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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 3
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 29th Dec 17, 12:06 PM
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    steampowered
    Given that this is a small claim (meaning that legal costs are not usually recoverable from the other side), you may run this case yourself if you wish. It is not mandatory to use a solicitor.

    The key will be whether you are (1) organised enough to make sure you meet deadlines, and (2) able to present clear evidence (e.g. photos) as to why the work was not up to scratch.

    I would be tempted to make a reasonable settlement offer to this company of 8,000 less whatever you had to pay the third party.

    If that offer is not accepted, I would sit tight until such time as this company issues legal proceedings against you. Until the solicitor knows what the company has written in a formal court claim form, it will be difficult for them to advise you.

    The only thing a solicitor could do right now would be to write a stroppy letter to the company explaining that they are in breach of contract.
    • bery_451
    • By bery_451 29th Dec 17, 9:10 PM
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    bery_451
    Yeah been trying to find a Legal however difficult to find one this time of the year but should get one soon.

    Anyway I just need clarification on the below matter:

    Window company took back half the items that were not used in the house. There was a reply earlier in this thread mentioning those items are for my property only hence useless elsewhere. If that is the case then why did they take those items back with them instead of leaving them here at my property? I expect those items to be here at my property as they are claiming for the full 8000 alleged debt however half the items are not here.

    Won't I be admitting to the liability if I make them a settlement offer?

    So I cannot recover legal costs? If that is the case then it looks like I cannot afford a solicitor then and represent myself I guess.
    Last edited by bery_451; 29-12-2017 at 9:15 PM.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 29th Dec 17, 11:53 PM
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    steampowered
    Window company took back half the items that were not used in the house. There was a reply earlier in this thread mentioning those items are for my property only hence useless elsewhere. If that is the case then why did they take those items back with them instead of leaving them here at my property? I expect those items to be here at my property as they are claiming for the full 8000 alleged debt however half the items are not here.
    Originally posted by bery_451
    Perhaps you could ask for the goods if you lose the case and are ordered to pay the 8,000. It is a bit rich to complain about not having all of the goods if you haven't paid even part of their invoice.

    Won't I be admitting to the liability if I make them a settlement offer?
    No, absolutely not.

    It is very common to make a settlement offer, while also stating that you are not admitting liability.

    A settlement offer is not admissible as evidence against you. The courts are very keen to encourage people to settle cases where possible to reduce the pressure on the court system.

    So I cannot recover legal costs? If that is the case then it looks like I cannot afford a solicitor then and represent myself I guess.
    Correct. Costs are not usually awarded in small claims of less than 10k.

    They can be awarded if the other side is thought to have behaved unreasonably with regards to how they conducted the litigation, but this only applies in a small number of cases (for example to punish people who ignore court deadlines).
    • bery_451
    • By bery_451 30th Dec 17, 12:30 AM
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    bery_451
    Perhaps you could ask for the goods if you lose the case and are ordered to pay the 8,000. It is a bit rich to complain about not having all of the goods if you haven't paid even part of their invoice.


    No, absolutely not.

    It is very common to make a settlement offer, while also stating that you are not admitting liability.

    A settlement offer is not admissible as evidence against you. The courts are very keen to encourage people to settle cases where possible to reduce the pressure on the court system.


    Correct. Costs are not usually awarded in small claims of less than 10k.

    They can be awarded if the other side is thought to have behaved unreasonably with regards to how they conducted the litigation, but this only applies in a small number of cases (for example to punish people who ignore court deadlines).
    Originally posted by steampowered
    Ok I have paid the 2000 deposit though.

    Let's say for example if I lose the case however they cannot deliver the remaining goods then how does this work?
    • boo_star
    • By boo_star 30th Dec 17, 4:35 AM
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    boo_star
    Ok I have paid the 2000 deposit though.

    Let's say for example if I lose the case however they cannot deliver the remaining goods then how does this work?
    Originally posted by bery_451
    Speak to a solicitor.

