• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Any legal experts here? Advice please




Advice please. Let me explain what happened and then what can i do about it.

I had my wedding recently. We held the party ( a sit diwn meal) for 350 guests at the Hilton Hotel in London. We used a caterer that was recommended by the Hilton Hotel (They gave us a list, there were about 4 on there, and they said chose one of these, they are all approved and recommended by us and the only caterers we allow into our Hotel). So we picked one, was assured by the Hitlon that they have used them several times and they are an excellent company, that they recently catered for the leaders of an asain country and showed us pictures of the event. So we paid up a huge sum of cash, picked out menu, had a food tasting etc .

On the night the food was awful. It came out cold at first so we sent it back, and then it never came back out. Only half of our guests got fed, some people got served raw uncooked food, I have had people since complain of poisening. The caterers lost about 25 bottles of whisky we paid for seperatly so we had to buy more on the day from the Hilton. Other items we paid for were never served (coffee , mints , nuts). I had guests going across the road to buy Mcdonalds. It ruined our big day. Even the guest relations manager from the Hilton who was there said he had never seen anything like it in all his years.

I signed a contract with the caterers but not with the Hilton. I want to hold both compnaies liable for ruining our day and seek damages against them both. The Hilton in all fairness have been great about it all and really apologetic, but that does not take away the fact they recommened a bunch of cowboys to us. The caterers were so bad that they manager ran off home half way through the party as he could not cope.

I had a lot of professional peole there ( Police officers etc) who took pictures of the raw food (one even took a sample home to freeze!!). Will this help in a case against them?

Now am I able to claim against both comanys? If so what for? Can I do this on a no win no fee basis and if so does anyone know of a good company? I want to claim against the Hilton, even though they have been really good about it all, as they have recommened these people to us and for allowing such a bunch of cowboys to be on their approved list.

I'm off on my honeymoon on Wednesday for a couple of weeks. Is there a time scale that I need to get the ball rolling on this? I look forward to any replies when I get back so I can get on the case with this.

Thank you everyone, and any suggestions/help will be greatly appreciated.

As a side note for the MODS if possible can I name the caterers on here so I can make people aware of the company.


Not advisable to name names if legal action could be pending.


Well-known Member
Sorry to hear that, it does sound like you've got a pretty solid case against them though (the caterers, not sure where you stand with the hotel) but first of all if you haven't already done so you might want to contact the caterers to see if they're willing to offer your money back plus compensation. Might be a long shot but it's worth trying first.

Hope you enjoy the honeymoon and whilst it's easier to say than do try not to worry about it too much until you get back.


Distinguished Member
Sorry mate, doesn't sound good at all, 350 people is a HUGE wedding, hope you succeed in whatever you can get back from this.

One question because you can't really name names, do they begin with the letter 'H' by any chance? (the caterers that is)


Senior Moderator
andych732 said:
As a side note for the MODS if possible can I name the caterers on here so I can make people aware of the company.

I can understand why you wish to do this, however it may not be in your interest at this point to name the company.


Distinguished Member
Sorry you had your big day ruined mate. In the first instance, I would definitely seek financial redress from the company involved. If they are unwilling to refund the monies paid then I would certainly seek legal advice, and tell them that you are doing this. My law is a little rusty, but I'm presuming that you could either pursue them for breach of contract and/or negligence. I would certainly seek more than just compensation for the fee paid, seek some punitive damages for the emotional distress caused. Again, consult a solicitor prior to speaking to the company - if you have some concrete legal arguments that you can throw at them then they may be more willing to cough up. Do not worry that you are going away for a couple of weeks, I am pretty sure that the statute of limitations is 3 years - ie you have 3 years in which to bring a claim. You may well be able to claim against the Hilton, they could well be vicariously liable for the action of the caterers, if you can prove that the caterers were effectively agents of the hotel - I suppose that if the Hotel recommended them then this could be easily proved. However the hotel may have some smallprint negating this.

Best of luck.

PS If you want some short-term revenge why not send the company on a couple of fictitious appointments, to discuss catering requirements, to addresses as far away as possible, ply them with promises of 500 people+ weddings, etc....


Active Member
Hi Andy,

Sorry to hear about your troubles!

I note the last post which mentions three years which may be right but, in my work, if the claimant wishes to claim against us they have a year in which to submit the claim but only six (or three if we're feeling really nasty :rolleyes: ) days in which to submit their *intention to claim* - simply something in writing advising of the situation and that you will be claiming. The intention to claim doesn't have to have to contain anything heavy or legal jsut a few words really.

I don't think you'll get very far with the hotel, which is fair enough really as their list was merely a recommendation and the final choice was up to you.

Best of luck. Matt


DJT75 said:
Sorry mate, doesn't sound good at all, 350 people is a HUGE wedding, hope you succeed in whatever you can get back from this.

One question because you can't really name names, do they begin with the letter 'H' by any chance? (the caterers that is)

No They Begin with a "C". I won't post their name here as advised but if anyone wants to know just in case then send me a pm. And 350 people is standard for a Greek Wedding, basically you invite anyone you have ever met in your life, Just like in the Film "My big fat Greek Wedding".

Thank you all so much for your advice so far, it is greatly appreciated. I have been advised by a friend today that I should threaten to take this to the press (more for the name of the Hilton rather than the caterers). I don't like the sound of doing this, anyone ever had to do this themselves??


sean5302 said:
You have six years to claim in the County Court. See http://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk
for the method.

Before you go down this route, have you made representation to the caterers?

How did you pay? By credit card is easy. You make the credit card company joint defendants.

I don't believe you have any claim against the hotel. They offered advice, which you were able to take or decline. I can see their escape route.

Thanks for the link, but this cannot be settled in the small claims court as the amount is too high. I think I have a fair claim against the Hilton as they let caterers into the hotel after passing Hilton Health and Safety checks, and many people have since complained of food poisoning, and it was more than advice, their sales rep stated he 'guarenteed ' i would be getting an excellent service with their approved caterer.

The latest video from AVForums

Guardians of the Galaxy Xmas Special, Strange World, Bones and All, and Cabinet of Dr Caligari in 4K
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom