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SEO & Civil Law: Protecting Yourself from Unfortunate Client Disputes | brightonSEO


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While the vast majority of my client relationships have been healthy and happy, a dark cloud hung over me for most of 2015 when a client refused to pay me, resulting in us fighting it out in court (thankfully I won and I've since been paid). In this talk I gave advice on what to do to try and avoid disputes from happening in the first place, as well as how best to protect yourself should one happen, covering everything from contracts to courtrooms.

Talk date: Friday 2nd September 2016

Published in: Business
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SEO & Civil Law: Protecting Yourself from Unfortunate Client Disputes | brightonSEO

  1. 1. SEO & Civil Law: Protecting Yourself from Unfortunate Client Disputes Steve Morgan
  2. 2. @steviephil #brightonSEO Disclaimers • I am an SEO professional, not a legal professional • Not legal advice: just my own experiences – if you take it on-board then I am not responsible for whatever happens • Applicable to England & Wales civil law (i.e. may be different for Scotland, NI, Ireland, Europe, etc.)
  3. 3. @steviephil #brightonSEO Introduction
  4. 4. @steviephil #brightonSEO The story 2009-2013 2014 2015 My contract Bad work (from previous SEO) The dispute… Start Disavow Redesign End ResultCourtStart Resubmitted Notice Set aside
  5. 5. @steviephil #brightonSEO All that matters… “It’s not what you know, it’s what you can prove.” – Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington), Training Day
  6. 6. @steviephil #brightonSEO Protecting yourself pre-dispute 1) Go with your gut
  7. 7. @steviephil #brightonSEO Protecting yourself pre-dispute 2) Lay strong foundations
  8. 8. @steviephil #brightonSEO Protecting yourself pre-dispute 3) Get a good contract
  9. 9. @steviephil #brightonSEO Protecting yourself pre-dispute 4) Get everything in writing
  10. 10. @steviephil #brightonSEO Protecting yourself pre-dispute 5) Screenshot everything you can
  11. 11. @steviephil #brightonSEO If a dispute happens… 1) Show your hand
  12. 12. @steviephil #brightonSEO If a dispute happens… 2) Compile all the evidence
  13. 13. @steviephil #brightonSEO If a dispute happens… 3) Compile all the witness statements
  14. 14. @steviephil #brightonSEO If a dispute happens… 4) Consider an unbiased expert
  15. 15. @steviephil #brightonSEO If a dispute happens… 5) Consider legal help (even just a one-off)
  16. 16. @steviephil #brightonSEO If a dispute happens… 6) Stay organised
  17. 17. @steviephil #brightonSEO The showdown day in court… 1) Prepare for cross-examination
  18. 18. @steviephil #brightonSEO The showdown day in court… 2) Use analogies
  19. 19. @steviephil #brightonSEO The showdown day in court… 3) Get help from the Personal Support Unit (PSU)
  20. 20. @steviephil #brightonSEO Final considerations… • Consider: the size of the debt
  21. 21. @steviephil #brightonSEO Final considerations… • Consider: the risk of not fighting it
  22. 22. @steviephil #brightonSEO Thanks for listening Freelance Blog 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9