The ATA Chronicle - March/April 2021 - 16

As a lawyer, this logic
is hard for me to
understand. From the
buyer's side, I can't
imagine working
with a professional
who doesn't put their
promise in writing.

thought. But this outlook

a certain period of time so

having your terms and

on boilerplate clauses is

they don't come back a

conditions drafted for you

misguided. While they may

year later challenging your

can be a daunting task. And

be standard in the sense that

translation and expecting

I understand why so many

you'll find them in almost

you to respond overnight.

translators are put off by

every contract with very

There's no right or wrong

the idea of having to hire a

little variation, a significant

answer here. What you and

lawyer to do that. They say

part of the time spent in

your drafting attorney put

talk is cheap unless you're

court when contracts are
breached actually revolves

into this clause will depend

talking to a lawyer, and
they're right. But it doesn't

around boilerplates. We

have to be. There are plenty

sometimes spend more time

of professional contract

fighting applicable law and

drafting services available at

jurisdiction than we do more

an affordable cost, so having

substantive matters. And all

your terms and conditions

that translates into high costs

drafted for you doesn't have

and wasted time for you. This

Yet, I can still see how

to cost you an arm and a leg.
But even if you can't find an
affordable service in your
area, you can still think of
the money you're spending
as an investment in futureproofing your business and
protecting your interests in
the long-term.
The difficult part for most
translators isn't finding an
affordable attorney to draft

means your boilterplates have
to be well thought out and,
more importantly, if you and
your clients are in different
countries, they should be
drafted by an attorney who
is familiar enough with
international contracts to do
a good job. So, when choosing
the right lawyer for you, ask if
they've drafted international
contracts before.

their terms and conditions,
it's actually working with an
attorney to get it right. That's
why you need to be very clear
about what it is you do and
what your business model
looks like so you can give
your attorney the necessary
information to draft your

Changes to the Translation:
If your name is going on
the translation, this is a
particularly important one.
You want to make sure that
changes are submitted to you
for review. After all, it's your
reputation at stake!

terms and conditions well.
In addition, there are some

Client's Responsibilities:

specific considerations you

Because your terms and

and your attorney need to

conditions are aimed at

keep in mind, some of which
are summarized here in
alphabetical order and not
order of importance (read:

16

protecting you, you might
want to hold the client
accountable for helping

on your business model.
But take your time to think
about it. Brainstorm possible
scenarios and mention them
to your lawyer.
Confidentiality, Privacy,
and Non-Disclosure:
These terms are not exactly
interchangeable and one
thing that's often unclear in
translation contracts is what
constitutes confidential or
private information and what
may or may not be disclosed
and how. Make sure you and
your lawyer get this right.
You want your client to rest
assured that their important
documents are in good hands.
Copyright: Who owns your
translation? In many parts of
the world, the law determines
that for you. In others, it's up
to the parties. Either way, ask
your lawyer what the law is in
your jurisdiction. Depending
on your area of specialization,
owning your translation
may be in your best interest.
In other areas, it doesn't
really matter, but it may be
an incentive to make sure
you're paid.

you help them. Perhaps

they all matter!).

explicitly state that it's up

Early Cancelation By the

to them to mention and

Client: What if the client

Boilerplates: Boilerplate

make available any reference

engages your service and

clauses typically include

materials they want you

backs out after you started

force majeure, governing

to follow, or that they're

translating? You want to

law, jurisdiction, and similar

responsible for reviewing

make sure you're paid for the

clauses. Lawyers often think

your work and submitting

work performed before they

of them as standard clauses

changes or questions for

canceled. And that's what

that don't require too much

your consideration within

this clause is for.

The ATA Chronicle | March/April 2021

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The ATA Chronicle - March/April 2021

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The ATA Chronicle - March/April 2021 - Contents
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