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  #21   IP: 188.29.19.103
Old 28-06-2015, 08:15 PM
yellowiron yellowiron is offline
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Default Re: Opinions on an earthworks contractual dispute

The solicitors didn't give a monkeys, they were going to get their money no matter who won. They certainly got a lot more out of it than I did.
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  #22   IP: 86.168.17.33
Old 28-06-2015, 08:27 PM
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V8Druid V8Druid is offline
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Default Re: Opinions on an earthworks contractual dispute

There is a serious satisfaction about getting your day in court/before the judiciary!

A very long time ago I got nominated as the contractor to do some work for a ‘national’, who ordinarily I wouldn’t have touched, but when the PSA (property services agency), who used to manage all the MOD sites and who I did a lot of work for at the time, nominated me I had little choice !!

Straight forward enough job, building the steel frame for a new motor pool workshops at a local army depot.
All drawings supplied, including fab. Drg.s by a BIG architect’s Co. in Cardiff.
Real old school style of steel frame, massively over engineered and trussed not portal!!

Didn’t bode well from the outset, after I’d had to have ‘em re-do the fab.s, as there were literally dozens of errors on sections and connection details, etc.. Looked like the office tea boy had done it!!

We were at Rev. 4 C,s on some of ‘em by the time I got the written authority to proceed with what we had been supplied with and weeks behind the provisional start date.

Anyway, pulled our fingers out and made up a lot of slippage due to the architect’s cock ups. Made it, got it up with some ‘effort’ and a lot of on site ‘tweaks’, handed over, signed off and billed ‘em.

Usual story, chase, chase and more chasing, until it got to the point to get heavy.
Solicitor wrote to ‘em asking for payment and within a couple of days I’d got a bailiff at MY door with a writ against ME for a contra-charge invoice that I’d never seen, for the entire amount of my invoices!!!!!

Fortunately my solicitor, Alun, was only round the corner from me, rang him and he hot footed it round, muttered some legal jargon at this bailiff and he went off with his tail ‘tween his legs !!

Alun and I after a brief discussion there and then decided that proceedings had to be pursued immediately and having made a few investigations about ‘the company’ in question, it was pretty obvious they were ‘on their way out’ and stalling for time, bearing in mind that the job had now been completed and they’d been paid by the PSA – I’d already checked as we’d been intending to slap a lien on their payments.

Alun had a barrister briefed and an appointment with a judge in chambers to hear the case within a week, fair play.
The barrister of his choice was an old friend of his who was ultra switched on and the judge was just awesome, with his grasp of the situation, from ‘the papers’ he’d received, on the matter.

It wasn't a cheap exercise, but ....

He’d subpoenaed the 4 senior directors to appear at the hearing and the moment they’d all sat down, with their entourage, instructed the court bailiff to arrest the four of ‘em, pending the deposit of IIRC, 50 odd thousand pounds in cash, on his bench, before close of session, or they were spending the time until it did, locked up, in the cells below the Cardiff court building we were in.

The look on their faces was absolutely bloody priceless!!!

My bill was £38k and change, plus all our costs to that point.

Our barrister ran rings around their ‘team’ and the judge vehemently wiped the floor with ‘em, saying in closing, that he wished he had the power to lock ‘em all up there and then, pending investigation by the fraud squad, but couldn’t.

We got paid, by the judge and they went tits up about 10 days later.

A local guy, who’d done all the ground works, was owed a massive amount and I’d been pleading with him to do the same as us, lost the bloody lot and his biz!

The company in question’s open boast, it later transpired at their creditor’s meeting, was that “they never paid their subbies” they’d always string it out or wriggle a contra onto ‘em !!!!

They’re obviously long gone, as are their further two re-incarnations from the subsequent ‘ashes’ that followed them.

Cheeky bastards had the audacity to send me a job to quote on a few weeks later, as if nothing had ever happened!!!

Life might have been a bit different if it weren’t for Alun, his mate, Alex Hill Smith and the incredibly switched on judge that day!

David – 1 Goliath – Nil


As Tim rightly said though, the psychological costs were immeasurable
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Last edited by V8Druid; 28-06-2015 at 08:29 PM.
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  #23   IP: 86.159.71.40
Old 06-07-2015, 01:36 PM
pond digger pond digger is offline
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Default Re: Opinions on an earthworks contractual dispute

Quote:
Originally Posted by V8Druid View Post
There is a serious satisfaction about getting your day in court/before the judiciary!

