About these agreements
These are comprehensive legal documents that cover the commercial and practical points that will be important to both the consultant and his or her client.
Although written in plain English, the concepts are deep and the documents are thorough. Using one of these agreements will enhance your brand as a professional and well organised business, as well as protecting your intellectual property and helping each piece of work undertaken to progress smoothly.
Our contracts are tailored for three types of user:
- for corporate consultancy (the consultancy company could employ multiple employees, or simply be a structure through which an individual works)
- for a single self-employed consultant working alone or with colleagues or sub-contractors
- for the client
The documents for the consultants emphasise the legal structure through which the work will take place. For example, the versions for self-employed consultants emphasise the independence of the contractor for tax purposes.
The versions for the client favour his own interests more strongly than alternative versions.
We also offer variants for contractors in the IT and HR industries.
The majority of each contract for a certain type of user is the same regardless of the industry because the main subject of the contract is how the work is performed, not what the work involves. Where the contracts for specific industries differ is largely in the even heavier coverage of intellectual property and confidentiality, which are more likely to be important in those industries.
What is in these agreements
It will not help you to list every detail, but here are some of the important provisions covered by each document. Bear in mind that no document contains unnecessary provisions.
- Contract summary and payment options
- Work management procedure
- Consultant's obligations
- Option for the use of sub-contractors
- Intellectual property
- Option for no competition
- Limitation of your liability
- Duration and termination
You will probably be fully aware of why each provision is necessary, but just in case you need help, each document comes with very extensive explanations and advice contained in the drafting notes as well as a separate guide to editing legal document templates.
Additionally, to help you to avoid having to consider exact words, each document provides options - you just select which option you want to preserve and delete the others. This applies in particular to payment systems and working arrangements.
An umbrella contract
In structuring the document in such a way, the agreement becomes an umbrella contract that is set up for the possibility of future assignments under the same terms.
All later assignments of work are automatically subject to the terms of your contract unless you agree to a new contract. All that is needed in any subsequent work is a new description of the work and a reference to the contract.
Treat as your standard contract or negotiate terms
Of course, you can either edit a document and use it as your standard terms, or you can negotiate the detail assignment by assignment.
The importance of a good specification of work
We cannot over-emphasise the importance of a thorough and agreed specification of work. The agreement you will choose will reduce the chance of conflict on the operation of the contract and the application of the law, but only you can describe the work in detail.
The contracts provide for the specification of work to be placed in a schedule to the agreement the first time it is used.
The law relating to this agreement
There is little statute law relating to the provision of consultancy services. The framework for the contracts depends on basic contract law and tort. However, the structure and the contents of the agreement reflect the latest thinking on what is needed to protect a business from theft of its intellectual property.