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  • FIRST POST
    • bery_451
    • By bery_451 15th Dec 17, 4:24 PM
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    bery_451
    I E Legal Solicitors formal demand letter advice
    • #1
    • 15th Dec 17, 4:24 PM
    I E Legal Solicitors formal demand letter advice 15th Dec 17 at 4:24 PM
    Hi,

    I received a letter via email from the above legal firm today. They are demanding £8000 on behalf of their window company client.

    Our main dispute ground is that their client has breached the contract by asking payment upfront from us before completion. They left the job half complete and unsatisfactory.

    The 2 page letter from the legal firm can be seen in the link below:

    https://imgur.com/a/8ZaGR

    From this what are our choices? Am i obliged to reply back to the letter or do I have the right to ignore it? If I reply back do I acknowledge the alleged debt with them and enter a contract?

    How does this work and what is the sensible way legally to deal with this as I do not want to go through the hassles of courts even though I believe I have a strong dispute case defence.

    Can I kindly request MOD to relocate this thread to CAB debt board as I tried to post their earlier.

    Much appreciated,
    Last edited by bery_451; 15-12-2017 at 4:26 PM.
Page 4
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 5th Feb 18, 3:25 PM
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    unholyangel
    No-win-no-fee arrangements are usually only for claimants on the basis that the costs are recoverable from the other side if you win. You won't be able to find a no-win-no-fee solicitor working on this model as the Defendant.

    You could investigate seeing the CAB or any legal clinics in your area.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    They changed all that in april 2013. Now, if you use a NWNF you can no longer recover your costs from the other side, they must be paid from any amount you are awarded (although are capped at 25%).

    They changed it because they said it wasn't fair that the claimant assumed no risk win or lose and because parties are less inclined to keep costs down when the other party is paying. Which is also why they changed the rules on which costs are recoverable. Previously if costs were reasonable and necessary, you could recover them if you won. Now, they must be reasonable, necessary and proportionate to the sum in issue.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • bery_451
    • By bery_451 5th Feb 18, 3:57 PM
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    bery_451
    Ok

    As I mentioned earlier about the window company leaving us with only half the items yet they are claiming for the full amount of £8000. Can I negotiate with the window company to ask them to review revise their £8000 claim to reflect this before possible settlement?

    If window company decides to lower their claim amount then afterwards can i use my counterclaim amount to offset against the new claim amount? Can the window company allowed at any point change their revised claim amount to the original claim amount?
    • DoaM
    • By DoaM 5th Feb 18, 4:51 PM
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    DoaM
    As I read it ... you've changed the wording but still asked the same question. You've already had the answer as to what you can claim.
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    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 5th Feb 18, 4:56 PM
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    unholyangel
    Ok

    As I mentioned earlier about the window company leaving us with only half the items yet they are claiming for the full amount of £8000. Can I negotiate with the window company to ask them to review revise their £8000 claim to reflect this before possible settlement?

    If window company decides to lower their claim amount then afterwards can i use my counterclaim amount to offset against the new claim amount? Can the window company allowed at any point change their revised claim amount to the original claim amount?
    Originally posted by bery_451
    Either someone similar has posted the exact same problem, theres more threads than the 2 mentioned here or replies have been deleted from your earlier threads as I'm pretty sure you were previously advised exactly what you could claim for and you had the same reaction then - trying to look for any way possible to get out of paying the original company another penny.

    You have a basis for withholding the amount required to put the works right/have them finished as per the original contract. Anything over that amount should have been paid to the original company because breaching a contract does not mean you forfeit everything paid/done up until that point. You cannot punish a party purely for breaching a contract - they're liable for the costs incurred by that breach (save for the rules on remoteness, causation and mitigation) and no more. Theres no entitlement to betterment
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 5th Feb 18, 6:18 PM
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    steampowered
    They changed all that in april 2013. Now, if you use a NWNF you can no longer recover your costs from the other side, they must be paid from any amount you are awarded (although are capped at 25%).
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    To be clear, this is true in relation to the success uplift which a NWNF solicitor would charge. You can still recover the rest of your costs in the usual way.

    For example, if in a personal injury claim a NWNF solicitor charges £10,000 with a 25% success uplift, the claimant could still recover the £10,000 from the other side (subject to that being reasonable/necessary/proportionate) but would have to pay the £2,500 uplift from their award.

    Either way the Op is the Defendant and this would be a small claims track claim which generally doesn't allow for meaningful legal costs to be recovered from the other side, so this is not directly relevant for the Op.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 5th Feb 18, 6:23 PM
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    steampowered
    As I mentioned earlier about the window company leaving us with only half the items yet they are claiming for the full amount of £8000. Can I negotiate with the window company to ask them to review revise their £8000 claim to reflect this before possible settlement?
    Originally posted by bery_451
    Absolutely. It is certainly possible to negotiate with the window company. In fact is a jolly good idea.