A very long time ago I got nominated as the contractor to do some work for a ‘national’, who ordinarily I wouldn’t have touched, but when the PSA (property services agency), who used to manage all the MOD sites and who I did a lot of work for at the time, nominated me I had little choice !!

Straight forward enough job, building the steel frame for a new motor pool workshops at a local army depot.
All drawings supplied, including fab. Drg.s by a BIG architect’s Co. in Cardiff.
Real old school style of steel frame, massively over engineered and trussed not portal!!

Didn’t bode well from the outset, after I’d had to have ‘em re-do the fab.s, as there were literally dozens of errors on sections and connection details, etc.. Looked like the office tea boy had done it!!

We were at Rev. 4 C,s on some of ‘em by the time I got the written authority to proceed with what we had been supplied with and weeks behind the provisional start date.

Anyway, pulled our fingers out and made up a lot of slippage due to the architect’s cock ups. Made it, got it up with some ‘effort’ and a lot of on site ‘tweaks’, handed over, signed off and billed ‘em.

Usual story, chase, chase and more chasing, until it got to the point to get heavy.
Solicitor wrote to ‘em asking for payment and within a couple of days I’d got a bailiff at MY door with a writ against ME for a contra-charge invoice that I’d never seen, for the entire amount of my invoices!!!!!

Fortunately my solicitor, Alun, was only round the corner from me, rang him and he hot footed it round, muttered some legal jargon at this bailiff and he went off with his tail ‘tween his legs !!

Alun and I after a brief discussion there and then decided that proceedings had to be pursued immediately and having made a few investigations about ‘the company’ in question, it was pretty obvious they were ‘on their way out’ and stalling for time, bearing in mind that the job had now been completed and they’d been paid by the PSA – I’d already checked as we’d been intending to slap a lien on their payments.

Alun had a barrister briefed and an appointment with a judge in chambers to hear the case within a week, fair play.
The barrister of his choice was an old friend of his who was ultra switched on and the judge was just awesome, with his grasp of the situation, from ‘the papers’ he’d received, on the matter.

It wasn't a cheap exercise, but ....

He’d subpoenaed the 4 senior directors to appear at the hearing and the moment they’d all sat down, with their entourage, instructed the court bailiff to arrest the four of ‘em, pending the deposit of IIRC, 50 odd thousand pounds in cash, on his bench, before close of session, or they were spending the time until it did, locked up, in the cells below the Cardiff court building we were in.

The look on their faces was absolutely bloody priceless!!!

My bill was £38k and change, plus all our costs to that point.

Our barrister ran rings around their ‘team’ and the judge vehemently wiped the floor with ‘em, saying in closing, that he wished he had the power to lock ‘em all up there and then, pending investigation by the fraud squad, but couldn’t.

We got paid, by the judge and they went tits up about 10 days later.

A local guy, who’d done all the ground works, was owed a massive amount and I’d been pleading with him to do the same as us, lost the bloody lot and his biz!

The company in question’s open boast, it later transpired at their creditor’s meeting, was that “they never paid their subbies” they’d always string it out or wriggle a contra onto ‘em !!!!

They’re obviously long gone, as are their further two re-incarnations from the subsequent ‘ashes’ that followed them.

Cheeky bastards had the audacity to send me a job to quote on a few weeks later, as if nothing had ever happened!!!

Life might have been a bit different if it weren’t for Alun, his mate, Alex Hill Smith and the incredibly switched on judge that day!

David – 1 Goliath – Nil


As Tim rightly said though, the psychological costs were immeasurable
That's a truly heartwarming story.
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  #24   IP: 86.186.125.122
Old 06-07-2015, 03:26 PM
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V8Druid V8Druid is offline
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Default Re: Opinions on an earthworks contractual dispute

Quote:
Originally Posted by pond digger View Post
That's a truly heartwarming story.
Oh yes Boyo ........ and a lesson never forgotten PD - could've been life changing, but for a good legal team.
Alun has remained my guy ever since, done a huge amount for me over the years, been there whenever advice was needed, even at nine of an evening and become a good friend. !!

I'd recommend him to anyone with 'a problem' ........ he is ******* mustard and very fast when necessary. He knows how to pull his finger out when you need it, unlike most of 'em!!!!!
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