Suing for Non-Payment of Services
Last week, Edko Theatre Operation Limited and Broadway Theatre Company Limited were sued by Ideocor Asia Construction Limited that they failed to pay for the construction work on the cinema at Cityplaza. The defendant had only paid $500k where they still owe the plaintiff $11.31M (HCA 349/2021).
The above fact is not uncommon in the construction industry. For example, in HongKong Underground Engineering Ltd v Welcome Construction Co Ltd (HCA 1834/2003), the plaintiff (subcontractor) issued 6 invoices to the defendant (contractor). The defendant made partial payments to 3 of the invoices and made no payments to the remaining. In consideration of the frequency of non-payment and seriousness of the breach, the Court of First Instance held that the defendant repudiated the contract as its failure to pay evinced an intention no longer to be bound by the contract. The Court handed down a judgement in favour of the plaintiff for a sum of approximately $1.11M with interest awarded.
If after repeated attempts your client has not paid you back, you should contact your lawyer to issue a demand letter. In the letter, you should state how much the client owes you, what it is for, and give him a warning that you will take legal action against him if he does not repay you by the date you designate. If you receive no response to your demand letter, you should commence legal action.