Hi,I worked internally for a client.I ow...

Asked by Philip on 06-11-2022 15:55:15
Question posted in the Malpractice Law category relating to Gauteng


I worked internally for a client.

I own a company but its just me and I outsource for work that needs to be done.

I moved into my clients offices and paid rent to them.

The director was a bully and an abusive person and after three months of his behaviour and down talk and remarks I sent him a letter stating that what ever is accepted in his normal circumstances is not accepted between myself and his self.

What ended up happening is that he said that we cant work together and when I wanted to hand over the work I did as I did complete my work for them.

He was not willing to accept it and is not willing to pay me either.

However what he has done is he has gone ahead with the concept I pitched him on with one of our suppliers.

He always triangulated me against other people and people against me.

The initial letter that he responded with when I Sent him the initial letter of unhappinness towards him and everyone he pitted against me, he said that its a sign of trust to Be able to share this openly and it just makes us stronger.

Then when we met two weeks later after I told him exactly what I think of his bully tactics he said we cannot work together.

I did finish the work and wanted to hand the work over.

I also had to pay all the people I onboarded for the project to finish the work.

What are my legal rights with regards to this?

We didnt sign any contracts but they had paid me for 3 previous months.

Further information relating to Question:


Message from the Lawyer

Posted by Att. Patrick on 07-11-2022 08:32:20

Hi there and thank you for your question,

I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.

Please keep in mind that our discussions is for general information purposes only. Our engagement on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship. 

The fact that you didn't sign any contracts isn't really an issue, because there is most certainly still an oral agreement which you have previously reached which sets out the terms of your agreement, which covers the work that you were doing, the payment for the work, and the rental story.

If the client has refused to pay you in accordance with the agreement, and you have performed in terms of the agreement (i.e. you've done the work which you said that you were going to do) then the client's failure to pay you amounts to a material breach of the agreement. 

This material breach entitles you to either cancel the agreement (which you don't really want to do) or to claim specific performance from the client - which is what you want to do. A claim for specific performance is where you claim against the client to "do what you said you would do, and pay me."

What this entails is issuing a summons against the client to force the client to pay you. The summons will have a statement attached to it (you'll need to draft this) which sets out the original agreement and explains the breach and how the client hasn't paid you and what the client is supposed to still pay you. 

Ultimately, a magistrate/judge will need to listen to your case and decide if you've pleaded and proved your case, and if you have, then you'll get a judgment and the sheriff can go to the client's premises and attach assets to sell them in execution.

Unfortunately what you can't do is to stop the client from using your work. Your claim is for payment in accordance with the agreement. Your client isn't to stop the client from using your work.

Insofar as you've outsourced work to third parties, and those third parties need to be paid by you, you'll need to include the cost of that work in your claim against the client ... just like you would do normally with your invoice to the client. 

If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question. 

Att. Patrick 

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