How to Combat 'The Fee Schedule Wasn't Received'
Welcome to our ongoing series of blog posts in the Top Echelon Recruiter Training Center: “Jeff Allen’s Collection Tip of the Week.” Each week, we’ll highlight one collection tip from Allen, JD/CPC, the world’s leading placement lawyer.
Since 1975, Allen has litigated more trade secret cases and assisted more placement practitioners than anyone else. He’s also the author of 24 books and a regular columnist for The Fordyce Letter, one of the leading publications in the recruiting industry.
Below is this week’s collection tip for recruiters, courtesy of Jeff Allen.
What the Client Says:
"The fee schedule wasn't received."
How the Client Pays:
You've probably wondered where all those undelivered e-mails and letters with fee schedules went.
They're safely preserved in the employer lawyer's office. And they're cloaked (protected) with the attorney-client privilege. (I used to say, "There are more unsigned fee schedules in the dead-letter office than letters to Santa Claus." Now it's the spam file. Either way, it's DOA!)
The variations on denying receipt of a fee schedule are infinite. There is simply no way to prove receipt of the actual document or electronic transmission without either:
1. A signature from the client, or
2. A reply that unequivocally, unconditionally, and unambiguously agrees to the terms.
Don't tell me (or any judge) that "acceptance of referrals" renders the client liable. What client? Can you prove this "client" knew of that term?
If the search is worth doing, it's worth a documented fee agreement . . . agreement, not disputed transmission.
Get it, and you'll get paid!
-- -- --
(Know how to collect your well-earned fees? Test yourself! Visit Allen's Placement Law website and click the "Placement Fee Collection Quiz" button. Allen can be reached via telephone at 310.559.6000 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.)