Client not paying - can I stop the contract and withold the work?



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Registration : 13 March 2014
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I am a freelance graphic designer who has been contracting on site with a client for over 6 months.

Despite invoicing weekly, the client has been late (an average of about 40 days late) paying every invoice. To date, they owe me over £7,000 which is only increasing with each week I work for them.

I have chased them but the excuse is always they are also waiting on late payments from clients.

I have not enforced any late fee so as not to dirty the waters but now the situation is now becoming untenable for me and I need to work out the best course of action to take with minimal financial or legal impact.

I'm considering informing the the client this week that I will cease working until all outstanding invoices are settled, which I believe I'm within my right to do.

But, I think that they might ask me to hand over the work I've done to date, which I'm reluctant to do as this is work they've essentially still not paid me for.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Are there any legal implications of stopping the contract and withholding the work I've done so far?

I have no written contract with this company. I was brought on by a former colleague and we only have email correspondence which states when I started working (and I do have time sheets I've submitted throught the course of the contract for the work).

Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you

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