Can a supplier sue an ex-employee of a company which went into liquidation?I was an employee and company secretary of a firm which went into CVL last year. Solicitors representing one supplier have written saying they are concerned my actions may give rise to claims for “fraudulent misrepresentation” and they are advising their client whether they also constitute “wrongful trading” and/or “fraud by false representation”. Then they set out “preliminary details” of their claims (which I don't agree with because they are all either false or distorted) and say they may tell the liquidator (actually my first thought was to do exactly that) and/or the CPS and/or the Police.Then they conclude that if I don’t personally pay (or make satisfactory proposals for payment) within 11 calendar days of the date they posted the letter they will advise their client what steps it is entitled to take.They also require me to tell them within the same timescale if I intend to seek legal advice and if so when I will be able to “respond to the letter” but otherwise they refer me to pd_pre-action_conduct.htm.I have read that page and it seems that this letter might be them “first intimating the possibility of court proceedings” or it might be their “letter before claim” or it might even be both, BUT I can see that if it turns out to be a “letter before claim” (AND I don’t know how to tell the difference) I have to respond in certain ways albeit in a slightly longer time-scale than they have specified.QUESTION NO.1 – are these empty threats designed to secure money or is this for real and requires acknowledgement/response?If soQUESTION NO.2 - Given that these actions were all cleared with the IP advising the company before the liquidation (and he is now one of the joint liquidators) can I require the liquidators to do so on my behalf (and can I be sure they will do) or alternatively the directors (personally).QUESTION NO.3 - if they drop the claim or it goes to Court and I win can I recover my time and the cost of any legal advice “pre claim” either from the claimant or the liquidator?QUESTION NO.4 - can every other supplier try this on too (on every employee) or is there some time limitation?NB Sorry for multiple but related questions - PLEASE don't split. Reward/Bonus offered for reply to all 4.
Province/Country relating to question : UK
Thanks for your question. Please remember to click ACCEPT once you get my answer.An employer is vicariously liable for any actions taken by the employee.As such the employee can not be personally sued. It should be the company.1. You should just write back and say an employee is not personally liable.2. Just ask the liquidator to respond. It may be an issue between the supplier and the directors but nothing to do with you.3. Yes you can recover costs but you would be limited to £9.25 for your time.4. They could try it on - but they would fail. Please remember to click accept so that I am credited for my time. Thank you.
NotedRe the other query not specifically highlighted ie whether this is "first intimating the possibility of court proceedings” or constitutes a “letter before claim” (which distinction seems to be important) - how does one tell the difference?
In reality there is no difference.You are generally put on notice that it is possible. Please remember to click accept so that I am credited for my time. Thank you.
Called to the Bar in 2007
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