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Weightmans successfully defends social care provider against telecoms contract claim

Weightmans has successfully defended the UK’s largest employee-owned provider of social care, against a £180,000 claim for breach of contract.

Weightmans’ Litigation North team has successfully defended Be Caring Ltd, the UK’s largest employee-owned provider of social care, against a £180,000 claim for breach of contract from telecoms service provider Blu-Sky-Solutions Ltd.

Blu-Sky-Solutions sought to enforce payment of an “administration charge” of £180,000 plus VAT arising from a contract between them and Be Caring Ltd for the provision of telecoms services.

The claim, brought in the High Court, was dismissed by HHJ Davies on the basis that the clauses relied on by Blu-Sky-Solutions in order to raise the administration charge were not incorporated into the contract as they were unduly onerous and were not fairly and reasonably brought to the attention of Be Caring Ltd. Further, the Judge found that even if the terms were incorporated they were penalty clauses and void as a result.

Be Caring Ltd is a social enterprise providing a range of care services from traditional domiciliary care to caring for those with more complex needs like dementia and palliative care. It works within communities across Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester.

Robert Jones, partner at Weightmans LLP, commented: “The significant financial impact that this claim, had it been successful, would have had on Be Caring Ltd cannot be overstated. Be Caring Ltd provides community-based care in the North of England’s largest cities. The pressures that front line care and health services have faced during the pandemic have been unprecedented and at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Moreover, the efforts of the individual key worker carers providing such services have been nothing short of heroic. The resources available to such valued organisations are not abundant and so it was especially important to us, to be able to work in conjunction with the client and counsel to succeed in defending these proceedings.”

“This case serves to underline the importance of ensuring that terms and conditions are properly communicated and presented to would-be partners and customers in a clear and transparent way.”

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