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bigdaddy36

Express Solicitors - Breach of Contract, court summons

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Hmmmm...

 

I was in agreement with BankFodder that some posters on this thread were adopting a bit of a gung-ho approach to the OP's problem here and were being far too optimistic in thinking there was much chance of success. 

 

If you engage a NWNF firm of solicitors you will almost always be liable to pay their costs and expenses if you decide to discontinue the case.  They have to make their money some way and if the client prevents the case from going ahead they will have incurred costs they need to recoup from somewhere. 

Some posters may not like that, but that's how it is.

 

Questions about GDPR is a complete non-starter and the idea that a competent firm of NWNF solicitors is going to cock-up a SAR request is not remotely likely to happen.  (FYI my wife has been a local authority solicitor for 30 years and one of her current areas of specialisation is data protection law).  We are not likely to be talking here about people who don't understand the law.

 

Also, as the OP's wife has been successfully holding down a highly responsible and demanding job throughout this time, I think it might be difficult to suggest that she was disadvantaged in any way by the behaviour/tactics of the firm.  I don't think she would be seen to have any justification for discontinuing

 

Although I agreed with BF about others taking too optimistic an approach (and possibly giving the OP false hope) I think even BF's own estimation of success at less than 50% is optimistic.  I think I'd put it at definitely less than 40% and in all probability well below 30%.

 

Having read Ganymede's posts I tend to agree with them.  Dispute the rate and try to settle for an acceptable amount.  My view would be the OP's wife is in clear breach of contract by discontinuing the case and I think that's the view a court would take as well.  Cut you losses.

 

Oh - and the OP does need to find out if she can still make a claim against the uninsured third party.

 

I presume she thought that if they were uninsured she couldn't claim, but I'm pretty sure that's not the case.  My understanding is that if the third party's vehicle had any sort of insurance at all* then they should pay out, even if the driver was uninsured to drive it.  If the car wasn't insured and the driver wasn't insured, then a claim can still be made against the MIB - that's what they are there for.

 

As somebody else has pointed out, if a claim had actually already been started against the third party and then been discontinued, it may not be possible to go again.

 

*That's why the first thing you should do when you've sold your car is take it off your insurance - just in case the person you've sold it to decides to drive around uninsured, in which case your insurance may be liable.

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I'm not sure that the other party was uninsured. There may be confusion with the other thread involving the person who is trying to help their son.

Of course it depends on the way that the claim has been discontinued, but in principle I don't see any problem with resuming a claim


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Some para legal, half qualified reject from a proper law firm working for a bunch of NHS draining ambulance chasers, does not a GDPR expert make.

 

Check everything!


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They have a lovely active social

media feed too. Twitter , all about how they love to donate to charities and stuff. 


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I'm pretty sure they were uninsured.  In fact I understood that to be the reason that the wife decided to discontinue the case.  I'm presuming she thought that it either meant she couldn't claim, or it would cause even more hassle than it was already.

 

(I thought the husband explained in #1?)

 

[All these threads must begin to merge into one at some stage!]

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I thought it was because she was too busy with her work and couldn't be bothered with the hassle of answering calls and returning documents all the time and couldn't be bothered with it anymore after a year of the claim ongoing. 

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I haven't seen anything so far that indicates that it was a question of not "being bothered".

Everything that has been written so far suggests a level of shock and bewilderment and not understanding how to handle it.

 

She was already fully insured and had adequate cover to deal with the whole problem and from the account we have here, the express sales function knew that firstly this was a motor accident

 

– and therefore probably already covered by insurance

– that in fact it was covered by insurance because apparently that information was requested by them, and they might have been good reason to imagine that there was a legal insurance in place

– because I suspect that there usually is

– or at least a very high probability that there is

– and in this case there was such insurance in place but insufficient diligence was exercised to find out if this was the case.


Therefore, knowing that this was a motorcar accident, that there seem to be no question of driving without insurance, that the OP was adequately insured

– and without exercising any normal diligence of an experienced operator to discover if there was a legal insurance in place, they effectively sold her a further "insurance" to set about the work of obtaining personal injury compensation for a commission of 25% on an expected return of anything between £4500 and £6000.

I think maybe one might even start to ask questions about whether or not there was a fiduciary relationship.


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On 27/06/2020 at 18:56, bigdaddy36 said:

she works in a very demanding roll and got really fed up with all the phone calls from this outfit

That's how I read the above. 

