Summerfield Browne acted on behalf of a packaging company issuing a claim for £12,000.00 in relation to a breach of contract, for the return of a deposit over disputed software works to a Client’s website. Summerfield Browne were able to fully investigate, negotiate and settle the claim outside of Court proceedings for over 60% of the original claimed amount due to our expertise in commercial litigation and breach of contract claims. We instructed Jennifer Brenton from 33 Bedford Row chambers to prepare particulars of claim on this matter.
In a recent case Tom Lathom obtained a possession order in 14 days on behalf of his client (the landlord of a property in Northamptonshire). The tenant owed over £5,000.00 and Tom obtained a county court judgment (or CCJ) for the rent arrears. The client was happy with the outcome in the knowledge that once the 14 days expired eviction proceedings could be commenced. Tom assisted the client with issuing the claim, writing the relevant witness statements and conducted his own advocacy at the hearing. By representing his clients in court Tom can often save his clients from paying expensive barristers’ costs.
Chinese Biotech Company
Christian Browne advised a Chinese Biotechnology Company in relation to whether CE mark certification was required in connection with the importation of biotech products into the EC. Chris Browne said that “Summerfield Browne has strong regulatory experience and expertise in many diverse fields, which was of significant benefit in advising on CE certification”. He stated that “we also have significant biotech capability and advise a broad range of biotech clients on a wide range of matters including intellectual property matters and also collaborations and partnering arrangements”.
Sale of Business
Christian Browne advised the owner of an accident repair business in relation to the sale of the business as a going concern. The consideration was well in excess of £1 million. Christian Browne said that “Summerfield Browne solicitors have a strong corporate team which can provide expert advice in relation to all aspect of a business sale including property, employment and general commercial law”. He also said that “the parties wanted to conclude the deal in a few weeks which, given the complexity of the transaction was certainly interesting, but we managed to get it over the line within the very short timescale, which pleased our client”.
Winning a Litigation case in the County Court
There have been two recent notable cases where our Senior Solicitor, Tom Lathom, has achieved excellent results for his clients. The first case involved a boundary dispute. Tom specialises in property litigation and met with the clients face-to-face at the Birmingham office. The clients had been made subject to a CCJ (a County Court Judgment) as they had failed to file a Defence. Tom’s clients had been representing themselves as litigants in person and had found the court process both stressful and daunting. When the clients initially met with Tom it appeared that all hope was lost and they had resigned themselves to losing the claim. After discussing their position and Tom advised the clients to make an application to set aside the County Court Judgment. Due to his extensive County Court experience Tom represented the clients in Court himself (avoiding the need to instruct a barrister).
The County Court Judgment was set aside and this means that Tom’s clients can defend the claim and have the opportunity to participate in alternative dispute resolution (i.e. attempt to settle “out of court”). The clients have been extremely impressed by Tom’s handling of their case and feel more confident in fighting their corner.
Tom specialises in property dispute litigation and the lawful recovery of property (commonly known as “eviction proceedings”). In a recent and notable case Tom was instructed in relation a landlord and tenant dispute where the tenants had stopped paying the rent. Tom was instructed on behalf of the landlord of a residential property in Northamptonshire. The tenant was refusing to vacate the Property and owed over £5,000.00 in rent arrears. Tom took the client’s instructions, prepared and served the Section 8 notice on the tenant and, when the tenant refused to move out of the property, issued possession proceedings. The case was listed in the Northampton County Court and Tom represented the landlord in court. The Judge Ordered possession and the landlord obtained a County Court Judgment against the tenant. Tom is now advising the landlord on enforcement options. By preparing the Court documents and representing the client in Court himself Tom’s approach is both personal and cost-effective. Since obtaining the Order for Possession (also known as a Possession Order) the tenant has moved out. The client was extremely happy with the result in Court and is even more happy to have their property back!
Sale of Share in a Company
Christian Browne of Summerfield Browne Solicitors acted for the sellers of shares in a SME tooling company to a French buyer. Christian Browne commented that “this transaction was technically quite complex and involved quite a lot of legal and commercial due diligence, and also negotiation of extensive warranties and tax covenants. However the deal ran relatively smoothly and completed on the projected completion date which made the clients very happy indeed. We also managed to protect our clients’ interests with limited ongoing liabilities which was fantastic”.
Claim against liquidator
A long running case involving a creditor’s claim against a liquidator was successfully resolved in the High Court last month bringing an end to a dispute that had been ongoing for more than a year and a half. The case was complex and involved a director who had liquidated a company and disposed of company assets. With the help of Tom Lathom the creditor successfully removed the liquidator and appointed their own as well as securing an order for costs.
Defamation case study
We were recently instructed by a client who had been representing herself as a litigant in person against a company. The case involved comments that our client had posted on the Facebook social media platform. Our client had received a defective product and had received extremely poor customer service and had shared her views of the company on Facebook. The company in question had read the comments on Facebook and had written to our client threatening her with court proceedings. Our client believed that she was entitled to write what she wanted on Facebook as long as it was the truth. Our client was adamant that all the comments that had been written were true.
