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Small builder can't get paid

I am a small local builder. I have been trying to get paid for work done over a year ago. I am owed €18,000.00. I am going to and fro with solicitors’ letters but still no payment forthcoming. Now my solicitor is looking for €5,000.00 to brief two Barristers. Am I on the right road?

Reading this question it is clear that this case is not a simple debt recovery case.   In my 30+ years of legal practice I have never seen a situation where a solicitor finds it necessary to brief two Barristers in relation to a simple debt recovery case.

What I think is happening here is that this builder’s customers are refusing to pay because they say that the building work is substandard or has not been complete to their satisfaction. This therefore becomes a fully defended contract case that is going to go to trial.   Given that there are two Barristers it is distinctly possible that the counterclaim being filed by the customers may effectively be in the High Court and that it going to be extremely expensive. 

To this listener all I can say is to make sure your professional advisers (including architect/engineer) are fully confident that you will win this case and get the case to trial as quickly as possible.  If your advisers do not have confidence then you should consider having a mutual settlement with your customers whereby you withdraw your claim and they withdraw theirs.   Follow your solicitor’s advice.

The issues raised in the answer to this NewsTalk listener's question are dealt with in a general way as can only be the case on live radio. Before relying on the advice given in this answer, whether you heard the broadcast or are for the first time reading the issues here please do not rely on the broad advice given. For a detailed professional opinion please consult a qualified legal advisor and for further details read our disclaimer on the Home Page.

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