Client Refuses To Pay Following Job

Dave Paterson

Dave Paterson

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Registration : 30 August 2020
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I've freelanced in motion graphics for 15 years, and recently took on a job through a recruiter as usual.

The client wanted me to create 3D text animations for two documentaries at the same time. I used the same template for both projects, producing identical results.

Long story short, Project Manager 1 was delighted with the work, but Project Manager 2 (who was endlessly stressed from the start), pulled the plug on my work for his project several days before the deadline because he did not think it would be met. I continued to work for Project Manager 1, and we delivered her project to the client's satisfaction.

Project Manager 2's animation could have been delivered, but his decision to suddenly terminate it early without any consultation was the reason it was not.

Following this, the recruiter says the client won't pay for the 2nd project because it was not to Project Manager 2's satisfaction, and was "delivered late" (despite being cancelled before the deadline). Therefore they'd only pay for half of the 5 weeks worked.

However, I'm contracted on a day rate and so any days worked within a contract are payable units. If a client's not satisfied they should promptly end the contract and pay for any days worked up to that. The only legitimate non-payment would surely be if the work was very obviously unprofessional and substandard, rather than just 'not what I was after'? The success of the other project suggests it was not.

Even supposing the work was genuinely substandard, the contract was not cancelled and I continued to be briefed, working long hours. All of the days involved work on Project 1, and so half of them cannot simply be voided.

What are my rights regarding this? Do I have a leg to stand on, or can a client just refuse to pay afterwards if they don't like something?

I have a call tomorrow afternoon (Friday) with the recruiter and the client, and so any advice going into this would be hugely appreciated!

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