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Are you in the construction industry? We have put together a selection of case studies from clients we have helped within the construction industry.
Air Conditioning Contractor
Challenge: Our client supplies air conditioning solutions to businesses and had installed a new system for their customer in November 2020. Clearing of the invoice was not forthcoming and the payment for the work remained outstanding.
Solution: Whilst the debt had been incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic, by November 2020 the implications on the trading of the customer’s beauty outlet was already understood. Our client had reasonable expectations that the customer would be able to make payment for the new order. When payment still hadn’t materialised by early March our client instructed us to pursue the debt. Early on in the dialogue, the debtor made it clear that they couldn’t/wouldn’t pay and proposed a payment plan over an extended period, which was unacceptable to our client. A letter of claim was issued and court papers were filed.
Result: A County Court Judgement was obtained and, following the threat of enforcement, payment of £4,100 was made within 6 weeks of our instruction. The debt was recovered in full, plus interest.
Challenge: Our client had been chasing payment for their retention and additional works for over 12 months. The developer was in financial difficulties and a number of the group companies placed into an insolvency process.
Solution: We identified that the contracting party with our client was the one company in the group not in an insolvency process. It appeared they had further land/properties to sell and therefore, we set about chasing the monies owed. Most of the staff had been laid off so making contact proved difficult.
Mindful that there appeared to be assets, we eventually served a statutory demand and filed a winding-up petition. At the 11th hour (the petition was less than a week to the hearing), we managed to make contact with a director. A stay on the proceedings was agreed, with an undertaking from the proceeds of a final property sale due to complete in a couple of weeks.
Result: £12,000 was collected which settled the debt in full, plus all costs.
Challenge: At the commencement of lockdown, our client had more time to review the current ledger and identified 25 retention accounts totalling £46,000, ranging from 2 – 6 years old. They had all been chased in-house several times but to no avail.
Solution: At the outset, we set about pulling together all the necessary paperwork to identify the final payment certificate for each and that no notice of defects had been issued since. With the defect liability period expired, we commenced pursuit of each account.
Various communications with the debtors and the relevant QS resulted in full recovery over a period of 3 months of all the retentions, plus interest. All without the need to commence any formal proceedings.
Result: £56,000 collected plus costs.
Challenge: Our client carried out a residential building project for a private customer. Part way through the overall project, the customer reduced the scope of the project, due to a change in his circumstances. The final invoice was issued and the customer disputed the level of work carried out and balance due. No progress was made after several months and the matter was placed with us.
Solution: Following a review of the contract performance and terms agreed, we advised the client on the merits of the claim and realistic outcome. We entered into discussions with the debtor, who continued to dispute the debt and a counter claim made. Our client engaged our Escalate no cost litigation service.
Result: After several months of negotiations, alongside the litigation, a settlement was reached and £25,000 was paid to our client in settlement.
Steel Erection & Fabrication
Challenge: Our client supplied steel erection and fabrication services to the debtor company and were struggling to collect two unpaid invoices totalling £2,530. The time being spent chasing the debt was distracting the client from other projects and they passed the case to us. We attempted to contact the debtor, but no response was received.
Solution: We pursued recovery of the debt from 1st letter all the way through to High Court Enforcement, having successfully obtained judgement. When Enforcement Agents visited the debtor company’s trading address, they found the debtor company actively trading. Having ignored all of our correspondence, costs had been added to the debt and as a result the agents began taking control of goods. At this stage, the director paid in full.
Result: Payment in full, plus costs.
Challenge: The client was struggling to collect monies owing despite the debtor making various assurances that payment would be made.
Solution: Following our initial communication, the debtor advised that the debtor company was going into liquidation. A demand was issued against the company for the full balance, plus costs. This was then served on the director of the company in accordance with his personal guarantee.
The director advised he was unable to pay and was considering personal insolvency. We engaged in dialogue with the director and his advisors to make sure our client’s debt was made a priority. We issued a CCJ against the director and subsequently, he made an offer to settle in full if the claim was withdrawn.
Result: Payment in full plus costs.
Interior Design & Shopfitting Company
Challenge: Our client was unable to collect monies owed to them by a contractor for 9 months. Their work was not in dispute, the contractor just wouldn’t pay.
Solution: On our client’s behalf, we obtained a County Court Judgement. We applied further pressure of enforcement/winding up petition.
Result: A payment plan over a short period was agreed and a total of £16,000 (including costs) was collected within 3 months.
Challenge: Our client carried out electrical work on development property and was paid no monies for over 6 months.
Solution: The debtor would still not engage so we filed a winding up petition filed on behalf of our client.
Result: Payment was achieved in full, plus all costs.
Concrete Materials Company
Challenge: Monies were owed to our client for concrete they had provided, however, the debtor was refusing to settle due to a dispute.
Solution: We held negotiations with the debtor over a period of 2 months.
Result: Payment was achieved in full, plus £1,000 towards our client’s costs.
Waste & Plant Hire Firm
Challenge: The debtor, a building contractor, attempted to avoid payment through dissolution of their company.
Solution: We were successful in proving personal liability and a court order was awarded.
Result: We collected a total of £22,000 that included late payment fees, interest and costs.
Challenge: Our client was unable to collect monies owed to them for several months. The debt related to a flooring contractor who had supplied labour and materials. The directors of the debtor company had previous history of liquidating companies.
Solution: The debtor initially ignored our attempts to have a meaningful dialogue and resolve the matter. Notice of court proceedings were issued. The debtor then made contact and this highlighted that cash flow issues prevented the settlement of the debt. A weekly instalment plan was agreed to repay the debt over 9 weeks. Due to late/missed payments, we issued notice of a Winding Up Petition. We then engaged with the debtor’s funder who agreed to make payments to us directly.
Result: Debt collected in full, plus all costs and interest.
Construction Procurement, Commercial & Project Management
Challenge: Our client undertook project work on behalf of the debtor which remained unpaid for 6 months. Various requests and promises of payment were made but no monies received. A final demand letter was issued, then a spurious dispute was raised by the debtor.
Solution: Following various communications with the debtor, we established there was no valid dispute. The debtor promised payment by instalments but failed to do so. Court proceedings commenced and a County Court Judgement was obtained. Notice of Enforcement proceedings were issued and the debt was finally paid.
Result: £5,200 (payment in full plus costs)
Challenge: Our client employed a builder to carry out some work at their home. The work completed was not of an acceptable standard and, as a result of the builders’ negligence, remedial work was required to correct the failings which totalled in excess of £30,000.
Solution: Our client wanted to recover this additional expense from the initial builder. They instructed us to take on the case and, after entering into discussions with the debtor, the debt continued to be disputed. We were unable to resolve the matter amicably and our client engaged Escalate, our innovative litigation service. Particulars of claim were filed and resulted in the defendant entering into settlement discussions.
Result: After several months of negotiations alongside the litigation, a settlement was reached and £24,000 collected. By utilising Escalate, our client had the peace of mind that they were not incurring unrecoverable legal costs, which can often spiral and any upfront costs were covered.
If so, get in touch to find out how we can help you.