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Not saying it is money with menaces, just learnt that if you want to get a result, you can say what you want on social media.  Sometime's it's the only way to make a company care because it's their image on the lline

 

Nasty aggressive sales people, she's pretty much on class A meds for depression, you do not get put on that stuff for no reason.  This ties into the SAR, dime to a dollar she doesn't receive any phone call recordings.  So many openings to trey and stop this.  Or of course she could always just go ahead with the claim, or defend., or whatever.


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Of course they may not have known about her meds

5 minutes ago, Ganymede said:

That's how I read the above. 

I'd say that there is a million miles from not being bothered


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Posted (edited)

Just the impression I got from the OP and then later his wife's posts. 

 

Seems like it all became too much of a hassle and stress and she was busy and didn't have time for the claim so gave up on it. 

Edited by Ganymede

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Yup, they need to know about her meds, they trump everything. Just Google 'Debt Collection suicides' to see how toxic this issue is. 


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I don't think the medication trumps anything. 

 

The OP's wife is an adult with mental capacity to enter into a legally binding contract. She can read and willingly signed the CFA and T&Cs. 

 

Having depression doesn't prevent you from being liable and I doubt a Judge would dismiss the case on the basis that the OP's wife suffers from depression. 

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Have to agree to disagree on that,

 

The world is full of people who dismiss it like it's nothing, all the time. At that treatment level it really isn't nothing. It's nothing to do with mental capacity at all, anyway. It's the way they are pressuring and threatening her now, that is the issue.

 

Which is why I think that she needs to let them know right now (with medical proof), as I suggested earlier. Therefore the judge will have sympathy, if they keep going with that knowledge. Picking on a clearly ill person won't get any sympathy, if the judge is remotely human.


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You say pressuring and threatening, but it's a seemingly legitimate Court claim that's been issued for breach of contract. 

 

The Court system in the UK is adversarial by nature. 

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I think the OP feels bullied, heck i'd feel bullied if I had a firm of bloodsuckers threatening me with court.

 

 


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Perhaps. 

 

But they'll not doubt argue that suffering from depression does not absolve her of liability for the breach of contract. 

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Yup, I'm sure their contract is water tight, that shouldn't even be in question, but it's not everything.

 

If I was the OP, I'd send a nice letter as before to the Managing Partner, explaining my circumstances, with my GP / Consultant note. Asking politely to drop the matter. If it got ignored I'd be hitting them in the social media.  Highly effective, in their circumstances down to their excellent marketing department, working hard to give them a very clean image.  This shows in their expert knowledge of SEO, and their clever use of Google reviews.

 

Of course you might be right, but this is all worth a try IMO

 

 


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Worth a try, alongside filing a formal Defence to the claim. 

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On 27/06/2020 at 15:55, bigdaddy36 said:

Initially details were taken over the phone and the claim started.

 

During the 1-year process, wife’s car insurance company told her that the other party in the accident was uninsured.

 

Wife got fed-up with the constant calls from Express Solicitors requesting docs and visits to her GP and decided to withdrawal the claim.

 

I've simply taken that to mean that the news that the third party was uninsured contributed to the wife's "fed-upness" and was one of the final straws in deciding to discontinue - otherwise it's not really relevant to mention it. 

 

I should imagine that for most people pursuing an insurance claim against a third party, the news that the third party was uninsured might well be enough to put them off if they didn't know they could still claim and win a damages. 

 

Not everybody knows the MIB is an insurer of last resort. 

But I may well be wrong and it was irrelevant to the decision to discontinue.

 

As regards the constant calls and requests for documents etc, I don't know what's usual in cases like this and what isn't. 

If I'd engaged a NWNF firm to start a claim for me, I'd rather they kept in close contact with me than didn't. 

 

But I'd be unhappy if they were constantly asking me to repeat the same information or kept asking me things they'd forgotten to ask before.  If they were trying to charge me for this "duplicated" effort I wouldn't be paying for it.

 

Having said that, the wife has said she's got a stressful, responsible job and she got tired(?) of dealing with these requests and call backs after work.  But were the requests unreasonable in the circumstances of the claim, or was the wife too stressed out by her day job?  I simply don't know.

 

Please don't get me wrong

- I'm not having a go at the wife here. 

I posted here because I was concerned (like BankFodder) that some posters were being unrealistically optimistic in looking at the wife's chances of defeating this claim, and were giving her false hope. 

 

I'm the sort of person who'd rather be warned of the potential downside of courses of action (even if the likelihood of that happening is only 20%) rather than be told "everything will be fine - don't worry", only to discover that that was 80% wrong.

 

It would seem to me that the wife is probably in breach of contract.  Or at least let's say I would not want to defend this claim in court myself.  I think the only thing to argue about is whether their costs and expenses are reasonable.  They may well not be.  And of course, I might be completely wrong about the whole thing.

