bit.

This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have on taking this further, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** hasn't followed his own contract as he has never ask for tool box talks or any other documentation, one clause states a site folder would be given for every job which has never happened on any jobs, so he in himself is contradicting his own contract if you have a contract surely you would need to adhere to all terms and clauses set out in it.

Hi there, yes you are correct that both parties need to adhere to the contract – it is not possible for one party to just pick and choose the terms they want to apply and ignore the rest, it is an all or nothing approach really. So if the employer has failed to follow their part of the contract they can be accused of being in breach of contract in the first place, making the whole contract void and therefore not being able to rely on the remaining terms as a result.

If you wanted to pursue him for the money owed, 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. Before you consider starting legal action you may wish to consider sending a formal statutory demand. This is a legal request which asks the debtor to pay the outstanding debt within 21 days and failure to do so will allow you to bankrupt the debtor (if they are an individual ) or wind up the company (if they are a business). For the relevant forms to serve a statutory demand see here:

4. If you wish to go down the legal route instead of a statutory demand, 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.