    For Gods sake speak to a solicitor.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 30th Dec 17, 10:34 AM
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    steampowered
    Ok I have paid the 2000 deposit though.

    Let's say for example if I lose the case however they cannot deliver the remaining goods then how does this work?
    Originally posted by bery_451
    If they are successful in claiming the balance in court you would ask the judge to reduce their award by the value of the goods, I suppose. Or you would ask for the goods to be delivered to you on payment.
    • bery_451
    • By bery_451 30th Dec 17, 2:52 PM
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    bery_451
    Speak to a solicitor.

    For Gods sake speak to a solicitor.
    Originally posted by boo_star
    From the replies in this thread from helpful contributors we have already learned a lot without even approaching a solicitor.

    I recall a earlier reply mentioning that a solicitor will just write a breach of contract letter which even I can do myself. Or you believe this is not a open and shut case as it is complex that requires a solicitor?

    Also as the claim is under 10k I cannot recover the legal costs so unless you can advise me the money saving way of seeking legal services then it seems I have to take this on myself as I cannot afford legal costs. Legal costs that might end up more than the actual 8000 claim itself A risk I cannot take as I know solicitors out there like to rinse as much as they can.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 30th Dec 17, 6:46 PM
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    steampowered
    I recall a earlier reply mentioning that a solicitor will just write a breach of contract letter which even I can do myself.
    Originally posted by bery_451
    Indeed. You are the Defendant. Realistically, the Claimant is not going to write you a letter saying they will drop the whole thing.

    The next steps are not in your control. It is entirely the Claimant's decision whether they want to issue a claim against you, or not.

    If the Claimant decides to issue a claim, a solicitor could help you defend it. Until that point, the only thing a solicitor could really do would be to write a breach of contract letter.

    Or you believe this is not a open and shut case as it is complex that requires a solicitor?
    It sounds like a straightforward case to me.

    It seems that both sides are agreed on the fact that there was a contract under which the Claimant was to install windows/doors for a fee of 8,000.

    The Claimant says you breached the contract by failing to pay.

    The Defendant says he/she doesn't have to pay because the Claimant is in breach of contract.

    The case would turn on whether you can provide sufficient evidence to prove that (1) the Claimant's work was in breach of contract, and (2) the costs of putting that right are big enough to justify the Defendant withholding the entire 8,000.

    Obviously, IF the window company issued proceedings, it would be easier if a solicitor ran the case. But at the end of the day this is a small claim. If you are organised enough to prepare your own evidence (such as photographs showing the poor work etc.), and your English is good enough to write a clear witness statement clearly explaining what was wrong with the Claimant's work, then you are perfectly capable of running a small claim like this yourself.

    A risk I cannot take as I know solicitors out there like to rinse as much as they can.
    Instructing a solicitor is no different to using any other business person, such as a plumber or a builder or an IT business.

    You avoid nasty surprises by having an open conversation about fees with your solicitor before instructing them. Ask for a fixed fee or at least a fee estimate. If the solicitor won't commit to a fixed fee or at least an estimate, then see a different solicitor.
    • bery_451
    • By bery_451 7th Jan 18, 12:59 AM
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    bery_451
    Hi I just coming up to renewing my home insurance and see legal expenses cover add on.

    Will I be covered legally for this if I buy this add on?
    • Greta Sharbo
    • By Greta Sharbo 7th Jan 18, 1:27 AM
    • 190 Posts
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    Greta Sharbo
    Insurance is all about terms and conditions.
    See what they say, speak to the insurer.

    We would just be guessing.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 7th Jan 18, 9:45 AM
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    steampowered
    Hi I just coming up to renewing my home insurance and see legal expenses cover add on.

    Will I be covered legally for this if I buy this add on?
    Originally posted by bery_451
    Extremely unlikely. Insurers won't cover pre-existing disputes.
    • bery_451
    • By bery_451 7th Jan 18, 1:32 PM
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    bery_451
    Extremely unlikely. Insurers won't cover pre-existing disputes.
    Originally posted by steampowered

    Ok just to clarify that the insurance wont cover disputes started before the policy start date?

