Retention of Title – Can I get my goods back?

22nd Sep 2016

Although the economy is stable despite the fears over Brexit, the Administration of Bernard Matthews is a stark reminder of the challenges facing small and medium sized businesses and suppliers too. As reported in the EDP, the insolvency of a company can have a domino effect, with creditors not being paid for their goods and also losing a customer.

What can a supplier do?

Peter Hastings advises “The first step to take is check you terms and conditions and see whether you have a Retention of Title Clause (often referred to as a “Romalpa Clause) which retains your title to the goods if you have not been paid. In other words, title does not pass until payment. If you have such a clause, you may be able to recover your goods.

The second step is to inform the Administrator of your Retention of Claim and seek to recover your goods. You will need to prove that your terms and conditions were incorporated and that you can identify the goods on site as being your goods”.

Peter adds, “We have already seen the demise of BHS this year and before that, Woolworths and many other businesses, leaving a pile of debts behind especially to suppliers. Suppliers need to review their terms and conditions on a regular basis, check payment terms and ensure that all monies become payable if one invoice has not been paid so that action can be taken to recover all of the debt and that the retention of title clause applies to all goods. Check that you have a contractual right to refuse to supply. Often companies are so pleased to win what they feel is a lucrative contract they acquiesce to the demands of the firm they are supplying. Here at Rogers & Norton we have the expertise to support & advise our clients when they are sealing important supply deals – so they get the best terms & conditions. We also act for companies who don’t take this step and will potentially lose money when a company goes into Liquidation or Administration, and wish that they had talked to us at the outset.

Peter has acted for many suppliers and Insolvency Practitioners over the years on Retention of Title claims and seeking to recover goods. He advised creditors following the demise of Past Times and Woolworths, and has presented numerous seminars on the subject.

For more information and details, please contact:

Peter Hastings – Tel. 01603 675639 or Email: Peter Hastings

Maria Taylor – Tel. 01603 675613 or Email: Maria Taylor