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  • Overview

    MexxaMixx is a Kent-based business which manufactures and sells a range of Mexican style cooking sauces.

    Thomas, one of the directors, approached us for advice in relation to an issue it was having with the manufacturer of the packaging for the sauces.

    They had an agreement with the manufacturer setting out the basis on which the packaging products would be supplied. At the beginning of each month, MexxaMixx would give the manufacturer its product order for the next month. The manufacturer was then required to deliver MexxaMixx’s order on a specified date.

    Unfortunately the manufacturer started to be late with the product deliveries. This caused problems for MexxaMixx – the delays were threatening its ability to deliver on time to the supermarket chain it supplied.

    MexxaMixx tried to resolve the issue with the manufacturer directly, but its request for a meeting went unanswered. Eventually, MexxaMixx had to find an alternative supplier to avoid breaching its own contract with the supermarket chain. Fortunately it found one, but it was 10% more expensive.

    We advised MexxaMixx that the late deliveries amounted to a breach of contract and that MexxaMixx had the right to claim damages and to terminate the agreement.

    MexxaMixx wanted to avoid an expensive dispute; it simply wanted to terminate the agreement, and move forward. We wrote to the manufacturer setting out MexxaMixx’s position. We ensured MexxaMixx complied with the Pre-Action Protocol for this type of dispute which it is obliged to do under law. If Court proceedings were eventually issued, our compliance with the Pre-Action Protocol would have increased MexxaMixx’s chances of recovering its legal costs from the manufacturer and avoided the Court imposing cost sanctions on MexxaMixx. We demanded that the manufacturer pay compensation to MexxaMixx to put it back in the position it would have been had the manufacturer not breached the contract. This included the additional costs of the new manufacturer and the loss of management time - both of which MexxaMixx was entitled to recover.

    Initially the manufacturer denied the breach. We responded threatening to take further action on MexxaMixx’s behalf. Through our decisive and reasonable approach we were able to reach an agreement with the manufacturer where it compensated MexxaMixx for its losses and terminated the agreement thus achieving our client’s aims.

    This article was first published in The Courier on Friday 15 May

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