UK Law

Get UK Law Questions Answered by Verified Experts

Ask an Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Our company has an external IT contractor who built and maintains our IT system, upon whic…

Customer Question
Our company has an external...
Our company has an external IT contractor who built and maintains our IT system, upon which our company is completely dependent. Our contract with the IT Contractor states that 30 days' notice is required for termination, Today he has e-mailed us to say that, unless we pay him the equivalent of £60 per hour, 24/7 (i.e. the equivalent of around £44,000 per month) he would withdraw his support as of 6pm this evening i.e. he is unilaterally terminating the contract without due notice. Our current fees are £2,200 per month. I have looked up the legal definitiion of 'Blackmail' and this appears to fit however when I called the police they said it's a civil matter and not criminal. This man could cause us to go out of business (our company employs more than 400 people). We are very concerned and don't know what to do. Can you help, please?
Submitted: 3 years ago.Category: UK Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own UK Law Question
Answered in 7 hours by:
6/9/2015
Solicitor: Jenny Mackenzie,
 replied 3 years ago
Jenny Mackenzie
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 6,475
Experience: Over 10 years experience in general legal matters
Verified
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today.
What reason has he given for this increase in fees?
Ask Your Own UK Law Question
Customer reply replied 3 years ago
He is unhappy because we have employed a trainee who used to work for him. The trainee is working for us in a different capacity but he says its a 'security risk' to the system. In reality he has sour grapes
Solicitor: Jenny Mackenzie,
 replied 3 years ago
Does the contract that he entered into with him allow him to increase his rate with no notice or say that the contract is subject to certain conditions such as who you employ or the systems you use?
Ask Your Own UK Law Question
Customer reply replied 3 years ago
No
Solicitor: Jenny Mackenzie,
 replied 3 years ago
Hi you will be able to bring a claim against him in breach of contract.
Clearly you will need to instruct a new IT support.
You will be able to claim for any losses arising from the breach,this could amount to lost income and also to any additional costs arising from having to instruct a new IT support.
You should send him a 'letter before action' notifying him that he is in breach of contract and that you intend to bring a claim to recover your losses.
If you have any further questions about this please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.
Ask Your Own UK Law Question
Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Thank you. We already realise yes in breach of contract but taking him to court won't help our business - and anyway he is unlikely to be able to pay us compensation for the extent of the damages he could cause. Our goal is therefore to get him to change his mind - as we don't have the info we need to instruct an alternative supplier at such short notice. My question is: does this qualify as blackmail or any other criminal offence (such as extortion)?
Solicitor: Jenny Mackenzie,
 replied 3 years ago
Hi no it wouldn't as it is a business to business issue, criminal law does not cover it as at the crux of the matter is a breach of a contract between two businesses which is covered by civil laws.
Your only option really is to threaten him with a breach of contract claim if he does not change his mind.
I am sorry that this is not the answer you wanted but it is not surprising that the police were not interested in this as it is not a criminal law issue.
Ask Your Own UK Law Question
Customer reply replied 3 years ago
Ok thank you
Solicitor: Jenny Mackenzie,
 replied 3 years ago
No problem, please remember to rate my answer as it is an important part of the process and I am not otherwise credited for my time.
Many thanks.
Ask Your Own UK Law Question
Was this answer helpful?

How JustAnswer works

step-image
Describe your issueThe assistant will guide you
step-image
Chat 1:1 with a solicitorLicensed Experts are available 24/7
step-image
100% satisfaction guaranteeGet all the answers you need
Ask Jenny Mackenzie Your Own Question
Jenny Mackenzie
Jenny Mackenzie
Jenny Mackenzie
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 6,475
6,475 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Over 10 years experience in general legal matters

Jenny Mackenzie is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks!

RickLeeds, UK

I did not know a French Law service existed and I was very impressed with the speed of reply --- very professional. Many thanks!

Ms. BakerAlfafar, Spain

Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great!

MaggieUSA

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ben Jones

Ben Jones

UK Lawyer

9,256 satisfied customers

Qualified Solicitor

INC

INC

Solicitor-Advocate

3,868 satisfied customers

LL.B, Pg.Dip, LL.M, M.B.A (Pending), Solicitor-Advocate. UK Practising Certificate issued by SRA., DIFC Courts Registered (Dubai)

Jenny Mackenzie

Jenny Mackenzie

6,475 satisfied customers

Over 10 years experience in general legal matters

Matthew J

Matthew J

Solicitor

334 satisfied customers

4 y PQE (Partner) - Commercial / Residential Property & Property and Civil litigation experience

