If the client doesn\'t pay the agency, should the translator be paid?
Thread poster: Thai Translation

Thai Translation
Local time: 13:01
English to Thai
+ ...
Nov 9, 2001

If I \'ve done a job for an agency and the client would not pay him. Who \'ll take the responsibility ? I still get money from the agency, right ?

It \'s not happen yet .. just in case.

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Mats Wiman  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:01
Member (2000)
German to Swedish
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The agency has to pay - ALWAYS Nov 9, 2001

No doubt!

You close a deal with an agency. They are your counterpart, morally and legally.


Best regards

Mats Wiman

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Werner George Patels, M.A., C.Tran.(ATIO)
Local time: 01:01
German to English
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Contract Law 101 Nov 9, 2001

Yes, you enter into a contract with your client (agency), and this contract is completely independent of the contract that the agency has with their client. So, even if their client never pays them, under the contract between the agency and yourself, they are still obligated to honour your agreement. The same goes for those oft-heard lame excuses of cash-flow problems, etc.

Unless the agency can prove, irrefutably and beyond any doubt whatsoever, that you are in breach of the contract (e.g., because of blatant mistakes and/or omissions in your translation), they will have to pay you the full amount within such period of time as originally stipulated by you.

If they \"play hard to get\", start \"playing hardball\": make noise, threaten them with exposing them, etc.

Good luck!

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CLS Lexi-tech
Local time: 01:01
Member (2004)
English to Italian
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Yes! Nov 10, 2001


On 2001-11-09 10:56, golf wrote:

If I \'ve done a job for an agency and the client would not pay him. Who \'ll take the responsibility ? I still get money from the agency, right ?

It \'s not happen yet .. just in case.

Your contract is with the agency not with the end-client, and the agency makes money out of that contract with you.

We should perhaps ask that a clause be entered in the contract specifying this circumstance.

hope it never happens

paola l m

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:01
English to German
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Hypothetical, maybe... but realistic! Nov 10, 2001

Hi Theeraphat!

Although thankfully this hasn\'t happened to you yet, chances are that you might encounter this type of behaviour...

There have been a number of threads in the \"Business issues\" and \"Money matters\" forums - have a look at the discussions there. I would particularly like to draw your attention to a posting made by \"Darien\" in the \"Business issues\" forum (thread posted on 16 Oct - \"VERY late payments from agencies...\"); Darien\'s posting is the last one shown. (I should add that Beate (=\"Darien\") is a lawyer...)

Fingers crossed - maybe you will never need this, but if you do, you\'d better be prepared.

HTH - Ralf

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Ulrike Lieder  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:01
English to German
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Be sure to read the small print, and be sure to read what you sign... Nov 10, 2001

Allow me to add a cautionary tale:

A couple of years ago, a (now former) client of mine sent out new contracts to all its freelancers, stating, among other things, that subcontractors would only be paid when and if (!) the agency was paid.

In other words: they expected us, the subcontractors, to wait until their client had paid them. In case the end client neglected to pay (a situation that is not entirely unheard of), they were under no obligation to pay the subcontractor.

In the accompanying cover letter, the agency made it very clear that they would use only those subcontractors who signed the agreement. As I had a very long-standing relationship with that particular client, going back to the days when it was literally run out of the owner\'s back bedroom, I sent them a polite letter, explaining why I felt I could not, in all good conscience, agree to such terms. I have not heard from them since. (The agency, BTW, is still in business.)

I fully agree that the contract is between you, the translator, and the agency (that\'s why you deal with a middleman in the first place). But you should make very, very sure that you have a purchase order or contract from the agency. And if they ask you to sign an agreement in order to be considered for assignments (many agencies do), read it very, very carefully, especially the fine print.

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Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:01
French to English
Doctrine of privity of contract Nov 17, 2001

I have UK legal training. Common sense dictates that many legal systems just have to be identical on this one point. The person who seeks your services is the one with whom the contract has been drawn up, albeit orally which is often the case. There is privity of contract between the agent and yourself.

If you stick to your side of the agreement : provision of the service agreed upon, delivery within the time limit, and you have adhered to other contractual conditions (format, presentation for example), then there is no reason at all for your client not to pay you in full as agreed. Be tough to start with and get tough to stay around. You have a business to run.

[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-11-17 18:56 ]

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