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Contractual Dispute, Legal Threats
Topic: Contractual Dispute, Legal Threats
Posted: 17/June/2016 at 17:47
I'm a fresh intern at a professional services firm. It's obviously not a law firm. The amount in dispute is not small but not big enough for our legal team to look at.
Here's what happened.
The client wants us to arrange some third party provider to supply some services. It can either be 2 items or just 1 item. Let's call them services A and service B.
Since I was new, I wasn't sure what the the client actually wanted, so I just copied the names and/or brief descriptions of A and B from the client brief into my request for quote to this third party provider. Let's call him X.
In our last email exchange about the price. I clearly listed 2 separate items, A and B. He gave me a price in reply without disputing that. In fact, I don't remember if he ever disputed that 2 services were to be supplied.
I sent him a formal contract to sign saying the same 2 items, he hasn't given it back.
I gave X's quote for A and B as well as another quote to the client. The client chose X, so I got X to perform his services immediately.
Some time later, X sent me A. I asked where B was. He said his quote was for only A all along, because he had read the client brief I sent him and assumed I only needed A.
I searched through my mailbox and couldn't find any record of such an assertion made prior to the award of contract.
I thought the client may accuse us of bait-and-switch and sue us for damages in the future (since we sub-contracted, the client had no contractual relationship with X) so devised what I believed was an equitable solution:
I pay 3 quarters now and the rest when we receive the all-clear from the client.
X is furious and has threatened to go to VCAT if I don't pay the full amount now.
Here are my questions.
1. If X goes to VCAT now, what would the decision be (probabilistically)?
2. If we submit to his demands and pay him in full now; and the client sues us in the future; and we sue X to recover the damages, who would win (probabilistically)?
Edited by hbogyt - 17/June/2016 at 20:53
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