Debt Recovery Agency - Qatar Based Company

Hello!
I do some consultancy work in Air Traffic Control. Last year I was doing some stuff for Qatar, trying to get them ready for the FIFA World Cup. I was working through a company that I've worked for previously, they're based in Sweden but eventually had to open a corporate office in Qatar. I have worked for them before and, as is usual, no contract it's just a nod and a wink. What I do get are Purchase Orders. Every month I received a signed PO for the coming month detailing what work they wanted me to do, how long for and how much (either a daily rate or a monthly one), I would sign and return. At the end of the month there was a form for the Project Manager to sign off saying I had done the work and I included a diary of the work done on which days with my invoice.
The Qataris, like all ME countries, are notoriously slow payers and having started work in April I only received payment for my first 2 invoices in early October (this was when the Qataris had made payment to the company). I have 5 more invoices outstanding. In December I sacked the job off for several reasons not least of which was that the client had no firm idea of what they wanted and constantly changed their minds.
Has anyone any recommendations or experiences with engaging a Debt Recovery Agency to try and recover what's owed?
 
Hello!
I do some consultancy work in Air Traffic Control. Last year I was doing some stuff for Qatar, trying to get them ready for the FIFA World Cup. I was working through a company that I've worked for previously, they're based in Sweden but eventually had to open a corporate office in Qatar. I have worked for them before and, as is usual, no contract it's just a nod and a wink. What I do get are Purchase Orders. Every month I received a signed PO for the coming month detailing what work they wanted me to do, how long for and how much (either a daily rate or a monthly one), I would sign and return. At the end of the month there was a form for the Project Manager to sign off saying I had done the work and I included a diary of the work done on which days with my invoice.
The Qataris, like all ME countries, are notoriously slow payers and having started work in April I only received payment for my first 2 invoices in early October (this was when the Qataris had made payment to the company). I have 5 more invoices outstanding. In December I sacked the job off for several reasons not least of which was that the client had no firm idea of what they wanted and constantly changed their minds.
Has anyone any recommendations or experiences with engaging a Debt Recovery Agency to try and recover what's owed?
Might it be worth a chat with a Solicitor skilled in a suitable aspect of the Law?
 
Hello!
I do some consultancy work in Air Traffic Control. Last year I was doing some stuff for Qatar, trying to get them ready for the FIFA World Cup. I was working through a company that I've worked for previously, they're based in Sweden but eventually had to open a corporate office in Qatar. I have worked for them before and, as is usual, no contract it's just a nod and a wink. What I do get are Purchase Orders. Every month I received a signed PO for the coming month detailing what work they wanted me to do, how long for and how much (either a daily rate or a monthly one), I would sign and return. At the end of the month there was a form for the Project Manager to sign off saying I had done the work and I included a diary of the work done on which days with my invoice.
The Qataris, like all ME countries, are notoriously slow payers and having started work in April I only received payment for my first 2 invoices in early October (this was when the Qataris had made payment to the company). I have 5 more invoices outstanding. In December I sacked the job off for several reasons not least of which was that the client had no firm idea of what they wanted and constantly changed their minds.
Has anyone any recommendations or experiences with engaging a Debt Recovery Agency to try and recover what's owed?
Assuming Qatar is relatively similar to the UAE, and it won't be that different - you will need to take it to court, you will probably have to provide a bond equal to or more than the amount you wish to recover (their idea to reduce time wasters), you will need local lawyers, ridiculous amount of patience and expect to not have any satisfaction at the end - especially if the company you are trying to get money from, the local Qatari partner/owner has wasta.

I've not heard of local Debt Recovery Agencies in the GCC.

My general view was that we would get paid eventually when they felt like but only after silly amounts of chasing - basically, we'd never do stuff without initial payments big enough to break even at worst and hope for the best.
 

RTU'd

LE
Good luck!!
All that region are slow in paying.
Might need a legal eagle with good working knowledge of the country, but it will cost.

We just withheld 4 ISO containers until they paid up.
 
One thing to suggest is 'discounting' your invoice for prompt payment before going down the legal route.

They often just want to have the upper hand and that satisfies that.

Something else to check out - is the company 'onshore' or 'offshore' - it might be set up in an Offshore entity such as an Airport Freezone, if so, it might have it's own independent legal jurisdiction.
 
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Thanks for all the replies guys. I worked in Dubai for a while so keenly aware of the 'vagaries' of the legal system, particularly if it ends up in court. I'll keep on pressing them as our industry is very small and if word gets around about bad payers then they'll very quickly not get anyone else to work for them, which will kill the business.
 