A claim was issued against our client in defamation and we raised several defences on behalf of our client. The case was listed as a small claim and proceeded to smalls claims mediation which is a free service that is offered by the courts to assist the parties in settlement negotiations. It is a useful service that is conducted over the telephone and, if successful, can avoid the need for a court hearing. It is often much cheaper to use the small claims mediation service (SCMS) than going to court.
After around 30 minutes on the telephone to the mediator we managed to settle the claim for just 5% of the claim value!
Our client was over the moon with the result and managed to avoid months of stress and uncertainty in going to court not to mention saving legal costs.
How we can help you
If you have posted comments online regarding the goods and services that you have received from a company and they have threatened you with defamation court proceedings and you need advice on what to do next please do get in touch.
Successful Resolution of Litigation Dispute against RVA Surveyors
Summerfield Browne Solicitors advised a client regarding a Business Rates Dispute with RVA Surveyors. The matter was to be heard on the fast track and as such had cost implications for both parties. However our Laura Everson advised on and resolved the Business Rate Litigation to the great satisfaction and happiness of our client.
Successful application to set aside judgement
Tessa Rhodes has recently acted for a cosmetic dentistry company in relation to county court proceedings issued against them claiming clinical negligence. The company had been joined into the proceedings at a late stage and had not been served with the proceedings in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules which had resulted in a county court judgement being registered against them.
On further investigation it was clear that the dentist involved was not an employee of the company and had no connection to them whatsoever other than using a similar trading name.
An application to set aside judgement was made to the court on their behalf which resulted in the judgement being set aside, the proceedings against them discontinued and payment of their costs.
Harassment and stalking injunction
Solicitor Stacey Mills recently acted for an individual who was alarmed to discover that an interim injunction had been imposed against him, preventing him from contacting the Applicant by any means, or going within 100 metres of their residential or work addresses. The Application also suggested that the Applicant intended to sue our Client in relation to a claim for damages to compensate them in relation to an allegation of stalking and harassment.
Upon review of the evidence, it became apparent that the Applicant had failed to comply with their duty of full and frank disclosure in obtaining the injunction order, and they had also failed to comply with an undertaking.
Summerfield Browne assisted the Defendant in preparing for the return hearing. At the hearing, the interim injunction was discharged, the Applicant dropped her claim for compensation and the Court made no order as to costs.
Boundary dispute success
Tom Lathom recently represented Claimants in a claim involving injunctive proceedings that had been issued in the Northampton County Court in 2017. The case involved a boundary dispute where neighbours had interfered with a right of way by frequently parking cars on land. It was a hard-fought case involving a long running dispute where neighbourly relations had broken down a long time ago. Tom’s clients were extremely happy with how the case was handled and appreciated Tom’s professionalism and creative approach to the proceedings.
If you have reached the end of your tether with your neighbours due to a boundary dispute, parking or trespass issues please do get in touch. We have a team of solicitors that can assist in relation to neighbour disputes.
Success in bringing a claim for breach of contract
We have recently been successful in bringing a claim for breach of contract on behalf of a Recruitment Company. The person in question had been provided with employment on an interim basis. He had agreed to enter into a contract with our client which specifically stated that once his employment had ended, he was not to accept any offer of employment with the same company for an 18 month period without advising our client which would give them the right to claim commissions. Needless to say, the person concerned ended his employment earlier than was originally planned and then immediately accepted a position with the company on a full time basis and did not notify our client. He was therefore in breach of contract.
After submitting a Letter of Claim, the parties were able to negotiate a settlement without the need for a court action to be commenced.
Our Tessa Rhodes has been instructed to act for three individuals and is investigating whether they have a claim for damages against a Property Investment Company. The company in question advertised a development in America for properties that had been fully renovated and were ready for the rental market. They guaranteed a rental return and agreed to purchase the property back at market rate after 5 years. It appears that the properties in question are in fact derelict and uninhabitable and a market appraisal gives a valuation of ¼ of what was paid for them.
We are advising our clients on whether they have grounds to bring a claim for damages based on misrepresentation and are also making enquiries into the Directors of the company as they are not only involved in the Property Investment Company but are also involved in the Management Company who look after the development.
Summerfield Browne Solicitors have successfully represented a building materials supply company in defending a summary judgement application to enforce a construction adjudication decision.
The jurisdiction of the construction adjudicator was originally challenged at the time of the adjudication on the grounds that the oral contract between the claimant and our client had been novated which extinguished the construction contract between the parties. The argument was that since there was no construction contract, the adjudicator did not have jurisdiction to consider the referral. The adjudicator disagreed.
Clearly the fact that the jurisdiction of the adjudicator was challenged at the time of the adjudication assisted in defending the summary judgement application. Another significant factor in this success was that the original contract between the parties had been oral and therefore to ascertain its terms would require witness evidence which would require a full trial hearing and it was not for the summary judgement hearing to consider such detailed evidence.
Based on our case, the judge did consider that there was a real prospect of success for our client, which defeated the summary judgement application.