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JayKay's Avatar JayKay JayKay is offline
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Help Please!!!

Hi all


I have a situation here and really look for you advice as long in the past you made some very good suggestions to me.

I have an unhappy client. I designed a website for him. The website was online around 16th September 2004. I sent him an invoice on 20th September with the payment terms (also agreed in the contract) seven working days for the amount we agreed but he failed to pay me; therefore I suspended the site without any notice (I was thinking in giving him a notice but as you know he could have change the password to the FTP; therefore I could have no access to the site and my work). The site still has a link such as "Click here to enter the site" on his front page (hosted on their server) and once you click you are directed to my server (where I moved the site) and where the site can be seen in full.

I sent him a letter after I suspended the site, explaining my reasons.

Now the client would like to take legal action because of my choice to suspend the site. He claims an article in the contract that say that if I decide to terminate the contract I must pass him all my work and not claiming any money.

OK, that article might be on his side but how about the payment that was stated in the first article of the contract?!

The client also signed a letter saying that he is happy with the design and my work met his expectations.

I am feeling that my action was right. What do you think?

At the end of the day I designed the site in full and there is my work and I think that as long the site is not paid is still on my intellectual property ...

Has someone had such a situation in the past? What did you do?
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Martin Martin is offline
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I'm pretty sure he doesn't qualify for any protection or benifits from the contract for the reason he didn't fulfill his end of the contract by purchasing the website. (Hopfully resulting in him being in breach?)

But i'm no lawyer!


Martin
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JayKay's Avatar JayKay JayKay is offline
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Martin, thanks for answering me.

As long I am not a native English speaker what do you exactly mean by "Hopfully resulting in him being in breach"?
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Martin Martin is offline
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Now the client would like to take legal action because of my choice to suspend the site. He claims an article in the contract that say that if I decide to terminate the contract I must pass him all my work and not claiming any money.

This bit i find interesting.

On what grounds constitutes a termination according to the contract?

And why would you terminate the contract and still pass the work on?


I think the answer lies in this part of the contract, but it's hard to make out without seeing it.


Solicitor time.
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richard.h's Avatar richard.h richard.h is offline
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Ie, he broke (breached) the contract before you did...

?
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Martin Martin is offline
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"Hopfully resulting in him being in breach"

Breach Of Contract.

A term used when the other party doesn't forfill there end of it.

-------------

Found this snippet on a website also.

Breach of Contract
Damages may be awarded if a court decides that a defendant has either been negligent or broken a contract and foreseeable damage or loss results. The measure of damages in negligence is to compensate the plaintiff for foreseeable losses or damage. For breach of contract, he would normally be restored to the position he would have been in had the contract been properly fulfilled.
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Statler's Avatar Statler Statler is offline
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Hi,

You may find the Lawyers for Your Business scheme of interest:

http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/choosin...urbusiness.law
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JayKay's Avatar JayKay JayKay is offline
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The article he is claiming to be on his side:

The contract between ... cannot be terminated during an on-going project or before future agreed project is completed.

If (my company) ... decide to terminate the contract in one of these two situations (my company) must transfer the work carried to (his company) and agree not to receive any fee.


But this is not an on-going project. It has been completed! Neither future project has been agreed.
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JayKay's Avatar JayKay JayKay is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard.H
Ie, he broke (breached) the contract before you did...

?
I am feeling that he broke the contract because he failed to pay on time.
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richard.h's Avatar richard.h richard.h is offline
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If you plan on continuing business in this area, it is probably worth going to your solicitor (or getting one if you don't already) and going through your contracts, and planning for future situations like these (ie what action to take if clients don't pay...).

I'd suggest calling your client up, and speaking personally to them: it's very easy to write letters / emails, but when you chat to someone you can usually sort things out much faster.
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JayKay's Avatar JayKay JayKay is offline
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I cannot afford a solicitor, really.

The client does not want to talk on the telephone any more.
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jklondon jklondon is offline
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suggest you get some legal advise - the link posted is good. Also worth checking your T+Cs

For what its worth it doesnt sound like he has a case. Did you not take a % of the money upfront before starting work ?
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JayKay's Avatar JayKay JayKay is offline
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No even a single penny has been paid to me. We agreed for a payment after the project will be completed.
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BBWdressseller's Avatar BBWdressseller BBWdressseller is offline
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Don't be bullied, he is just trying it on to see if he can get away with it. Should it ever go to court (which it won't) the non-payment issue sort of messes up his case. i.e. The "consideration" part of the contract hasn't been fulfilled.

You need to have a statement like the one from the Aria.co.uk website I've culled:

The Company remains the owner of all goods shipped to the buyer until the Company has been paid in full.

If any payment due under these conditions is overdue in full or in part the Company may, without prejudice to any of its other rights, recover and / or resell all the goods or any part of them and may enter the buyers premises by it's servants or agents to recover the goods and the buyer shall be liable for all the Company's costs of so doing.

-
Obviously you will want to tailor it to your requirements, but you should be pretty safe with
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Ian J Ian J is offline
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Unless there is more to this case than meets the eye I cannot see him suing you as he has very thin grounds on which to base his case.

The term in your contract that you quoted is very unusual as most people would never agree that if they wished to terminate an unfinished contract for a valid reason that they have to hand over all rights in the work completed to date without payment.

What exactly are you contracted to do anyway as if it was to design a website, you have done just that and he can have access upon payment.

Although it is highly unlikely that he would take legal proceedings against you or that he would win if he were stupid enough to do so it is no help to you as I assume that you wish to hand over the work and get paid, as a standoff is no use to anyone.

I hope that the bad feeling between the two of you hasn't gone too far as the only sensible way out of this mess is to talk to each other.
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