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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 63450
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Client withheld money, uk, None. It was 2 years ago, and Ive

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client withheld money
JA: Where is the client? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: uk
JA: What steps has the client taken so far?
Customer: None. It was 2 years ago, and Ive just discovered he hasnt had the work he said he was having carried out.But now Ive asked, he said he is having it done and I will be paying
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

How much are you owed? Please note I am mobile today so may not be able to reply until later today thanks

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Two years ago I completed a bathroom for a client, the relationship soured as the work took 8 weeks instead of the four that I had estimated. In what I felt was a fit of pique, he said he was keeping the final £1400 (of £8000), and would use it to have various jobs re-done, much of it seemed to be nit-picking. I left it at that, but recently (this week) asked him for the receipts for the jobs so I could claim the loss against my tax. He initially prevaricated, leading me to susupect he hadnt had the work carried out. After an email exchange, he revealed that he indeed hadnt had the work done, and appeared angered that I had caught him out. He is now saying he wants the bathroom re-tiled at my expense, and is threatening to invoke a solicitor. I am now considering re-invoicing him, and the claiming the amount off him through MCOL. Would you recommend this course of action, or has he legal legs to stand on?

Many thanks for your patience. He would only really have a leg to stand on if he can show that you did indeed finish the work to an unreasonable standard and it had (or at least would have) cost him extra to resolve these issues. In the end it is a question of fact so you may find that whilst you may not necessarily recover the full amount, it would still be something.


Moving forward, If a party wishes to pursue another for financial compensation 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 compensation 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 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.


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