. An undertaking is quite innocuous document but the ramifications of it are extremely serious and far-reaching. All you need is a letter from the solicitor with the word “we undertake” and then whatever it is that you are asking for. In many firms only partners can give undertakings. A breach of an undertaking is an extremely serious matter. The solicitor will be severely disciplined for breaching it.
It’s not something that you would have known about, it’s not something that you would have had to sign, it’s just between solicitors.
The Small Claims Court limit is GBP10,000 and with the court costs it takes it over GBP10,000 and therefore the winner would normally get their costs paid by the loser.
It would be the buyer that takes you to court although they cannot take you to court for breach of contract because there is no mention of this in the contract.
You both have negligence claims against your respective solicitors.
How this plays out really depends to a great extent on how bullish they want to be in getting the full amount and how bullish you want to be in defending. As I said, it’s not one that I would be rushing to court over thinking that I was going to automatically win.
With regard to not agreeing to pay for the works in your own pocket at a later date, that’s just semantics because whilst you agree to the retention, the mathematical effect is the same. You have GBP10,000 more than you agreed albeit that it wasn’t in the contract.
It is the omission from the contract and the promise to do this, outside the contract which makes it 1 Which a county court judge will have to decide if you cannot agree between you.