Recruitment Agency Fee Disputes

Specialist employment lawyers -Recruitment Agency Fee DisputesIf you are a recruitment agency or a client of one, and you’re in dispute over fees, we’re the people to talk to. 

We’ve developed a ‘niche’ specialism over the years in the small but important area of law of recruitment agency fee disputes and claims.  Whether you are a recruitment agency or the client of one, we can provide you with specialist legal support when it comes to a recruitment agency fee dispute.  With us, you will get the tactics and strategy to maximise your opportunity to claim your fee or avoid paying one (as the case may be).

The vast majority of recruitment agency fee disputes settle out of court. Our aim is always to help you find a reasonable and acceptable settlement deal, swiftly and economically, wherever possible.

However, if court proceedings are what’s required then our Commercial Dispute Resolution team will happily and robustly fight your cause and greatly improve your chance of a successful outcome.

Recruitment agency fee disputes: case studies

Recent cases we’ve where we’ve successfully helped our clients have included:

  • Representing an employer who hired a long-term friend of a manager, but after an agency had sent the company the candidate’s CV.  The hire was very clearly because of the existing relationship with the manager, and the CV had been sent speculatively, with the agency doing nothing more to progress the hire.  However, the agency was determined to claim its fee.  After some robust exchanges, we persuaded the agency to back down and see sense.  The ‘effective cause’ of the hire was clearly the long-term friendship, not the speculative sending of the CV.
  • Representing an international recruitment agency who had found and put forward a candidate to an employer.  After a lot of work by the agency, negotiations over pay broke down and the hire did not take place.  But 6 months later the agency found out that the candidate had recently been hired by the same client, possibly as the result of a small amount of further work by another agency.  Our client (the first agency) demanded its fee and was initially promised a reasonable ‘compromise’ sum by the employer but then ignored.  After we got involved we sent the employer a firmly worded demand, with the threat of legal action, but offering to accept a slightly lower compromise sum with a 7-day deadline.  The employer paid up within 7 days.
  • Advising an employer who faced two bills for a hire from two recruitment agencies, both of whom sent through a candidate’s CV and neither of whom did that much to progress the hire after that.  It involved careful analysis of which agency had done more than the other to be the ‘effective cause’ of the hire.  On the evidence of the email trails and the time line, one agency clearly deserved its fee more than the other, and all parties were able to accept the outcome.
  • Helping recuitment agencies to review and improve their terms of business so that their wording on fees is more enforceable in court and clearer for all concerned.


Read Luke’s blog on recruitment agency fee disputes, with practical tips for employers and recruitment agencies alike.

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