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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 60581
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have a client who has been dodging my attempts to increase

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Hi I have a client who has been dodging my attempts to increase the agreed pay structure despite the hours increasing threefold over the last couple of months. I have had it now invoice them for those extra hours in retrospect explaining the reason and the fact I have been trying to bring this up. My problem is they were introduced through another client (his wife) who have now over the last few month taken over my business and are still asking me to work despite not having paid anything towards the outstanding balance. Can I cut work for them and take them to court for the currently outstanding 3600 this is killing my business.
Assistant: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Newbury England
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I have emailed them both saying that I cannot continue work until and agreement for extra hours is made and some of the outstanding balance paid. But they are calling up mad that I have not started the work today despite them not having paid.
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: It is getting nasty now and these two clients are now my sole clients this is risking my whole business and sole income of a single parent family. I’m now racking up debt and cannot pay my assistant who has been waiting for half of her salary since the 30th sept.

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

How long has this been owed to you for?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
I’ve invoiced them the extra hours for August and September on the 21st of September

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. You can indeed consider stopping any work with them, although you should check the contract to see if there is any notice period you are due to give in order to do so. If no contract exists, or no notice period is stipulated, you should still give them some reasonable notice, which is considered to be fair (e.g. equal to the invoicing period for example).

In terms of pursuing them for the money you believe they owe, If a party wishes to pursue another for a debt arising out of a dispute between them, they can do so by making a claim in the civil courts. As legal action should ideally be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve lawyers or the courts. These can be summarised below and it is recommended the following procedure is followed to try and progress this matter further:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time, usually 7 to 14 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 pursue them for the debt in question. 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. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Once the claim form is completed a copy will be sent to the other side and they will have a limited time to defend it. Once they are aware that legal proceedings have commenced it may also force them to reconsider their position and perhaps prompt them to contact you to try and resolve this.

As a final tip, it is always advisable to keep copies of any correspondence sent and received as the courts would like to refer to it if it ever gets that far.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** no contract but verbal agreements and a trail of, mostly unanswered/acknowledged emails on my part.
Customer: replied 10 days ago.
But I have proof of all the work done and requested

Ok that should not affect the legal position, in a sense that you can still rely on all of that to challenge them and take it further – a formal contract is not legally needed

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Thank you, I’m awaiting a ‘good faith’ payment of half the outstanding invoice for me to continue working but the are still just pushing for the work. At this point even if they pay I don’t want to continue working with them.

No worries, if you can get at least some money for now that would be a good outcome so push for that

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