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Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Experience:  Solicitor
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Jo, I have a consulting agreement with a client and the

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Hi Jo, I have a consulting agreement with a client and the client stopped paying me without further comment about 28 months ago. the agreement provides for a monthly retainer which has not been paid since June 2018. I have provided some reduced services ie looking after some of the clients assets in the meantime. Now the client suddenly re-appeared and is asking me for services again and also wants me to return the assets. Can offset the outstainding retainers for the past 28 months against the value of the assets I hold?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: London
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: none
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I could send a copy of the agreement for review.
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I just uploaded the consulting agreement
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I am still waiting for an answer. Will it be coming soon?

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will help you. I am just reviewing your question. Hopefully, we can get this resolved quickly.

Yes, you can offset sums against assets you own and/or sue for the sums.

You need to write a letter, set out your losses and request payment within 30 days or say you will go to Court. This is called a pre-action protocol letter of claim. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy. You must give 30 days warning before going to Court.

If they do not pay you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value, you would need representation for trial.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today, please?

If you need anything further I am available for a follow up at no extra cost.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Hi Jamie, thank you for your answer. Did you have a look at the consulting agreement I uploaded?
I would like to know if it makes a difference if I have sent monthly invoices for the whole time or not. I had sent the June 2018 invoice for £38,553 and have asked repeatedly for this to be paid - it remains unpaid. I did not send further invoices as I was unable to locate the client. He is in Thailand now he told me. Should I now send an invoice for the time period July 2019 to October 2020 totalling up the outstanding consulting retainers?
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Also, I currently do not have an address for the client. The contracting company was a Maltese Ltd. should I send the pre-process letter there?

I did have a quick look. You should send an invoice from July19 - October 2020, yes.

You need to have an address to issue, but serve on Maltese Ltd

Does that assist?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Futhermore: The assets I hold were bought with funds provided by the client. I already sold for cash some of the assets in April 2019 to cover outstanding liabilities by the client to me as well as potential third party fees I was facing due to a service contract I entered on behalf of the client. The question is: was I allowed to sell the assets without the clients consent?
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
are you still looking at this?

You can only sell without consent if the agreement permits you.

The agreement would say whether you can or can not.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
the agreement did not say anything about me being permitted the sell the asset. If I sold the asset to cover cost anyhow and the asset is now much more valuable, what are the legal rights the client might have against me?

They would have a claim for that cost, as you would against outstanding sums.

Does that assist?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
I am not clear about your answer. Let's say I bought the asset with the client funds for £10,000 and held them. Then the client disappeared and I had obligations I had to meet on behalf of the client amounting to £8,000 that were due on April 25th 2019. I had no cash from the client left to meet the obligations but I had the opportunity to sell the assets I held for £7500. So I sold them for this amount. Now in October 2020 the assets are worth £50,000 - but I do not have them anymore. What claim does the client have against me?

It would be for the £50,000 as you had not served a notice saying you were going to sell them or it was not in the agreement.

If you just sold them without notice, then there would be a claim against you.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Can I offset this claim against the unpaid retainers the client owes me for the past 28 months?

Offset - yes.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
if I still have part of the asset I was holding for the client, I can withhold this until all my other claims are paid?

You can. Does that assist?

I was just following up to see if there is anything else I can assist you with today? If so, just let me know.

If not, then I am happy to have been able to assist you.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Hi Jaime, thank you for your answers so far and sorry for the delay. I do have some futher questions

My pleasure

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hi Jamie, I have question: Does the claim against the assets I bought survive if the company that has the claim against me for the assets goes bankrupt?
What is the result if the company (client) is not trading anymore or if it was struck off in the meantime. Does the claim survive?

No, if the Company is bankrupt then the claim does not survive.

Does that assist?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
how can i find out if a maltese limited company is bankrupt?

As a UK lawyer, I have no idea sadly.

You would perhaps need to post a new question for that.

I hope that helps.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
another question please: coming back to the asset question: If I sold the asset without the client's consent only because I had no way of reaching the client at the time, does this change anything?

Yes. You needed consent unless you can prove you emailed and had posted them letters.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I have mailed a letter and have a witness to prove this but did not recieve a reply

Ok. Thanks for the update.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
the question is: does this qualify as proof that I tried to reach him? And if so, does it mean I then only need to return the proceeds from the sale of the asset or whatever is left?

Ok. If you explicitly said you would sell the items you are ok.

Does that assist?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
thank you!

My pleasure

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
1. do I have an obligation to the client to give him a full accounting regarding the asset before he pays outstanding retainers?
2. Client is asking for the return of the proceed from the sale of the assets and what is left. Can I withhold this until all outstanding retainers and expenses have been paid?

1. Yes you do

2. Yes you can

Does that help?

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