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Recruiters – Is there a binding agreement in place?

When it comes to recovering placement fees, some clients may try to wriggle out of paying you because they didn’t expressly accept your terms of business. Basic contract law states that in order for a contract to be binding, it must be communicated to and accepted by the other party. However, a contract doesn’t actually need to be signed in order for it to be accepted.

If both parties have acted in accordance with the contract, a court may find that the parties are bound by that contract. This follows “deemed acceptance” which most of you will have heard about. Deemed acceptance of a contract refers to specific conditions which trigger acceptance of the terms being offered.

You may think that throwing everything you can think of into your deemed acceptance clause will make it watertight, however, a court may find this approach aggressive and unreasonable. That may mean that you may not have as strong of a case as you think you do.

Whilst there are ways for a contract to be legally binding without a client specifying in writing that they accept your terms, it is always best to obtain evidence from the client that they have accepted your terms. Signature of the contract isn’t necessary; a simple email will do the trick!

If you need further advice on any fee disputes or the validity of your terms, or on any legal issue affecting your recruitment business please take a look at our legal services for the recruitment industry page or contact us on 0333 400 4499 or by email to francesca.damario@cognitivelaw.co.uk.

Francesca Damario