A vehicle leasing company has won its claim to recover more than £560,000 in unpaid invoices following a dispute with a customer.
The case involved Venson Automotive Solutions Ltd v Morrisons Facilities Services Ltd.
The two companies had entered into a contract in which Venson leased a fleet of 1,014 vehicles to Morrisons.
The hire agreement contained a clause stipulating that if Morrisons disputed any of the invoices, it needed to notify Venson within seven working days of receiving the invoice.
In 2016, Morrisons raised concerns that it had been historically overcharged and cancelled its direct debit.
Venson began proceedings to recover the amounts of its unpaid invoices. It submitted that Morrisons was obligated to pay the outstanding sums as it had not raised any dispute regarding the invoices within seven days of their receipt.
The court found in favour of Venson. It held that the agreement made it clear that if Morrisons wished to dispute an invoice it was under a mandatory obligation to notify Venson within seven days of receipt of the invoice.
The clause conferred benefits for both parties; it gave Morrisons the opportunity to dispute a charge and it allowed Venson to assert a right to immediate payment where no dispute had been made within seven days.
However, Morrisons had not disputed the invoices within seven days and so its defence had to fail.
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