Collection of non existing debt failed: WinnerLex lawyers successfully defended the client in court17.12.2022
The demand for the recovery of a significant amount of debt against our client was presented by his counterparty. Our client acted as a subcontractor at the construction site and had to manufacture and then install steel structures. But despite the significant amount of the transaction, it was not formalized by the parties in writing, which, unfortunately, happens quite often. Our client only issued an invoice to his general contractor and received payment. The handover and acceptance of the work was performed after the completion of the installation had been carried out, no claims against our client arose, but they did not have time to document it, the military aggression of the russian federation began. After that, communication with the general contractor ceased.
However, suddenly the general contractor went to court with a demand to recover from our client the payment received in full. At the same time, the general contractor claimed that he only negotiated with our client, after which the parties had the intention to conclude an agreement. It seems that our client only issued an invoice, which was paid by the general contractor, but then the contract was not concluded, and our client did not perform any of the work that was paid. An apparently unscrupulous general contractor decided to take advantage of the wartime chaos and ill-gotten gains at the expense of his bona fide contractor.
Attorneys of WinnerLex have extensive experience in protecting the interests of clients in situations where the contractual relationship between the parties is not properly documented.
Since our client did not have direct evidence of the conclusion of the contract and its implementation, except for the invoice, the lawyers of WinnerLex supported their arguments with correspondence between our client and the general contractor, as well as representatives of the customer, which was carried out both by e-mail and in instant messengers, as well as tax invoice issued by the client based on the results of a business transaction. In addition, statements of witnesses from the client’s employees who directly performed the installation of metal structures were drawn up, and photographs and files with video evidence of the process of performing work on the site were attached.
After assessing the evidence obtained, the court ruled to dismiss the claim for the recovery of funds from our client, since the lawyers of JSC WinnerLex proved the conclusion of the contract in a simple written form, while the requirements of the general contractor were based on the fact that, as if, the money was received our client unreasonably, in the absence of any contractual relationship. Separately, the court drew attention in the decision to the tax invoice provided by the lawyers of WinnerLex, as an important evidence of a business transaction.
It should be noted that in situations similar to the one described, the process of identifying and collecting evidence is very important. At the same time, evidence must be submitted by the defendant along with a response to the claim within the time limits established by the court. Evidence submitted late may not be accepted by the court. Our client quickly got his bearings in the situation and turned to WinnerLex to protect his interests in court. This made it possible to collect all the necessary evidence and submit it to the court within a certain time frame, which became the key to winning the dispute.
It is also necessary to remember that the timely and complete execution of primary documentation: contracts, invoices, acts of acceptance and transfer of goods, delivery and acceptance of work performed can protect the business from dishonest counterparties.