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Old 24.06.2015, 09:48
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International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

We have given notice for our two kids to leave International School in Basel and start local school in August. However, the International school has told us that as we are six weeks late with giving notice (we had to wait for confirmation from the local school for places....) they are going to charge us for the year 2015/2016 that my kids will NOT be there! 46,550chf. Including our two, there are seven kids leaving the school next month - there are problems with
the school that has caused me and other parents concern. Is there a lawyer out there please that can look at our contract and advice/help? Thanks
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Old 24.06.2015, 10:44
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Re: International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

Top right of this forum is an input box next to a search button. Why not try entering Basel Lawyer and see what you get?

I would lay off the vague criticisms, since anyone dealing with admissions at the ISB who are members of this site will know who you are - not a good start if you need to negotiate being let off a contractual obligation (should a lawyer not be able to find you some wriggle room). The excuse that you had to wait for confirmation is pretty weak, and I would say almost certainly (IANAL) not a valid reason to break the contract you entered into - the local education authorities are obliged to place your children, so the only question would have been which local school.

Also, is the complaints corner the right place for this? Are you wanting to complain, or get a lawyer to help you with a contractual issue?
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Old 24.06.2015, 10:55
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Re: International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

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We have given notice for our two kids to leave International School in Basel and start local school in August. However, the International school has told us that as we are six weeks late with giving notice (we had to wait for confirmation from the local school for places....) they are going to charge us for the year 2015/2016 that my kids will NOT be there! 46,550chf. Including our two, there are seven kids leaving the school next month - there are problems with
the school that has caused me and other parents concern. Is there a lawyer out there please that can look at our contract and advice/help? Thanks
If the notice period was clearly stated in the contract you'll most likely get the same advice from every lawyer: You know the period, you broke it, you're liable.

Lawyers are happy to look at contracts - and advise. That is their job. Are you happy to pay 250-400chf an hour? Or are you looking for a freebie from a community of which you have been a member for just a few days?
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Old 24.06.2015, 11:22
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Re: International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

Sounds like you need a pay rise rather than a lawyer.....
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Old 24.06.2015, 11:56
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Re: International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

Hi, for the record I am NOT talking about ISB. We looked at ISB and fell in love with the school and everything it stood for and still recommend when asked about schools - distance with ISB was our problem. The only reason I mention 7 kids leaving was to try to give some insight that I was not the only parent with the problem.

Sorry for any confusion, I am new to this site and not sure where/how posts work so please bear with me. I am willing to pay for a Contracts Lawyer to look at what seems to be a 'not very clear' contract when it comes to the termination of it and will take on board the advice about where to look for a Lawyer elsewhere on this site and NO as a newbie I am not looking for a freebie just some help from a non-German speaking ex-Pat!

I agree it is our mistake for the late termination but come on - A full year's school fee for my mistake!!!!
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Old 24.06.2015, 12:03
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Re: International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

That is a huge bill to be facing. Good luck.
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Old 24.06.2015, 12:15
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Re: International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

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Hi, for the record I am NOT talking about ISB.
Ah, you mean "An international school in Basel".
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Old 24.06.2015, 13:51
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Re: International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

Your reasons for leaving the school are irrelevant - every school that charges fees (in CH and rest of the world) will have a period for giving notice. As someone else wrote the local authority must provide a school place. If you were uncertain whether you actually WOULD withdraw your children (understanding these decisions are not made as flippantly as what colour socks to wear) you shoukd have discussed with the school the option of giving provisional notice, with a deadline for final decision.

Good luck, its a lot of cash, but also a breech of the contract.
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Old 24.06.2015, 14:25
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Re: International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

It is possible for a contractual clause to be unreasonable. It's also possible for a contract to be open to interpretation.

With any kind of contractual dispute, getting a solicitor/lawyer to send a letter which supports your point of view can result in a negotiated settlement, since neither party will usually wish to take it to court and risk losing. It's a question of who blinks first.

I checked two internationals schools in the local area. Both require a payment in lieu of proper notice, but in neither case is it the full yearly fees.
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Old 24.06.2015, 15:10
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Re: International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

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It is possible for a contractual clause to be unreasonable. It's also possible for a contract to be open to interpretation.

With any kind of contractual dispute, getting a solicitor/lawyer to send a letter which supports your point of view can result in a negotiated settlement, since neither party will usually wish to take it to court and risk losing. It's a question of who blinks first.

I checked two internationals schools in the local area. Both require a payment in lieu of proper notice, but in neither case is it the full yearly fees.
True that - most schools require a full terms notice, or in some cases 3 or 6 months. In the case proper notice is not given one is liable for the fees for one term. I'm not sure you actually gain much by hiring a lawyer if you are able to leave any negative accusative assumptions at the door and approach the school with an attitude that you would like to reach a reasonable settlement. The school also wants to preserve their reputation.

I am not sure about CH, but in the UK one can have a very difficult time finding a solicitor that will represent someone disputing a school, logical or not. I have never been in this situation but know several families who have.
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Old 24.06.2015, 15:16
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Re: International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

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We have given notice for our two kids to leave International School in Basel and start local school in August. [...] (we had to wait for confirmation from the local school for places....)
LOL. (Sorry) School is mandatory in Switzerland. Which means the local public school can not deny a place, they must provide one no question asked, and if they have no place at their school they must look for one. On their cost, even if that would mean a taxi service to the next town. It is the law.
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Old 24.06.2015, 15:41
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Re: International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

did you sign a contract with the school, or is the school simply relying on its published terms and conditions? our kids have attended multiple international schools and we have never signed anything other than an acknowledgment that our enrollment fee (and the subsequent placement fee paid each spring) would not be refunded if our kids withdrew from the school.
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Old 24.06.2015, 16:56
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Re: International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

Under Swiss law mandate (agency) agreements can be terminated at any time (even if the agreement says otherwise). However, if you terminate at an inopportune moment ("Unzeit") you are liable for the damage caused.
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a404

School contracts are considered mixed contracts (i.e. combining elements of various contract types) but are considered mostly regulated by the rules on agency agreements.
http://www.beobachter.ch/konsum/kauf...kurs-aber-wie/ (in German only - Google Translate is your friend).

So generally, you might be able terminate the agreement with the school but would likely be liable for damages caused to the school if it is short notice.

With CHF 46'000 at stake, it might be worth having a lawyer take a look. I'll PM you a name.
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Old 29.06.2015, 17:22
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Re: International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

Would be curious to hear the outcome. That sounds steep, we are also considering leaving an Int'l school (might have to move to the US), but we would liable for an early termination fee of 1/4 of the annual tution.
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Old 29.06.2015, 17:46
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Re: International School / Contracts Lawyer needed?

A full year is in my opinion excessive, I have never heard of more than one term. But paying for education you do no get would be silly, then it's better to just send them to that school for the period you have to pay.
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