Freelancer told client’s passport request ‘isn’t justifiable’

A legal expert for freelancers today cautions a FreelanceUK reader about a potentially new client’s request – supplying a passport up front as part of a Confidentiality Agreement.

Roger Sinclair, of egos Ltd, believes that the request to hand over a passport, its number or another unique identifier “does not sound justifiable” as a pre-requisite for drawing up a CA.

The legal consultant, who specialises in contracts, says the safer course is to ask for a copy of the CA and, upon being satisfied with it, agree to meet to sign it, and take the passport along.

The advice for ‘Seedhe,’ a FreelanceUK reader, is in light of the would-be client -- whose details or business do not show up anywhere online, insisting on meeting in a public place for the CA to be signed.

“[The potential client] says he cannot disclose any further information until… [the] Confidentiality Agreement [is signed],” wrote Seedhe, adding that the identifier is apparently needed for insertion into the CA.

“In life, I have found that if something doesn’t feel right, it generally isn’t,” cautions egos Ltd’s Mr Sinclair.

“[And] given that you have been unable to find out more about either him or his business, it is understandable that you are wary.”

The next step, the expert advised, is for Seedhe to request the CA; review it and, if happy with its form, take the passport to a meeting to disclose its number and sign the CA.

“If he doesn’t respond positively to that [suggestion],” Mr Sinclair says of the would-be client, “or if he responds in a way which indicates he can’t relate to your own concerns, you might take that as a further indication that something is indeed ‘not quite right.’ I think I would.”


20th February 2019

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