    The best way to do this would be to write a letter (or email, if you have the correct contact) headed 'without prejudice save as to costs' stating your settlement offer. In the letter you could very briefly explain why you consider the settlement offer to be reasonable.

    A settlement offer cannot be used against you as evidence in court proceedings (except after the main issue has been decided, if someone claims that a costs order should be made because the other side behaved unreasonably, then the court could consider whether a party unreasonably failed to engage in settlement discussions).

    If window company decides to lower their claim amount then afterwards can i use my counterclaim amount to offset against the new claim amount? Can the window company allowed at any point change their revised claim amount to the original claim amount?
    Settlement negotiations cannot be used as evidence in court proceedings, subject to the caveat described above. Settlement negotiations are only binding if there is a clear 'offer' and 'acceptance'.

    If the case does not settle, you may expect the window company to claim for the full £8k.

    Of course, you would then counterclaim for the amount you had to spend fixing their shoddy work.

    It is possible for the window company to amend the claim later, but not easy - it would normally mean they have to apply to court to explain why they need to change their claim (and you would get an opportunity to amend your Defence/Counterclaim in response).
    • bery_451
    • By bery_451 5th Feb 18, 6:43 PM
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    • 31 Thanks
    bery_451
    Absolutely. It is certainly possible to negotiate with the window company. In fact is a jolly good idea.

    The best way to do this would be to write a letter (or email, if you have the correct contact) headed 'without prejudice save as to costs' stating your settlement offer. In the letter you could very briefly explain why you consider the settlement offer to be reasonable.

    A settlement offer cannot be used against you as evidence in court proceedings (except after the main issue has been decided, if someone claims that a costs order should be made because the other side behaved unreasonably, then the court could consider whether a party unreasonably failed to engage in settlement discussions).



    Settlement negotiations cannot be used as evidence in court proceedings, subject to the caveat described above. Settlement negotiations are only binding if there is a clear 'offer' and 'acceptance'.

    If the case does not settle, you may expect the window company to claim for the full £8k.

    Of course, you would then counterclaim for the amount you had to spend fixing their shoddy work.

    It is possible for the window company to amend the claim later, but not easy - it would normally mean they have to apply to court to explain why they need to change their claim (and you would get an opportunity to amend your Defence/Counterclaim in response).
    Originally posted by steampowered
    Ok lets say for example my possible settlement offer is £3000 considering I already paid £2000 bringing total settlement to £5000.

    As I already mentioned earlier window company only supplied and fitted approx half the items from the contract hence my settlement offer is £5000 instead of the full £10000.

    If the window company accept my offer of £3000 then after that can I offset what it cost me to put right their breach of contract? So lets say it costed me £6500 to put right their breach of contract then does that mean window company owes me £1500 and if window company doesn't pay then can I counter claim at court with the latest negotiation figures?
    • MobileSaver
    • By MobileSaver 5th Feb 18, 8:45 PM
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    MobileSaver
    If the window company accept my offer of £3000 then after that can I offset what it cost me to put right their breach of contract?
    Originally posted by bery_451
    No, any settlement accepted would only be on the basis of "full and final". Think about this logically, if you were able to agree a "settlement" and then go back and ask them for more then obviously the window company could accept your settlement and then once you'd paid it ask for more... that's not how it works for obvious reasons.

    You need to simply offer them a full and final settlement based on whatever the difference is between the original price quoted, what you've already paid them and what you paid the second company. Stick to this and in the unlikely event of it getting to court you would be the one seen as being reasonable. Based on what you've told us so far this should be a simple case to defend so don't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by being unreasonable with your settlement or spurious counter claims.
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    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 5th Feb 18, 8:48 PM
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    steampowered
    Ok lets say for example my possible settlement offer is £3000 considering I already paid £2000 bringing total settlement to £5000.

    As I already mentioned earlier window company only supplied and fitted approx half the items from the contract hence my settlement offer is £5000 instead of the full £10000.

    If the window company accept my offer of £3000 then after that can I offset what it cost me to put right their breach of contract? So lets say it costed me £6500 to put right their breach of contract then does that mean window company owes me £1500 and if window company doesn't pay then can I counter claim at court with the latest negotiation figures?
    Originally posted by bery_451
    Any settlement should take into account your counterclaim.

    You can't reasonably negotiate a settlement based on making partial payment and then raise a counterclaim.
    • bery_451
    • By bery_451 6th Feb 18, 4:07 PM
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    • 31 Thanks
    bery_451
    Ok understood I keep you guys updated. Hopefully be faster than the Brexit negotiations lol. Cheers,
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 6th Feb 18, 5:04 PM
    • 2,185 Posts
    • 2,060 Thanks
    steampowered
    Good luck!
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