Who is to initiate an agreement contract, the client or the interpreter?
Thread poster: Adriana Johnston

Adriana Johnston  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:10
English to Spanish
+ ...
Feb 9, 2009

I am a freelance interpreter and mostly work with interpretation agencies, and after we come up with an agreement on the rates, the agency sends me an indenpendent contractor agreement.
Well, I was recently contacted my this end client- a law firm, that wants me to take some interpretation assignments occassionally.

What I want to know is do I need to come up with the agreement I mean put my own terms and conditions and all, or does my client- the attorney need to take the initiative and provide me with an agreement for me to sign?
Is there like a "contract" format or sample I can go by being I am not a company but a freelancer?
Also if I Come up with my own wording for the agreement is it really going to be legal

I know it sound a little silly but I'm just not used to working directly with clients, and I want every thing to be clear before starting to take on projects.

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nordiste  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:10
English to French
+ ...
Terms & conditions - from the translator's side Feb 10, 2009

As a professional you should have your own Terms & Conditions that you provide to every client - stating description of services, general liability, terms of paiement, cancelation policy, etc.

You should also prepare a quote/an agreement for each assignment and ask your client to sign it before you start the work- or a PO.

It is always better to have the client signing your own T&C , designed from your point of view.

If you are not well aware of legal jargon it is better to take advice from a legal advisor ; if you are a member of a translators association they usually offer legal advice on these matters. They might also have some example of Terms & condition for you to taylor to your own needs.

[Edited at 2009-02-10 08:59 GMT]

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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:10
German to English
+ ...
This may be applicable... Feb 10, 2009

A few years ago I wrote a short article about entering into contracts; it doesn't go into much detail, and it primarily targets translators, but it may interest you nonetheless:


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:10
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Excellent Feb 10, 2009

Derek Gill Franßen wrote:
A few years ago I wrote a short article about entering into contracts....

Thank you for that link, Derek. I hadn't seen it before. That's a superb article.

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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 04:10
English to Russian
+ ...
My own experience with direct clients Feb 11, 2009

I have a few direct clients, some of them attorneys. I never asked for a contract, and so far, I received all my payments on time.

Is it risky not to have a contract? Maybe, but I'm more concerned of a risk of turning a potential client off by requesting a contract.

Feel free to disagree...

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Who is to initiate an agreement contract, the client or the interpreter?

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