Not Taken for a ride

Gordon Dadds


How best to convey the true value your organisation confers? Simple.

Step 1: ditch the marketing speak.

Step 2: tell the story behind how you helped people handle real life dilemmas.

Here’s one from a series of stories which Spada’s Gavin Ingham Brooke wrote for legal and professional services firm, Gordon Dadds, as part of its rebrand.

Not taken for a ride

A young American client, Kathy*, bought a horse some years ago from her Norwegian friend, whom she had met on the expatriate circuit in England. Unfortunately, the animal proved to be a real Harvey Smith mount, or, in other words, virtually unrideable.

Caveat emptor?

Confronting her Norwegian friend, Kathy felt it reasonable to ask her friend to take the horse back and return the money. ‘Too bad,’ the friend demurred and went on to suggest that Kathy simply sell the horse on to another of her circle.

That is where one of our experts was called in.

On the face of it, a sale between two private individuals is not governed by the implied rights of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. So, no redress, still less dressage, seemed possible.

Thinking outside the horsebox

Our expert team’s immigration law experience told him that someone outside the EU would, in all likelihood, have had to furnish a business plan to secure ‘indefinite rights to remain in the UK’.

As part of the proceedings he made an application for specific disclosure of the relevant immigration records to see the business plan, if it existed. Eureka.

Records showed the Norwegian lady had indeed lodged such an item and, what is more, had officially registered her intent to make her livelihood through an equestrian business.

It was a critical discovery, meaning that it was strongly arguable that the horse sale was part of a commercial undertaking, so our client’s rights as a consumer were now established prior to the trial.

Wisely, the Norwegian lady decided to settle the case quickly, returning the client’s money and paying all her legal costs into the bargain.

*The name has been changed to preserve the confidentiality of Gordon Dadds’ client.