A subcontractor, SCC Construction Ltd, raised a number of invoices against the head contractor, Medlock Projects Ltd. The invoices were not paid and SCC presented a winding-up petition against Medlock to the court. Medlock Projects applied to restrain advertisement of the winding up petition. The unpaid invoices were for £51,642 but SCC accepted that £5,803 was not properly included as a debt and therefore reduced the debt for the petition to £46,559.

The debt was based on invoices raised in respect of three sites: Congelton, Catterick and phone masts at ConvaTec. The invoices were served after Medlock had served a withholding notice in respect of the Congelton contract only.

After the withholding notice was served, the parties met to discuss the various contracts between them. The result of these discussions were two agreements where Medlock Project Developments Ltd agreed to pay SCC £75,000 in respect of the Congleton contract. The second instalment of the settlement sums under this agreement was not paid.

1 Were the debts bona fide disputed on substantial grounds;

2 Were there cross-claims that Medlock had not yet been able to litigate that would exceed the amount of the petition debt.