Contract breach & unpaid invoices - Care provider against local authority
A company providing domestic care services on behalf of a local authority.
Value of Dispute
The Commercial Dispute
A company specialising in the provision of home care and support services (the “Claimant”) entered into an agreement with a local authority (the “Defendant”) to provide a short-term transition care service. This service was intended for individuals whose home care fell under the responsibility of the local authority.
The company agreed to provide the services required by the Defendant, specifically a number of in-home carers operating for a set number of hours, 7 days per week, for an agreed period. In accordance with the agreement, the Claimant provided the services to the local authority until it sourced an alternate care provider (approximately 12 months later).
During the ongoing performance of its contractual obligations, the care provider issued invoices to the local authority pursuant to the agreement, which were satisfied by the Defendant. Following the issuing of the invoices, the Claimant realised that the balance of the invoices had been incorrectly calculated. The result of this error was that the care provider had invoiced the local authority for a significantly lower sum than it was contractually entitled to.
The Claimant therefore issued further invoices to make up the shortfall between the sums originally invoiced, and the sums properly due. However the Defendant refused to pay the outstanding sums to the Claimant, which was a clear contract breach.
How Escalate Resolved – Services Used
The Claimant had previously instructed other legal representatives to resolve the contract breach, and incurred significant costs during the pre-action stage, however they were unable to make progress in recovering the unpaid invoices that were due.
Looking for an alternative solution to resolve their dispute with speed and vigour, the care provider chose to instruct Escalate to act on its behalf.
The Defendant had not previously positively engaged in settlement discussions, but upon Escalate’s involvement they indicated that they would be willing to attend a mediation in an attempt to resolve the dispute. Despite this, the Defendant failed to promptly agree to the mediation arrangements in a timely manner, and as a consequence, Escalate commenced proceedings.
Shortly after the exchange of pleadings and following successful negotiations with the Defendant’s solicitors, the local authority settled the whole of the care provider’s claim for the unpaid invoices and breach of contract. The total sum far exceeded the Claimant’s expectations, inclusive of costs, and was paid within 7 days of the agreement.
From start to finish, the case was resolved less than 4 months after issuing the claim.
“Franklyn, John and the wider Escalate team exceeded all expectations in the way in which they conducted the matter and the result they achieved on our behalf. They resolved the dispute shortly after commencing proceedings and for a sum in excess of what we hoped to recover. We would not hesitate to utilise their services again, and would strongly recommend Escalate to other prospective clients aiming to resolve a contentious dispute.”
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