Liability limited

Indemnity clauses might appear to have the irresistible force of Cybermen when they crop up in freelance contracts. But they are often negotiable.

In the past couple of weeks, two members who sought advice from the Freelance Office notched up good results.

One publisher, who initially wanted full indemnity from the freelance, agreed to drop that clause and limit the author's liability to the agreed fee, which is not unreasonable. The other went even further and dropped the indemnity clause entirely.

This bears out what the Branch and the union have often said. Boilerplate contracts written by corporate lawyers can be negotiable with the commissioning editor. It is always worth  trying.

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