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Advice needed: contract law / recommended lawyer

Von: Quiet Contractor (contractor513503@hushmail.com) [Profil]
Datum: 25.01.2009 22:54
Message-ID: <igmpn4tp47rhs2f1vnee6p2040hflvdqdb@4ax.com>
Newsgroup: uk.legal uk.consultants
I'm a contractor (a developer), using my own limited company. I was
providing services for a company who offered to extend my contract.
Without going into details, the offer wasn't attractive, so I looked
for another role.

I was offered a contract, through an agency, with a very large
organisation, accepted it, and it was signed by both sides. I had a
holiday booked, so the start date was a few weeks in the future (early
december 08). Having signed the contract, I declined the extension
offered by my existing client.

A few days before the start date, while I was still on holiday, I
received an email from the agency saying there was a problem with the
start date - the client had not signed off the role, and there was
going to be a delay.

Initially I was not too concerned - I was told (verbally) that the
situation would be resolved rapidly and that the dates on my contract
would be altered so I'd still have the same period, it would just
start a week or so later.

This dragged on for some time, until very recently when the agent
admitted that it was unlikely that the client was going to give
approval for the role.

I have no animosity towards the agent, who I think has worked very
hard on my behalf, and who is clearly embarrassed by the situation,
but the fact is that I have declined an extension, and have no been
without work for almost 7 weeks, and, given the current state of the
market, am finding it difficult to find leads.

So - my questions:

My reading of the contract suggests to me that the agency has no
obligation to compensate me for the financial loss I have suffered. I
am not a lawyer, so I'm not certain about this. Would this normally be
the case, or, if I have a contract is the agency usually committing to
provide me with work for the period?

Obviously this is hard to answer without my publishing the text of the
contract, but I don't think that would be wise, so my second question
is, does anyone have any recommendations for a solicitor / lawyer who
has expertise in this area, and who I could consult. I would imagine
that I'd only need a brief meeting to find out whether or not I have a
case for trying to get some money out of the agency.

Finally... if a solicitor says I do have a case, do any operate on a
no-win no-fee basis in this area? I'd hate to pay for an hour's
consultation and then launch a legal case which I lost and found I was
even more out of pocket.

The amount of money I'm talking about here at least  20k (that's in
lost earnings because I haven't done any work for the client), and
possibly more because I'm now not working, and am finding it difficult
to find a suitable positon (the market having taken a distinct turn
for the worse).

Any advice would be appreciated.


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