Terms and conditions

The following terms and conditions are here so that you and I know what to expect in a professional working relationship. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me so that I can provide clarity and reassurance.


May 1, 2021

1.0 General Overview

1.1 These terms and conditions apply to any work done on behalf of the Client (you) by me (Emma Jane Lawson)
1.2 I will provide proofreading/copywriting/copyediting agreed upon (in writing) by myself and the Client.
1.3  The Client is under no obligation to offer me work; neither am I under any obligation to accept work offered by the Client.
1.4  The work will be carried out unsupervised at such times and places as determined by me, using my own equipment.
1.5  The work will be carried out by me. I will not subcontract proofreading/copywriting projects, or parts of projects, to third parties.
1.6  I confirm that I am self-employed, am responsible for my own income tax and National Insurance contributions, and will not claim benefits granted to the Client’s employees.
1.7 I am not VAT-registered.
1.8 The contract for service requires that the Client acknowledges, in writing (including email) that they have read, understood and agreed to these terms and conditions.
1.9 If my work is unsatisfactory (below a level considered professionally acceptable by the CIEP (Code of Practice), it will be rectified it in my own time and at my own expense.

2.0 Project Terms

2.1 Prior to commencement of proofreading work, the Client and I will agree, in writing (including email), the terms of the project:

  • the medium in which the proofreading will be carried out (e.g. in Word, on PDF, on paper)

  • how the material will be annotated (e.g. Track Changes in Word, BSI correction symbols on paper)

  • the length of time required to complete the project, as advised by me

  • a fee for the project, based on a quotation supplied by me, in writing (including email), following my evaluation of the material to be proofread and the time frame required to complete the job

  • any expenses (e.g. postage) that the Client will bear in addition to the costs of the proofreading

  • the date by which the material will be delivered by the Client to me

  • the latest date by which the completed project will be returned, following my advice to the Client

2.2 Please note that if, on receipt of the project to be worked on (or at an early stage), it becomes apparent that significantly more work is required than had been anticipated in the preliminary discussion/brief or from the sample supplied, I may renegotiate the fee and/or the deadline, or decline to carry out the work.

3.0 Quotations and Fees

3.1 A quotation for the work will be provided by me to the Client following my evaluation of a representative sample of the materials to be worked on, and a discussion with the Client as to what is required.
3.2 Once the Client and I have agreed on the full fee, it is non-negotiable unless the Client extends the word count of the job or requests additional services. In this case, a revised quotation and job-completion date will be negotiated.
3.3 The Client will pay me a fee per 1,000 words (for proofreading only) OR per hour OR an agreed flat fee for the project, as agreed in writing.
3.4 The Client will pay 30 per cent of the total fee upfront, once it has been agreed in writing (the booking fee).
3.5 Unless otherwise agreed, I will supply the Client with an invoice immediately upon completion of the proofreading project.
3.6 Payment should be received within a specified time, agreed in advance, from submission of the invoice or within 30 days, as set out in the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 – Amended and Supplemented in 2002.

4.0 Cancellation Policy

4.1 Both the Client and I have the right to terminate a contract for services at any time if there is a serious breach of its terms.
4.2 This Client is free to cancel a service by providing me with written notice (including email); I must acknowledge this cancellation in writing (including email) for this to be valid. I will refund any remaining fee from the booking fee less the work I have already started on the project.
4.3 I may cancel a service by providing written notice (including email) to the Client. In the unlikely event that I cancel service, I will provide a prorated refund of any overages of fees paid (including the booking fee).
4.4 If, in the unlikely event that the Client is affected by extraordinary or adverse circumstances that cause cancellation or delay (e.g. family crisis, illness, bereavement), the Client should contact me to discuss the terms of the cancellation policy.
4.5 If I am affected by extraordinary or adverse circumstances that cause cancellation (e.g. family crisis, illness, bereavement), I will contact the Client in writing at the earliest opportunity and do my best to renegotiate the time frame of the project or find an alternative supplier of proofreading services.

5.0 Confidentiality

5.1 The nature and content of the work will be kept confidential and not made known to anyone other than the Client and its contractors without prior written permission.
5.2 I will not, under any circumstances, upload the Client’s files to external websites or distribute them to third parties unless specifically authorized to do so, in writing, by the Client. I do, however, use a cloud storage system. See my Privacy Policy for how your data is protected.

6.0 Copyright

6.1 All content delivered to me by the Client for the proofreading is owned by the Client.
6.2 In this respect, the Client agrees to hold me harmless from and against all claims, liabilities and expenses arising out of any potential or actual copyright or trademark misappropriation or infringement claimed against them.
6.3 Following payment of my invoice, any content created by me as part of the proofreading will become the copyright of the Client unless otherwise agreed.

7.0 Quality Assurance

7.1 SfEP guidance

In response to the question of whether perfection can be expected from the proofreader, the CIEP (the UK’s professional editorial association) says:

‘That is the aim, but perfection is rarely possible. By the Law of Diminishing Returns, perfection requires inordinate amounts of time and money. It is not realistic, but nor are some clients. Even when time is tight, they still want perfection while paying only for ‘good enough’. If they did not pay for copyediting, the proofreader can only sort out the worst problems. […]

An experienced professional proofreader, reading a copyedited typescript, should be able to spot and deal appropriately with at least 80% of all errors but at least 90% of typos – other things being equal.

Chartered Institute of Editing ​and Proofreading, ‘Standards in proofreading

8.0 Legal Juristiction

8.1 This agreement is subject to the laws of England and Wales [or Scots or Northern Ireland law, as appropriate], and both Freelancer and Client agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the English and Welsh [or Scots or Northern Ireland] courts.