Is it bad not to have a signed/countersigned copy of a contract?
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    Default Is it bad not to have a signed/countersigned copy of a contract?

    Hi,

    I have recently finished a project for a client.

    I don't have a countersigned copy of the contract from the agency. This is not ideal but should I be worried? The commercial reality of the situation is obvious from our email exchanges. I am being contracted to perform a piece of work - which I have done - the terms laid out in the contract have been tacitly accepted and are the same as the terms used for the past year and a half or so.

    I have a good relationship with the client.

    I have been working for this client for almost two years, during which the contract has been extended over half a dozen times. The last extension (which is drawn out by the agency as a new contract) was just for one month. It was stupid not insisting on getting it countersigned but there you go.

    A few days ago I emailed the agency to ask if they could now countersign the contract but haven't heard back.

    The agency has generally been good, I haven't had any problems with them & want to remain on good terms - it's just about piece of mind.

    Is there anything else I should do other than wait for the payment to come through in a few weeks?

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    It's very wise to get one countersigned. It's not hard and really should be in your hand before you start. Need to fix that aspect of your contracting IMO but... no it doesn't really matter. If you've got evidence that you mailed it back and you started work then the T&C's legally stand so you are OK. Just makes an argument more complicated when they start using this aspect to get out of something that's all.

    And it's peace of mind you are after.
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    Luckily English and Welsh law doesn't rely on the parties to sign a contract for it to be enforced. There are agencies , contractors and various businesses who still think this though.
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    I didn't have one for one of my contracts and when applying for a mortgage my broker wanted the countersigned copy to send to the mortgage company so I had to get back in touch with the agency to get it.

    Might not happen to you but just throwing it out there

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernManc78 View Post
    I didn't have one for one of my contracts and when applying for a mortgage my broker wanted the countersigned copy to send to the mortgage company so I had to get back in touch with the agency to get it.

    Might not happen to you but just throwing it out there
    Mine are all electronic now so how would that work?
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernManc78 View Post
    I didn't have one for one of my contracts and when applying for a mortgage my broker wanted the countersigned copy to send to the mortgage company so I had to get back in touch with the agency to get it.

    Might not happen to you but just throwing it out there
    Yes, exactly this. Always make sure mine are countersigned as I am still in the middle of a very lengthy house moving process.

    Quote Originally Posted by SueEllen View Post
    Mine are all electronic now so how would that work?
    Electronic signatures?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SueEllen View Post
    Mine are all electronic now so how would that work?
    Assuming they are electronically signed: download and print

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eirikur View Post
    Assuming they are electronically signed: download and print
    Taking the p*ss I download them.
    "You’re just a bad memory who doesn’t know when to go away" JR

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    Thanks for the advice.

    In fact I didn't send them a signed copy (until last week) but, as I say, it is evident from the e-mail exchange that I am accepting the extension*. So yes, not smart.

    * I have asked for the agency to facilitate the extension, they have sent it to me, I thank them and tell them who to send their contract with the client to. This is returned to the agency signed by the client. My hours are logged in the usual way.

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    So, you didn't have a countersigned document because you hadn't sent them a signed one? It's not their fault. If you don't sign, they have nothing to countersign.
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