In Plain English
A Consultancy Agreement in Plain English is a letter that turns into a contract automatically if the client proceeds with the work described. It may also be signed and returned.
This Consultancy Agreement in Plain English contains the following clauses:
- Key employee
- Billing arrangements
- Interest on unpaid costs
- Expenses and disbursements
- Intellectual property
- Lien over documents
- Destruction of documents after seven years
- Governing law.
Being in the form of a letter it may be placed under a consultant’s letterhead and send as a stand-alone agreement or in combination with a written estimate or proposal. 6 pages long.
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A consultancy agreement is a legal agreement between a consultant and a client, where the client hires or obtains consultancy services.
It is a type of services agreement. There are many different types of consultancy agreements available which may fall under the general guide of “consultancy”: the provision of guidance and advice etc.
The most contentious issue in a consultant contract is often the treatment of intellectual property rights.
The consultant will usually be protected by copyright (e.g. if the consultant is producing written reports or software code).
The consultancy agreement should specify whether the copyright in the work product is assigned to the client or retained by the consultant. Licences may be granted on an exclusive or non-exclusive basis.
The consultant may be an individual or a company. It may in some cases be important – for both consultants and their clients.