Top reasons for disputed fees with clients

Over the 16 years we’ve been helping recruiters we’ve seen many excuses put forward by hirers to avoid paying agency fees. Here are the top 3….

1. The candidate is working in a different role to the one they were put forward for

This is a rather unimaginative way to avoid paying for the services of a recruiter but nonetheless there could be an issue if this argument is used and your terms of business are not drafted to cover off this scenario. Narrowly worded terms of business could allow this argument to stand. Lawspeed terms of business specifically deal with this eventuality.

 2. I didn’t sign the terms of business

This argument can be stopped in its tracks by ensuring adequate processes are in place to ensure that terms are unequivocally agreed before providing candidate information. However as a fall-back position your terms of business can protect you against this argument if drafted with care. Lawspeed terms of business are drafted to ensure this type of argument will not succeed.

3. The candidate was introduced by someone else a while back who charges a lower fee

This again comes down to the detail of your terms of business. What period of protection do you have in the terms and how does this work where the client had previous knowledge of a candidate? If carefully drafted, the terms can protect a recruiter in this instance.


It goes without saying that having the right terms of business to protect fees is critical. To check you have full protection in the above areas and against all the other reasons call us on 01273 236236. We’ll also be talking about fee protection in addition to other critical issues at our seminar in London next month. Why not come along?


By Ricky Coleman

Legal Consultant