    The legal court system has not started yet so still possible to be covered?
    • DaftyDuck
    • By DaftyDuck 7th Jan 18, 1:49 PM
    • 4,193 Posts
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    DaftyDuck
    Extremely unlikely to cover you...
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 7th Jan 18, 4:00 PM
    • 2,593 Posts
    • 2,541 Thanks
    steampowered
    Ok just to clarify that the insurance wont cover disputes started before the policy start date?

    The legal court system has not started yet so still possible to be covered?
    Originally posted by bery_451
    You would have to read the precise policy terms, but I am pretty certain that the insurance won't cover you for something like this which is already an active dispute.

    Although court proceedings haven't been started this is still a pre-existing dispute as you have received a formal letter before action.

    Otherwise, everyone would just buy insurance immediately before issuing court proceedings. It would be a bit like buying fire insurance when your house is already on fire.

    Don't feel that you need to involve a solicitor to deal with a straightforward small claim like this. You can get all the help needed to deal with small court proceedings - if they are issued - in this thread (send me a message if you need me to check the thread and post).
    • bery_451
    • By bery_451 3rd Feb 18, 11:56 PM
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    bery_451
    Hi coming back to this thread with another query and that is the cost involved for me to put right their breach of contract.

    As mentioned earlier I employed another company to complete their half done job that the 1st window company has left behind. Can I counter claim what it costs me to complete the job or is it only that I can counter claim what it cost me to rectify or replace the 1st window company unsatisfactory windows install?
    • GrumpyDil
    • By GrumpyDil 4th Feb 18, 9:29 AM
    • 176 Posts
    • 137 Thanks
    GrumpyDil
    The company agreed to fit your windows for 10000.

    Let's assume that it cost you 4000 to get the new company to complete the work. On that basis you would owe the original company 6000 in total.

    Your counter claim is for the the cost of correcting any faulty work and completing the contract.
    • firefox1956
    • By firefox1956 4th Feb 18, 2:34 PM
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    • 905 Thanks
    firefox1956
    bery_451.........
    You are just tying yourself & everybody else on here in knots !!!
    Go & get yourself a solicitor NOW...............
    • Lavendyr
    • By Lavendyr 4th Feb 18, 6:38 PM
    • 2,094 Posts
    • 1,899 Thanks
    Lavendyr
    As others have said, you need a solicitor. No one on here can possibly advise you appropriately as this is a complicated matter. If money is a concern, try a no-win, no-fee solicitor. I can't say they'll be the best as I've never used one, but at least you wouldn't be out of pocket if you lose. But you do need proper legal advice.
    • bery_451
    • By bery_451 5th Feb 18, 1:36 AM
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    • 31 Thanks
    bery_451
    As others have said, you need a solicitor. No one on here can possibly advise you appropriately as this is a complicated matter. If money is a concern, try a no-win, no-fee solicitor. I can't say they'll be the best as I've never used one, but at least you wouldn't be out of pocket if you lose. But you do need proper legal advice.
    Originally posted by Lavendyr
    Where can I find such a solicitor. I thought it was for injury only claims correct?
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 5th Feb 18, 11:38 AM
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    steampowered
    Hi coming back to this thread with another query and that is the cost involved for me to put right their breach of contract.

    As mentioned earlier I employed another company to complete their half done job that the 1st window company has left behind. Can I counter claim what it costs me to complete the job or is it only that I can counter claim what it cost me to rectify or replace the 1st window company unsatisfactory windows install?
    Originally posted by bery_451
    You can indeed counterclaim what it cost to complete the job.

    You would need to offset that against the price agreed with the 1st window company.

    You won't get to refuse all payment to the 1st window company AND receive 100% of the cost of the 2nd company, as that would be double counting the 1st window company's liability.

    Where can I find such a solicitor. I thought it was for injury only claims correct?
    Originally posted by bery_451
    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.
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