 

I hate to say it (because I'm a former manager in a NHS mental health trust) but I don't think the question of the wife's mental state or medication is really relevant here - unless somebody is suggesting that she didn't have the mental capacity to engage the NWNF firm in the first place. 

 

A letter from her GP ain't going to cut any ice with a NWNF chasing their legitimate expenses - and I don't think it would with a court either.

 

Also, I personally don't think bullying behaviour or harassment is a runner either. 

From her description of her job, she's a local authority middle-manager with wide -ranging responsibilities including managing and delivering on more than one project.  (Or at least that's how I read it). 

 

In my experience, and I knew a lot of such people in the NHS and local government, they are not generally susceptible to either bullying or harassment.  [Edit: And if they are susceptible they shouldn't be doing that sort of job in the public sector].

 

I think all this is clutching at straws giving the defendant false hope.  But I hope I'm wrong.

 

On 30/06/2020 at 19:41, London1971 said:

I’d be gung ho if it was 10%...

 

I know we are all only expressing our opinions, but I'm not sure that's a terribly helpful basis on which to give advice to somebody who's being sued by a firm of solicitors.

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Could be @Manxman in exile but stranger things have happened.

 

For the price of a postage stamp

and an envelope, it’s worth a try.


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I agree that stranger things have happened and that it's worth a try for the price of a stamp.  But at a <1%(?) chance of success, I would not want to put all my eggs in your basket.

 

Perhaps we'd make a good complementary team: optimist/pessimist: good cop/bad cop?

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My GP called me today as he's prepared the letter for my defence. He was fully aware of how I was feeling at the time and had a really long chat together.


@Maxman in exile- Don't be too consumed with my job and level of seniority in my organisation, bullying and harassment etc, ambulance chasers operate in that manner.

 

Thanks for your contribution here though. It's always good to read views of forum members.
 

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Hi Stormy

 

I do wish you good luck but I'd urge you not to get over-optimistic about a letter from your GP having any bearing on the outcome of this. 

 

I do not share London1971's view that such a letter will assist you in defending the claim against you

- unless you are suggesting that the diagnosis is so bad that you aren't functioning

- in which case you probably ought not to be working. 

 

Is your GP going to say that you can't be held liable for a breach of contract, but that you're perfectly OK to continue working and to make significant decisions in other areas of your life?  I don't know.

 

Also, I'm uncertain where the question of bullying and harassment first surfaced in this thread. 

You engaged them on a NWNF basis to pursue a claim for you. 

 

Apparently they contacted (or attempted to contact) you a lot - certainly more than you felt necessary or were comfortable with, and you ended up deciding to discontinue the case.  But were they harassing you? 

 

Again, I simply don't know because I wasn't there - only you were. 

Most people complain that they don't have enough contact from their solicitors, not that they are being harassed by being contacted too often.

 

  [EDIT:  I also think most people would associate "harassment" with behaviour that is in some way harmful or damaging to the recipient, and not with a situation where the alleged harasser is trying to act in the other person's interest and to their benefit]. 

 

And I'm not sure where the bullying comes from? 

They're suing you because they think you are in breach of contract and that you owe them the costs and expenses they've already incurred - and that they cannot now recover from the other party because you decided to discontinue the case. 

 

I'm no particular supporter of law firms but, unlike some people, I don't have "anti-lawyer" as a default setting. 

If they've genuinely incurred costs acting on your behalf and in your interests, then I think they've got a more than fair case to recover those costs.  Threatening to sue you or actually suing you isn't necessarily bullying.

 

I honestly think your best chance of success is questioning the level and extent of costs and expenses they claim to have incurred and try to reach a mutually acceptable settlement.

 

As I've said before, I'm not intending to be critical of you in any way and I'm really sorry that all this (the original accident, hassle with the lawyers and now them suing you) seems to have contributed to all the stress you have to bear. 

 

I'm really just interested in ensuring that you can see this problem from all points of view and that you don't place too much reliance on an approach that I think has only very limited chances of success. 

 

(But of course - as London1971 has pointed out - there's no harm in getting a GP's letter anyway AND preparing a legal defence like BankFodder is suggesting AND preparing to think about settling.  They aren't all mutually exclusive and you should keep as many irons in the fire as you can.  Use belt and braces and don't just rely on one).

 

Anyway.  Good luck.  I'm frequently wrong and you may win outright!

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The OP could call Express to see if they will withdraw the claim if she restarts her claim and just pay the court issue fee. 

 

Then everyone is a winner! 

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