James Mather

James Mather

7,349 satisfied customers

Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace

Clare

Clare

Solicitor

9,513 satisfied customers

family solictor with 25 years experience

Thomas

Thomas

Lawyer

2,177 satisfied customers

BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor

< Previous | Next >

Related UK Law Questions
I entered into a contract with a local cleaning company last
I entered into a contract with a local cleaning company last year - domestic cleaning weekly, 10 hours per month. The contract requires one month's notice to terminate; but also states 24 hours' notic… read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
Legal Practice Course
9,256 satisfied customers
Dear Ben, I work as a security guard, with a security company
Dear Ben, I work as a security guard, with a security company mainly on construction sites. I signed a contract with this company as my own limited company on the 16th of june 2011 but the date mentio… read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
Legal Practice Course
9,256 satisfied customers
Dear Sirs We are a french company involved in a manufacturing
Dear Sirs We are a french company involved in a manufacturing contract with a swedish company. We chose to refer to english law and english tribunals to settle any dispute. The swedish company (the su… read more
Senior Partner
Senior Partner
Bachelor's Degree
5 satisfied customers
I work as a contractor (limited company) in a 3 month contract.
I work as a contractor (limited company) in a 3 month contract. No notice period is stated on it. Not liking the work environment and with a month to go, I'm fed up and ready to go. Can I legally walk… read more
Daniel Smith
Daniel Smith
Bachelor's Degree
3,777 satisfied customers
i gave a 30 day notice to our project manager to terminate
i gave a 30 day notice to our project manager to terminate a contract (as per the agreement; by the way he's never provided me with a signed copy). a 30 day notice period has expired 3 days afer the n… read more
Jenny Mackenzie
Jenny Mackenzie
Vocational, Technical or Trade Scho
6,475 satisfied customers
I have a problem with my insolvency practitioner. I was declared
I have a problem with my insolvency practitioner. I was declared Bankrupt in Feb 2010 and although I was told by the OR no one would pick up this case as there was no equity in any property I owned. (… read more
ivorylounge
ivorylounge
44 satisfied customers
I have filled in a money claim on line form and I have just
I have filled in a money claim on line form and I have just received a defence notification, I need some help with the next stage… read more
ivorylounge
ivorylounge
44 satisfied customers
i had a verbal contract with a school for the past 2 years
i had a verbal contract with a school for the past 2 years which had been completed successfully a new verbal contract was agreed months ago and we have been told on the day of starting the contract t… read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
Legal Practice Course
9,256 satisfied customers
Hi, Need some legal advice on a contract with my employer. The
Hi, Need some legal advice on a contract with my employer. The contract mentions clauses in which they can terminate my contract prematurely. However, nothing mentioned on the scenario where I would w… read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
Legal Practice Course
9,256 satisfied customers
i am looking to withdraw a compnay sick pay scheme from our
i am looking to withdraw a compnay sick pay scheme from our employees contracts of employmeny due to it being abused and therefore effecting the cash flow, how can i go about withdrawing this policy?… read more
Ben Jones
Ben Jones
UK Lawyer
Legal Practice Course
9,256 satisfied customers
I AM A SOLE TRADER OPERATING A SECURITY GUARDING SERVICE. ON
I AM A SOLE TRADER OPERATING A SECURITY GUARDING SERVICE. ON 24 NOVEMBER 09 I WAS GIVEN NOTICE IN WRITNG THAT MY SERVICES WERE BEING TERMINATED ON 13 DECEMBER 09 ON A 60 HOUR PER WEEK WEEKEND CONTRACT… read more
Chris_H
Chris_H
Consultant Solicitor
Bachelor's Degree
1,040 satisfied customers
I am in the construction industry and my client is now wanting
I am in the construction industry and my client is now wanting me to work 45hrs per week from 8am to 6pm with an hour for lunch. He wants me to sign a new contract which states this. This is obviously… read more
DR Lawyer
DR Lawyer
BA (HONS) Pgdl Pgdlp
2,318 satisfied customers
myself amd my wife approached a development company to discuss
myself amd my wife approached a development company to discuss adding a sunroom to our property. we agreed a figure of £20,000. and a contract was drawn up. we then later decide that we did'nd want th… read more
A. Stewart
A. Stewart
Master's Degree
2,140 satisfied customers
hi my name is XXXXX XXXXX am wondering if you can help me on
hi my name is XXXXX XXXXX am wondering if you can help me on a question please. A couple i.e (myself and my wife) approached a construction company and discussed adding a conservatory to there house. … read more
Michael Holly
Michael Holly
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
6,742 satisfied customers
i,m renting a house from estateagent ,now it is 20 days since
i,m renting a house from estateagent ,now it is 20 days since my heather broke down, still no heater, is a 24/7 one.2 months ago I claimed,my windows and frontdoor, comes straight to my livingroom, ar… read more
Tulkinghorn
Tulkinghorn
Bachelor\u0027s Degree
1,141 satisfied customers
Im self employed and have a small business with 3 employees.
I'm self employed and have a small business with 3 employees. Given the current brrakdown in turnover I have no choice but to reduce costs, including staff costs. Can I approach suggesting to them to … read more
Tom Denning
Tom Denning
Trainee Solicitor
Bachelor's Degree
526 satisfied customers
After 4 months of employment I have been given a contract to
After 4 months of employment I have been given a contract to sign. This would normally be ok, however the termination clauses require me to give 3 months notice and the employer the satatory 1 week. I… read more
Tom Denning
Tom Denning
Trainee Solicitor
Bachelor's Degree
526 satisfied customers
Dear Sir or Madam, Across the board all employees have been
Dear Sir or Madam, Across the board all employees have been given letters informing of pay cut from new year (quarter of current annual salary off). There is a choice of agreeing to it and disagreeing… read more
Tom Denning
Tom Denning
Trainee Solicitor
Bachelor's Degree
526 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x