#WiseUpWednesday: Court Action Didn’t Work – Our Letters Did!

Court Action Didn’t Work – Our Letter Did…

And In Just 3 Days!

That’s what I call another great result.

Our Client had employed solicitors and even issued court proceedings in order to recover their £20,276.71 in unpaid retention.

The problem was that the solicitors who drew up the court papers didn’t understand the Construction Act rules regarding retention, and that made it all too easy for the Contractor to defend the action and frustrate the process.

We put an end to the Specialist Contractor’s 2 year wait for their money in literally just 3 days.

So How Was it Done?

This case is typical of why you shouldn’t struggle on alone trying to collect your money, and why solicitors and court action are not necessarily the quickest way to get your money.

In this particular case I applied the rule of 3 that I told you about in a Wise Up Wednesday a couple of weeks ago. Here they are again because, at the end of the day getting paid can often come down to these 3 things;

  • knowing what to say
  • knowing how to say it
  • knowing who to say it to

Knowing what to say in this case, required the application of the Construction Act. In this case the 5 outstanding invoices were actually subject to 3 different contractual ways of applying the Act. As in this case, when it applies, and when it’s in your favour there is nowhere for the Contractor to hide.

Knowing how to say it required not only the correct analysis of the 3 scenarios, but I used the kind of compelling drafting that makes our letters hard to ignore. The new message was loud and clear – we now know exactly what we are doing because we have changed horses from solicitor who hasn’t applied the Act, to Consultant who has applied the Act.

Knowing who to say it to is easy if you have got the first two points absolutely bang on. Because, unless there is a good reason not to, we usually start at the top of the tree. The CEO, or in this case the MD and owner of the £92 million a year turnover company that bears his name.

The #1 Problem for Specialist Contractors…

Payment, is still the #1 reason that Specialist Contractors contact Streetwisesubbie.com, and it’s no surprise because it can be really tough out there, and the rules aren’t easy to get your head around.

So, if you haven’t done so yet, please take a minute to download our complimentary report “How To Get Paid” which you can find below.


“How to Get Paid”

And if you haven’t already done so we would like your help to highlight the very real problems that still exist in construction by taking a very quick payment survey;

Please Complete Payment Survey Now


Don’t Struggle On Alone

Please don’t stand for late or underpayment, or struggle on alone. That’s what the Contractor wants you to do because then he gets to keep your money.

How do you think the Contractor in this case gets to have over £7 million pounds working capital? If they’re holding back just £20,000 from each retention they should have paid back (and you can reckon that some are a lot more), then that’s only 350 accounts.

See how easy it is for big Contractors to look richer than they actually are? They do it by holding onto your money!


How To Recognise It’s Time For A New Approach

Here are a few thoughts on things that might be holding you back and stopping you getting paid. If you’re;

  • Doing the same thing and just hoping for change
  • Avoiding thinking about the reality of your situation
  • Feeling like you made the right decision but there’s still no progress
  • Thinking that asking for help discredits you or your successes

Then it might just be that the fear of change, or your pride is getting the better of you, and actually holding you back from even greater success, and stopping you getting paid quicker and more effectively.

Try Something New

Please remember you can call our friendly team for initial no cost advice on 01773 712116 or email us on info@streetwisesubbie.com, and if you’re one of our Silver, Gold and Platinum Buddies you can use your commercial and contractual consultancy to find an answer. Just like in the case above.

Wouldn’t you prefer to get paid rather than struggle?


Whatever level your business is at, and whatever your specialisation I want to encourage you to experience and enjoy a better more profitable, less stressful way.


I hope you enjoyed my Wise Up Wednesday email and that it gave you some food for thought, and please don’t hesitate to grab your Complimentary Report at “How To Get Paid” and please take 3 minutes now to complete the Anonymous Payment Survey.

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Construction’s a tough place to do business right now, and Specialist Contractors need all the help you can get. That’s why you will find our resources and expertise are invaluable, whatever the size of your business and whatever your specialisation. We’re here to help you solve all your business problems, including the crucially important contractual ones, such as getting paid.

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