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Case Study: Consultants Contractual Disputes

Martin Searle Solicitors Employment Law Team


How our Employment Law Team successfully defended a claim against a dentist for breach of contract and succeeded in bringing a larger financial claim against the Dental Practice.

The situation

Sandra is an experienced dentist who was between surgeries.

When she was offered a Performer Dentist Contract with Shiny Smiles, the recruitment company told her that Shiny Smiles was an established, busy practice with an active client list. The recruiter’s estimate of potential earnings was sufficient to support Sandra’s family, where she is the only ‘bread winner’.

It soon became clear that the potential earnings had been overstated. There were large gaps between each appointment and days where there were no appointments at all.

In the first month, Sandra’s earnings were less than 10% of what the recruitment consultant had forecasted and they did not even cover her childcare costs.

Sandra had no option but to leave without giving the three months’ notice required by her contract.

Shiny Smiles brought a breach of contract claim totalling £11,500 against Sandra in the County Court, which included the cost of replacing her with a locum for three months, and reputational damage.

What Martin Searle Solicitors did

We identified that Sandra had been induced to enter the contract due to negligent misrepresentation so that she was entitled to end her contract without giving notice. We also advised her to file a Counterclaim with a view to recovering the earnings she had lost.

We agreed with Sandra that we would try and persuade Shiny Smiles to withdraw their claim. However, Shiny Smiles would not back down and insisted on pursuing the case.

Shiny Smiles were unwilling to disclose their emails with the recruitment consultant or their records of Sandra’s appointments. We obtained an Unless Order from the Court which meant that unless they disclosed this evidence, Sandra would succeed and their claim would fail. Consequently, we succeeded in getting Judgment against Shiny Smiles, with damages and interest to be assessed.

Shiny Smiles then tried to have the Judgment set aside. We attended Court on Sandra’s behalf and successfully resisted the surgery’s application for relief from sanctions. The Judge confirmed that the Judgment stood and he ordered Shiny Smiles to pay 100% of Sandra’s costs.

The result

Sandra did not have to pay a penny to Shiny Smiles and she did not have to attend a Court hearing.

We recovered a settlement of £15,500 for Sandra, which compensated her loss of earnings between starting the role at Shiny Smiles and finding new work elsewhere. We also negotiated over 90% of the legal costs that Sandra had incurred in fighting the case against Shiny Smiles.

Sandra was delighted to have turned the tables on Shiny Smiles who had made her life extremely stressful.

If you are in need of expert contact advice contact our Employment Law Team on 01273 609911, or email to find out more.

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T: 01273 609 991

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