‘Personally, I never work for clients who insist on restrictive covenants and can’t see why I should ever need to. These sorts of covenants smack of the master-servant relationship that sometimes exists between large corporations and their suppliers. They have no place in a healthy relationship between consultancy and client – unless the client is prepared to pay handsomely for it.’

Ian Cochrane, Chairman, Ticegroup

‘While we haven’t encountered any “unusual” restrictive clauses, we do find non-disclosure agreements are becoming more and more suffocating. Recently, we have won several major pitches and we can’t even hint about working with the clients. Even worse, some of these NDAs don’t allow us to even talk about the work after completion. Nothing is more frustrating than creating innovative, effective work and not to be able to shout “we did it”.’

Simon Needham, Co-founder, Attik

‘Beyond demands for ownership of all intellectual property or dictating fee rates, we encounter an insistence on exclusivity from those unwilling to pay for it. At best we must ask permission, at worst we are forbidden to work in similar markets; having once been pacified by the promise of a project that never arrived, we don’t believe them.’

Peter Tennent, Partner, Factory

‘When I first started out, I felt under pressure to agree to unreasonable clauses. But as Priestman Goode has established itself more, we’ve become more assertive about our rights. All consultancies grouping together through the DBA can help resolve issues such as anti-competitive practice. The DBA also aims to improve knowledge and understanding on both designer and client side, by broadening the membership. This should result in a more respectful working relationship and what all parties want is more effective design.’

Paul Priestman, Director, Priestman Goode

‘It has to be payment terms. Clients say it will be 30 days; but it always ends up being 90 days. Big corporations are always the guiltiest of this, and seem to have no understanding of how a small business functions.’

Daljit Singh, Creative director and co-founder, Digit

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