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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 27102
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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My business partner had £4200 worth of my equipment stolen

Customer Question

My business partner had £4200 worth of my equipment stolen from his car. The friendship has now broken down, he said he would pay me back every penny but still waiting after 2 years, where do I stand??
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: England.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have just sent him a email asking his proposals
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years experience.

  1. I am sorry to read of the above. May I clarify - was the equipment you refer to part of your then business partnership or your own personal property and nothing to do with your then business partnership?
  2. In very general terms, what was the basis he had your equipment? Had you loaned it to him to use for example?
  3. Do you have any documentation (e.g. emails, texts) confirming the list of equipment stolen, and / or its value?
  4. Would it cost £4200 roughly to replace with equipment of similar spec or age or is that the cost of brand new equipment?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
1/ We were in a business partnership which has now ended. I bought the items from my own funds at start up. 2/ He had my equipment in the back of his car overnight, he was supposed to take them in his house but didn't. 3/ yes I have detailed receipts. 4/ it would cost that to replace, which I did, again out of my own personal money...
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
I have not got £44
Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.
  1. Thanks. Have you taken any formal steps to recover the money or just relied on his word to date?
  2. Would he admit the events you describe or do you have emails/texts setting out what happened if he denied for example that he had the equipment as you say?
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
no formal steps yet, yes the crime was reported to local police and his girlfriend posted the info on social media
Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

Thank you. Finally just to revist paragraph 2 above again - do you have clear evidence then that the equipment was in his possession or texts/emails evidencing this? Essentially what I am asking is is there any realistic chance he could deny having the equipment or dispute the items he had in his possession?

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
the crime was reported to local police by himself and his girlfriend posted the info on social media that over £4000 of equipment had been stolen from the car
Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

Thanks. providing you are able to evidence (in the event that your friend attempted to deny either having the equipment at all, or alternatively dispute the inventory of equipment in his possession at the time) the equipment was in his possession and he has failed to return it, and from what you say, you believe that you could do so on the force of the social media and police reports, then you could contemplate a county court claim for recover of the cost of replacement together with interest and costs.

From what you say, you have already replaced the equipment and if this is the case, will be able to evidence the replacement cost by reference to receipts. before issuing any claim in the County Court, it is necessary to write to your friend by email or letter, adivsing him that if he fails to repay you the amount demanded that you will issue legal proceedings in the county court and give him a minimum of seven days to respond - you can choose to give longer if you wish.

if you are unable to settle the matter between you, the simplest way to issue proceedings is online at www.money claim.gov.uk. There is a fee to pay of £185 on this amount but this is recoverable if you are successful. if your friend is not replied to the claim, you can request automatic judgement after 14 days. If he defends the claim, it will be listed for hearing and a further fee of £335 would be payable (also recoverable). You can claim interest at 8% per annum on the amount demanded, the above issue costs and reasonable costs you incur in attending any hearing - travel, lost income etc within limits.

If you are able to obtain judgement, and he continues to refuse to pay, you can take a variety of enforcement actions such as appoint bailiffs, apply for deduction of earnings from income and so on. You do not need a solicitor to represent you in the small claims court.

Does the above answer all your questions? If it does, I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen before you leave JA today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
ok thanks for info, rated you 5 stars
Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

Much obliged - thank you. if I can assist any further, please don't hesitate to revert to me