Hi Ben -
I'm a freelancer in childrenswear and generally it works that you sell designs as and when. The retailer will buy the design through my agent. He get's 40% and I take the 60%. Normally it takes about 3 months for us to get paid but I am not sure how long it takes him (my agent) to be paid by the clients. However I am owed for 34 designs in total. I haven't got to hand the earliest design sale I'm still owed for but i can work this out if you need me to. I think they are all in the last year. His methods of sales notifications were haphazard to say the least!
I do not have a contract with him, as a freelancer he is just my agent and has been for about 15 years.
This is all standard practice in the textiles industry and design studios.
Since closing the studio, he has sent me a list of outstanding designs i am owed for. There were 4 that I had which were missed off. He has accounted for 2 of these as ones which were bought by a company who
have gone bust and so therefore i won't get paid for these. I did not know of this until now. The other two he has agreed i am still owed for.
I sent an email to him today asking whether i might be paid for any this month. He has replied with an email saying that it is all still being looked at by his accountants and it is unclear until Tuesday of next week. He said the same thing last month too!
There are lots of other designers in the same position as me and we are all wondering what to do and how we stand legally.
Can we collectively pursue him for all monies owed or do we all need to file separate claims against him?
At the moment he's saying he doesn't want to go into administration but is also very unclear if we will be paid, when we will be paid and how much we will be paid?
We are really concerned that he may decide to declare himself bankrupt and we will never see our money.
What should we do?