A case was recently settled for a property agent client in relation to an introduction it made between a lender and a property company, which resulted in a significant property refinance.
The property company argued that no fee was payable because:
In other words, the odds appeared stacked against our client.
During the claim we were able to show that even though there was no written or verbal agreement that a fee would be paid, a fee was owed because:
To avoid disputes, a clear fee agreement should be entered into with clients before they make an introduction or (for non-introduction related fees) before any proper work is carried out. That agreement should set out precisely what work will be carried out, the fee for that work or how that fee will be calculated, and the event that will trigger payment of the fee.
Trusting the client to agree a fee at a later date, or agreeing a fee over a handshake, can invite trouble when it comes to requesting payment.
Where events overtake you and the formalities are not tied up at the outset, all is not lost. We have extensive experience of resolving disputes and have a good track record of resolving disputes between agents and their clients over fees.
We recognise that no professional wants to fall out with their clients over fees so the approach we take is pragmatic. We focus on getting the issue resolved quickly by negotiation, using mediation where appropriate and only going to court as a last resort.
We also have expertise in acting for agents in disputes with suppliers, professional negligence claims against advisers and in partnership and LLP bust ups.
We also provide training to agents who act as expert witnesses in property related disputes.
Find out more about the experts that make up our Commercial Dispute Resolution team
Contributor: Robert Naylor, Associate, Commercial Dispute Resolution team
This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at October 2016. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.