Practical Legal Research

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Experience Level: Expert
We act for Mellor Monetary Services Limited (Mellor) who provide finance for various customers, including film production crews so that they can acquire very expensive computer hardware.
Unfortunately, a customer has tols them that, next month they will be defaulting on an agreement, leaving 16 instalments of £130,000 left unpaid. FilmFast was the original supplier of the hardware.

Mellor's counsel never negotiated the guarantee and never consulted us on its terms. The guarantee expressely states that English Law applies to the agreement. We need to consider the guarantees terms and make sure we do everything required to call in the guarantee.

I need you to check how the particular clause would be interpreted. It reads:

"If the hirer defaults on any payment, FilmFast will only pay that to Mellor if Mellor
a) within 14days after the default, serve a first written demand for payment on the hirer
b) then immediately and forthwith send a copy of the demand to FilmFast.
Only if the amount remains outstanding for 4 months from the date of service of the second said notice, shall FilmFast be liable to Mellor for that payment."

I need to know how much time we have to send the notice to FilmFast. Exactly what is the meaning of "immediately" and the meaning of "forthwith"? For that matter, is there any difference between the two phrases?

Please can you check how the English and Welsh courts deal with the computation of time where notice has to be given "immediately" and "forthwith".

It may be worth looking for explanations about the construction expressions dealing with time. Will need to see some very old case law. We will eventually need to justify to FilmFast's solicitors how we serve the notices, so we'll need some authorities.

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