The Purchase Order is a contract and you’ve supplied the service. Your complaint is against the company that issued the PO, not the Qatari organisation that contracted them. Depending on the how their Qatar office was structured and who issued the PO, you’re complaint could well be with the Swedish parent company.

Get a lawyer.
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
We no longer work anywhere in the Middle East after we got shafted some years ago.

It would have cost 5x more than the job was worth to get a local lawyer and even then, most of the local lawyers out there are not exactly totally honest.

The only sure way to get paid out there is to withhold services pending payment.
 

Ayatollah

Old-Salt
Your problem is in Sweden, not Qatar, if nothing else you will have EU law to work with which will make it easier however any international legal case is expensive and will go on for years.
If I were you I would send another bill with a pay-by date, Although they may laugh it off at least if it goes legal you have proof you have tried to settle the situation amicably. Under no circumstances should you threaten them because that can backfire!
Years ago I was an international Independent and was always paid a minimum of 90 days in arrears, in a couple of cases I had to wait 6 months but I always got paid. In the end, It was a learning curve and an excellent experience that taught me to pick my clients very carefully and research the companies by asking lots of questions gaining valued answers from other Independents.
Overall wait it out.
 
Your problem is in Sweden, not Qatar, if nothing else you will have EU law to work with which will make it easier however any international legal case is expensive and will go on for years.
If I were you I would send another bill with a pay-by date, Although they may laugh it off at least if it goes legal you have proof you have tried to settle the situation amicably. Under no circumstances should you threaten them because that can backfire!
Years ago I was an international Independent and was always paid a minimum of 90 days in arrears, in a couple of cases I had to wait 6 months but I always got paid. In the end, It was a learning curve and an excellent experience that taught me to pick my clients very carefully and research the companies by asking lots of questions gaining valued answers from other Independents.
Overall wait it out.
It's a rather interesting twist of fate that the company I did the work for were doing work for me when I was in a management role in Dubai. They incurred considerable debt on that contract as they were required to fund a team of half dozen controllers, with myself as the lead, on a trip to Sweden and another to Budapest, Emirates business class, with per diem and hotels, ground travel paid. They completed the work satisfactorily and I submitted the relevant forms so they'd get paid but it took literally months. I even went in person to the finance office and pleaded the case "what's the hold up?" as I was embarrassed at the delay.
I've just written to the CEO as he became a friend, I did work for them in Indonesia year before last and he invited me to stay in his house in Bali. He was working in Europe so there was just the maid there. She seemed determined to fatten me up, I don't know how much she thinks Westerners can eat :)
 
Well that was swiftly resolved. My email to the CEO (a route I didn't want to take but left with little choice) resulted in, what sounded very much like, several backsides being kicked in Qatar. Resulting in the big boss calling me very apologetically explaining it was all a mistake and they really appreciated my hard work, of course I will get paid everything due to me, end of next week unless I had a hardship and needed money earlier blah blah. CEO wants to hear the outcome.
Also resulted in a potential contract in Rwanda. There has been a new airport near Kigali been played around with for 10 or 15 years now. Before CV19 Qatar airways had decided they would fund it and get it operational, I was involved in the initial bid. Like all aviation work everyone drew their horns in pending CV19 resolving itself. Now there is blue sky on the horizon the jobs back on :)
 

Ayatollah

Old-Salt
Well that was swiftly resolved. My email to the CEO (a route I didn't want to take but left with little choice) resulted in, what sounded very much like, several backsides being kicked in Qatar. Resulting in the big boss calling me very apologetically explaining it was all a mistake and they really appreciated my hard work, of course I will get paid everything due to me, end of next week unless I had a hardship and needed money earlier blah blah. CEO wants to hear the outcome.
Also resulted in a potential contract in Rwanda. There has been a new airport near Kigali been played around with for 10 or 15 years now. Before CV19 Qatar airways had decided they would fund it and get it operational, I was involved in the initial bid. Like all aviation work everyone drew their horns in pending CV19 resolving itself. Now there is blue sky on the horizon the jobs back on :)
I am happy for you and things look positive.

Rwanda? is still a hostile country, was there in 93 / 4 , I'm not sure I would want to go back. They still have political problems and infighting.
 
I am happy for you and things look positive.

Rwanda? is still a hostile country, was there in 93 / 4 , I'm not sure I would want to go back. They still have political problems and infighting.
Thank you. I did quite a bit of research into Rwanda before accepting a potential job. You were there during the genocide and that was the very worst time. Now its considered one of the most stable countries in Africa and tourism is increasing with leaps and bounds. I would certainly avoid the DRC.
 

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