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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, Solicitor
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 38841
Experience:  Expert in UK Employment Law
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Hi, Im not sure if this site covers UK law? Heres my situa

Resolved Question:

Hi, I'm not sure if this site covers UK law? Here's my situation anyway:
I was doing freelance work for a company (had a contract). They sent me an amended and updated contract. I didn’t sign it. I carried on working for them and they carried on paying me. Noone said anything about not having a signed contract with me. Then they stopped paying me (I have reason to believe they have cash flow problems and are being selective with who they pay), and now I’m chasing them for several overdue invoices. I sent them a letter before action. They replied saying that they have the right to withhold payment for as long as they like because it’s in the contract (the newest one that supersedes all others, which I didn’t sign). I’m tempted let them know that I didn’t sign the newest contract, but I’m unsure as to whether that forces them to pay me or gives them an excuse not to pay be anything. If it went to small claims court, would I win or lose?

Regards

Ben
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Employment Law
Expert:  Jenny McKenzie replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer, what in the unsigned contract do they say gives them the right not to pay your invoices?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello Jenny


 


To quote directly from the contract:


 


 


"2.10) The principle may, entirely at its discretion, reject any Leads submitted by the Sub Agent with no subsequent liability to the Sub Agent for those Leads"


 


and


 


 


"3.5) to ensure Leads qualify for Works and that the Sub Agent and its staff have ensured that potential Leads have been assessed in accordance with the Specification industry standards or in accordance with any additional criteria notified to the Sub-Agent by the Principle from time to time. The Sub-Agent acknowledges that the Principle may reject any Leads for any reason whatsoever."

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my colleague had opted out of this question so I will try and help instead.

First of all I have to make you aware that we cannot tell you whether you will be successful or not if you were to take this to court. In fact no one can do this. Taking legal action always carries a level of risk and the outcome depends on many factors, some of which are still unknown. For example, it depends on how you and any other witnesses perform in court, what opinion the judge forms of your credibility, any defence that they other side may still put forward, etc.

As far as your legal position is concerned, you may argue that the new contract should not be applicable in this situation because there was no express acceptance of its terms. The issue is that it is not necessary for you to have signed it for it to be valid. It is possible to imply acceptance by showing you had agreed to it for example by starting to work on its terms without protesting it.

Tis is not all, however, as it may also be found that the specific terms they are trying to rely on are unfair because they give them the ultimate right to reject leads without providing any reasons and at a relatively late stage. Whilst they may be able to reject leads, there should be a reasonable justification for doing so rather than any old excuse which they choose.

Finally, if they have cash flow problems consider whether this is just a temporary issue or something that may result in the insolvency of the company. If that happens, then taking them to court may be futile and they could potentially escape liability by showing they do not actually have the funds to pay you.

In terms of suing them now, if your claim is for less than £10,000 you will go through the small claims court where the potential risks are quite low, in a sense that if you lose, you will not be responsible for their legal costs and you will only lose the court fees you had to pay.

I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you are unhappy for some reason with the advice - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you very much
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Ben


 


Very informative answer- thanks a lot. Before I rate, can I just have some confirmation that my question/personal details will be kept confidential please?


 


Regards


 


Ben

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hi, only the information you posted in your question will be visible and from what I can see the only personal bit of detail is your first name. I will send a request for that to be removed too just to be on be the safe side.
Ben Jones, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 38841
Experience: Expert in UK Employment Law
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