Our client is a reputable architect based in Cheshire who is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Architects Registration Board. Our client entered into four oral contracts between 2009 and 2011 which were later confirmed in writing (referred to as ‘the Contracts’) to provide architectural services to an individual (referred to as ‘the Debtor’) for the redevelopment of two sites in Greater Manchester. For one of the sites, our client successfully submitted a planning application to the local council to demolish the current building and to erect a seven storey building. The letters confirming the terms of the Contracts were sent by our client to the Debtor at his business address which was a development company (referred to as ‘the Company’).
Our client furnished his invoices to the Debtor in accordance with the payment terms of the Contracts. The total amount of the invoices due to our client was in the sum of £26,378.29. The Debtor disputed that he had personally entered into the Contracts with our client and alleged that he was acting on behalf of the Company. The Debtor was a director and 100% shareholder of the Company. Therefore, it was the Debtor’s defence that the Contracts were between the Company and our client. Also, the Debtor claimed that the letters confirming the terms of the Contracts were addressed and sent to the Company, not the Debtor. The Debtor also disputed the terms of the Contracts and alleged that payment of the Claimant’s invoices was contingent on a number of factors which our client denied.
What did Blackstone do to help?
Our client instructed Usman Anwar (Commercial and Property Litigation Solicitor) to pursue the outstanding invoices. Blackstone attempted to negotiate with the Debtor which did not bear any fruit. Court proceedings were then issued against the Debtor for the outstanding invoices, interest and legal costs. The claim was listed for a 2-day trial at the County Court at Manchester in May 2018. Blackstone Solicitors prepared the case meticulously for the 2-day trial.
Prior to the 2-day trial, the Claimant made a number of offers, both in open correspondence and in without prejudice correspondence (including an offer in accordance with Part 36 of the Civil Procedure Rules 1998), but none were accepted by the Debtor. At trial our client beat his Part 36 Offer of £30,000.00. Therefore, the Court awarded our client an uplift of 10% on the damages, additional interest, legal costs and further interest on the legal costs.
What was the outcome?
The trial concluded on day one and our client was successful in securing a judgment in the sum of £42,000.00 plus legal costs.
Our client was delighted with the outcome and praised Usman Anwar and Blackstone Solicitors for the professional and tenacious approach throughout the litigation process. Our client would highly recommend Blackstone Solicitors and would certainly instruct the firm again in the future.
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