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It pays to know where you stay legally when supplying translations

By Croner,
a Wolters Kluwer business

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It pays to know where you stay legally when supplying translations1. Members will occasionally receive complaints about the quality of their work. If the complaint is justified, the client can insist on the translation being corrected; alternatively, if he has lost confidence in the member, he may be justified in having the work corrected by a third party and deducting the cost from the member’s original bill; where the translation has to be completely re-done by a third party, the member’s charges will not be payable at all (and if the third party’s charges exceed the member’s, the difference may even be claimed from the member). The position will be largely the same whether the translation has been done in-house or contracted out (save that where it has been contracted out, the member will have the further obligation to select a competent contractor).

2. Generally, in a commercial contract (i.e. where the client is acting in the course of a business), any time agreed for completion of the work will be "of the essence" - in other words, a fundamental term: if the deadline is missed, then the contract will have been fundamentally breached and no charge can be made. So, where possible, no deadline should be agreed unless it is one that can be met. Members’ terms and conditions should state that time is not of the essence.

3. Often a quotation or reasonably accurate estimate can be given, but where this is not possible, members must be prepared to justify their charges (taking into account the complexity, urgency etc) by comparison with other translation companies’ charges.

Croner - a Wolters Kluwer business

This information has been supplied by the Business Support Helpline which provides members of ATC with free telephone advice, information and guidance in respect of TAX, VAT, PAYE, Payroll, NIC, Employment, Health & Safety and Commercial Legal matters.

Members of Association of Translation Companies can access the Business Support Helpline by telephone from 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday, Bank/Public Holidays excluded, by telephoning 08707 454545 and quoting the special scheme number shown on your Member Adviser Card.

There is NO CHARGE for the advice given and NO LIMIT to the amount of use.

This article was originally published in Communicate - the Association of Translation Companies’ newsletter -

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