When you’re working from home, your clients can’t legally contact you, and even if they do, you can’t claim your work as yours.
But what about if your client wants to sue you for breaching contract terms?
What if your company doesn’t like your style?
And what if your clients have a history of legal problems?
We asked these questions to the leading legal professionals who offer advice to freelancers.
The lawyer who helps you with your legal situationWhen you work from home and the law allows it, the safest place to start is with a legal advisor.
“In my experience, when clients have legal problems, they usually get their lawyers to go to court to get redress,” says Dr Kate Matson, a licensed legal practitioner in Melbourne.
If you’re in the same position, you may want to hire an experienced lawyer who will help you navigate the courts and deal with the various aspects of a dispute.
Ms Matson says she would advise a client to contact her law firm first and then hire a private investigator to investigate your business.
“If there’s a dispute, they’re going to have to go through the legal system, and if they’re in court, you’re going go through that process,” she says.
“So you might need to hire a lawyer to go after your clients.”
Ms Mathy says you should also hire an outside attorney who will be able to work from your side of the story, and advise you on any possible legal remedies.
“You don’t have to worry about going to court or having your case resolved, but if your case is a good one, it’s worth going through the process,” Dr Matson explains.
When the law doesn’t allow itYou can’t be sued for breach of contract if you work for a business that is not a business owned by the person or company.
This means that you can only be sued if the business is owned by you or someone you have a business relationship with, such as a partner or a family member.
For instance, you would be unable to sue a company for breaching a contract if the company is owned or controlled by a parent company.
In a lawsuit, it is also likely that the business’s parent company may sue you in their name.
“If your company is a partnership, you don’t necessarily have a legal right to be in a partnership,” Dr Darryl says.
If you work in a company owned by a partner, you will need to prove that your relationship is “in the nature of an independent relationship”.
“If it’s not, then you can still have a relationship with your partner,” Dr Kate says.
What if the law gives you legal immunity?
When you’re freelancing, you might not have to prove anything, but there are a number of things you can do to protect yourself.
“It’s a very common scenario where people are having issues with their clients, and it’s important to get a lawyer involved in the negotiation,” Ms Matson adds.
“They should not have a liability if it’s an individual client or if there is an underlying business relationship.”
When you do need to show a lawyerIf your clients want a lawyer, you should seek legal advice from a lawyer who is well versed in the law.
“A lawyer is the expert in the field, and so if you have an issue, you’ll need a lawyer’s advice,” Dr JB explains.
“The lawyer should also look at your situation and understand the risks involved.”
“There are situations where the law has made it clear that you are entitled to a lawyer,” Ms JB adds.
“This is called a lawyer-client privilege.”
When the legal situation isn’t rightWhat if you’re facing a breach of your contract?
“If the situation isn.
I’d suggest going through your business records and see if there’s any evidence that could prove your clients wrong,” Dr Kelly says.”
For example, if you are the owner of the business, and there’s evidence that your clients may be making false claims against you, it could be a good idea to seek legal representation.”
Even if you don: have a claim against your client, it may be possible to obtain a court order for you to pay your client’s legal fees.
“You could also get help from a barrister, who can represent your client and defend them in court.
In some cases, lawyers can also help you with any legal issues that arise.
Do you have any tips for dealing with legal matters while freelancing?
We spoke to Dr Kate and Dr Dorry, and we’ll share their advice below.
Dr Kate Muthall (right) and Dr Kate Dorry (left) at a wedding on a hot summer’s day.
Image: Rachel Pascual, News.auDr Kate and her husband Mark met in 2007.