We had an enquiry from a new client who was working as a subcontractor for a former head contractor.
The arrangement was that the head contractor would get 10% of the labour component for any work he referred to our client.
The two fell out and the head contractor claimed:
- (a) workmanship issues;
- (b) ownership of the clients and:
- (i) the right to 10% commission on all work carried out for clients, even if the work was not referred by him;
- (ii) the right to stop our client working for the client indefinitely.
However, there were no workmanship issues, and various former clients of the head contractor approached our client directly, so they were not referred by the head contractor, and nor was our client subcontracting to the head contractor in relation to these clients at the time he was approached. No one owns a client. There is no law which prevented our client working for the clients.
From the figures provided, the head contractor owed our client about $173, which was not worth arguing about. However, we wrote to the head contractor stating that, with no agreement to prevent our client from working for the former clients, he had no leg to stand on, and he agreed, quickly and inexpensively resolving the matter.
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