Business Expert: Keep within your limits
11th January 2019
Limitation periods often seem to attract little attention until it is too late.
Parties to litigation would do well to understand that limitation periods can act as an absolute bar to any claim.
For simple contractual claims often at the centre of civil litigation disputes an individual has 6 years from the date the contract was breached to bring a claim. Although 6 years in the grand scale of things seems a substantial amount of time, many individuals and companies often sit on very strong claims and fail to act before it is too late.
A recent case where an Architect firm tried to recover £25,000 for carrying out a housing project proved to be unsuccessful due to the time limitations involved. The Architect firm had entered into a written contract with the housing provider to carry out the work and subsequently provided an invoice after the work was completed.
However, the housing company had refused to pay the full amount. In seeking legal action, the court expressed to the claimant dismay that this was beyond the Court remit as the time lapsed had exceeded the 6-year limitation period. Despite an appeal to the High Court, the decision was upheld.
This outlines why it is so important that any companies or individuals who believe they have a prospective claim to seek the necessary legal advice.
Additionally, claims which are often particularly complex may deter a potential claimant from pursuing further action. This can lead to a company or individual failing to act and again missing a potentially successful claim.
When presented with such complex issues forward thinking is vital to success. In consulting legal experts, they will be able to point you in the right direction and can explain any relevant timescales associated with such a claim.
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