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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 74364
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have a small business legal query about invoices which are

Customer Question

hello, i have a small business legal query about invoices which are unpaid.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: london
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: advised that payment needs to be made. no other steps
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: The client is advising that they are unhappy with the delivery of the work over the last 3 months. however at not point until yesterday has expressed this. we now have 2 invoices outstanding and he has asked us to reduce to the fee, which we will not do.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

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.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

How much are you owed in total and how long has it been outstanding for?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HI,
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
there are 2 invoices currently outstanding. 1 invoice is for the period of April and one for May. Yesterday the client asked us to reduce the fees. I advised we cannot do that. He then advised he wasnt happy with the work and is now asking us to reduce the fees. one invoice is already over 30 days and the other is 1 week since sending. the nature of our business means we have a contractor working in their business. the client only wants to pay the contractor rate not the margin we add on
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the value of the invoices is around 4K exlcuding VAT (£8K in total)
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Leave it with me for now, although please note it is extremely busy at present due to the ongoing situation so there may be a delay in replying, but I will get back to you at some point today. Please do not reply in the meantime. Many thanks

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Many thanks for your patience. Can I also check what do you specifically want to know about this, please before I advise?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I proceed with recovering the money
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. 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.

4. As an alternative to legal action a debtor can be issued with 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 would allow the creditor 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: https://www.gov.uk/statutory-demands/forms-to-issue-a-statutory-demand

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?

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question? You can simply reply on here with a quick ‘Yes, thanks’ and I won’t bother you again. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.

Hello, not sure if you are having trouble seeing my posts? I have not heard back from you since posting my answer and just need to know if your query has been resolved. If you could please post a quick reply to confirm I would be very grateful. Thank you