His group, PJ English Associates, is currently working on 74 cases which represents a substantial increase on the figure of 15 at the same time last year.
вЂњA lot of our work has stemmed from the high-profile case we handled on behalf of Southern Glass Services,вЂќ said English after an adjudicator ruled (10 months ago) that the 3% deductions from agreed payment terms being summarily removed by Barratt Southampton were out of order.
The money involved (ВЈ19,000) was paid back along with a further ВЈ5,400 to cover interest charges
Interestingly, after that debacle, Barratt has become one of the good guys and not a single case on EnglishвЂ™s current schedule bears the name Barratt.ADVERTISEMENT
Two of his largest cases at the moment involve acting for a groundwork contractor who claims to be owed money on two scores: ВЈ500,000 from a major house builder and another from a smaller contractor.
вЂњThe larger players are not bowing down like they might have done in the past,вЂќ said English.
вЂњHowever smaller players, who are owed ВЈ8,000 to ВЈ12,000 perhaps, are still caving in and adopting the stance that they will live with the problem and try to work through it.
вЂњIвЂ™d say all the house builders are currently trying it on apart.
вЂњThe others are knocking 5% irrespective off what their agree payment terms say.
вЂњAnother trick is for them to close a site when the scheme is only halfway through, then challenging their subcontractors to take them to court for breach and putting every obstacle in the way."
However, larger subcontractors are wising up, according to English. вЂњThey are saying вЂget stuffed вЂ“ weвЂ™ll see you in courtвЂ™ because they know they will win the court case,вЂќ he reports.
Of the 74 cases on EnglishвЂ™s books at the moment, 38 are into the litigation or adjudication phase.
The balance, where the two sides have failed to settle amicably, are mostly waiting for a further input of effort or clarification before advice can be given on how best to handle them.
English expects half of this balance to eventually go into adjudication.
вЂњIn all , IвЂ™d expect to see 50-plus of our 74 cases being resolved by way of adjudication,вЂќ he said, вЂњwith another five or six being taken to court.вЂќ
English thinks most cases are in the bag even before he steps through the courtroom door simply because 80% of main contractors who summarily hang on to money they should pay out fail to issue a withholding notice (a legal necessity) which means it's almost game over before the bell sounds for the start of the formal sparring.
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