Lawyer needed

  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hello,

    I need a lawyer to get a copy of my contracts from my previous agent who thinks he can continue making money with me after a left. Anything please let me know!

    Thanks,

    Fred

    • 1st May 2008
    • 2152
    • 26
  • Emily Clare

    Actor

    I don't know of any, but that's awful, best of luck, emily x

    • 18th Mar 2008
    • 1
  • Fiona Cuskelly

    Actor

    Surely Equity can help you out with this. Have you tried contacting them?

    • 18th Mar 2008
    • 2
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    But you're not a member of Equity are you Fred?

    If you were a simple phone call would have sorted this out for you. Now you have to go into the Yellow Pages, collate all the evidence yourself, hope you get one that understands the industry methods and pay through the nose.

    Maybe your agent understood this when you were with them and are taking the piss. I'm afraid you have come across one of the most important reasons for being a member and will join now!

    THEN maybe they can do something in retrospect for you. Chances are you may well have to bite the bullet on this case and look forward with a little more care.

    I come across this sort of thing regularly. Non members always contact me to say 'What do I do if...' Usually my answer is 'I don't have to do anything but contact Equity'. They have the resources to hand to immediately sort out about 95% of instances like this.The rest may take a little longer. AND there is never any cost to me but my membership fee (£7.80 per month).

    • 18th Mar 2008
    • 3
  • John Burton

    Actor

    Hi Fred

    Unfortunately all contracts negotiated by your agents that continue to run will still incur charges by you to them even if you have left their representation.

    Let me explain briefly, the agent in question submits you for a role in the new ITV series Mistresses as the local village bobby (not a huge part but you are in the series throughout), the series wraps, transmits and you decide to leave the agent.

    ITV call to say that they are doing another series and they would like you back, your agent (the old one you left) is still entitled to commisions as it was him that got you the interview and negotiated contracts, it's the same if you got an ongoing job on a soap or long running drama and left - they are still entitled to monies.

    I only know this as I have been in the same position myself twice now and have had numerous legal advice regarding it (check the original agent contract - there will be something in the small print)- if not you may be in with a shout !!

    I can recommend an excellent Equity legal rep in Manchester called Jamie Bryers on (0161)832 3183.

    Good Luck Fred

    • 18th Mar 2008
    • 4
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Thank you guys,

    I was just waiting for some money to get to Equity as I am just arriving in London. I found an Lawyer to help me with this one until then!

    Thanks again!

    All the best!

    Fred

    • 18th Mar 2008
    • 5
  • Beau Rambaut

    Actor

    I was gonna say fred. You can join Equity now and they'll help you anyway right? Who was the agent? Can we name and shame? I don't suppose we can but feel free to PM me if you're feeling in the mood.

    • 18th Mar 2008
    • 6
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Alan,

    No offence at all, but you do come across as somewhat ungracious in the way you are communicating,. I agree that a mistake was made, but please realise the tone your email comes across is "serves you right., and slighly devoid of compassion.

    Im really saying this in utmost respect for you as you are older than me and deserve that respect, but in the midst of a rough time, surely people need gentle encouragement and a helping hand??

    Not trying to cause a problem at all. Just my thoughts.

    • 18th Mar 2008
    • 7
  • Sheri Copeland

    Actor

    I think I may be missing the point here...name and shame? For what? What has the agency done wrong?

    This is standard practise for all agents and if it were not, actors could just up and leave and swap commission to another agent as and when they feel like it. Try to look at it from the other side guys, agents work very hard to secure contracts for actors, and are entitled to the commission on them.

    • 18th Mar 2008
    • 8
  • Beau Rambaut

    Actor

    Oh I had thought they were ripping you off- Did I misunderstand? I must of I guess.

    • 18th Mar 2008
    • 9
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Fred,

    You may not need to get a lawyer- many agents will gve a crtain notice period and all contracts you have while with them will still stand, but any contracts after you have left belong to your new agent.

    When I mention a mistake I mean the fact that you havent joined Equity. from what you have said, there may not be a problem. Your new agent will submit you and your old agent cant actually claim for stuff after the date of your departure.

    This however is if you have kept the clause of the contract- if you are in say, a long running season- the commission will go to your old agent for a period of time unless the contract is renewed or renegotiated.,

    If you have signed say a two year contract this rarely has any legal hold and perhaps legal advice would be a good plan. But if you have left your agent according to your contract, then there should be no problems.

    Most agents will release you anyway if you have not been working or have existing jobs coming up, I have had that before, but even if you did, theyt would claim for that job and you would possibly need to check your current agent about the next step.

    If your old agent is WITHHOLDING money from you outside the ten days time limit, then I suggest you get this sorted asap.

    • 18th Mar 2008
    • 10
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Thanks guys but there is no need to debate on this. The agent isn't in the uk and I am just trying to get all my previous contract to make sure I can follow up but the fact that he has refused to do so since January let me think that there is something wrong and as I am not in Dublin anymore I need to make sure he is not making any money on any re-run without telling me. Cheers!

    Fred

    • 18th Mar 2008
    • 11
  • Alan Brent

    Actor

    Blake is right, Fred. I did sound a bit 'Itold you so' in my reply. I apologise.

    But since you can join Equity on Direct Debit you can spread the cost over the year rather than find it all at once.

    Legal costs are really expensive and the Equity lawyers are experts in this field of work. You never know when you're going to need them or any of the other many different benefits of membership. So I urge you (and anyone else) to join without delay. Especially since this could turn out to be a very long and protracted battle with an 'overseas' agent!

    Alan

    • 18th Mar 2008
    • 12
  • Kenny Richards-Preston

    Actor

    I realise you're not a member of Equity, but you can still contact them and they can direct you in the right direction. I've gone on about Equity being there just for it's members, but it really isn't, they are there for ALL actors and stage/screen performers. So it's worth a call!

    • 19th Mar 2008
    • 13
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Some one remind me why I bother to be a member and why I bother to pay my subs then...?

    • 19th Mar 2008
    • 14
  • Kenny Richards-Preston

    Actor

    Equity will advise you on the best course of action, no need to be snotty, do9n't worry they won't pay non-member legal fees!!!!

    • 19th Mar 2008
    • 15
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Equity staff will always be pleasant and helpful to non-members up to a point. Obviously they would like everyone to join and if they are horrible to people on the phone that's no way to win friends. But if you are not a paid up member there is very little concrete help they can give. And Equity certainly does not take up court cases for non-members.

    There is a very interesting and helpful article in the latest Equity magazine about how to encourage people to join Equity.

    Cheers

    Tracey - proud to be a member of Equity

    • 19th Mar 2008
    • 16
  • Kenny Richards-Preston

    Actor

    HI Tracey, I'd be proud to be a member too! And I was! Like I said, things happened, and I may not agree with a small amount of what they do or propose, but I do back, completely about 90% of what they do and stand for. People may think from what I write that I am Anti-Equity, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I am the first to tell people with a valid point or issue to ask Equity for advice, and I've done it myself, and they'll tell you their stand point of the issue and advise where you can go for assistance in the matter.

    What non-members don't get, however, is the legal HELP, though they can pay for it as if they went to another entertainment lawyer firm. ADVICE is free, and Equity know this, if they're helpful they stand a better chance of acquiring another member, afterall they called Equity NOT the other way round!

    I just hate it when some members think they're above the actors that aren't members, and post real snobby remarks regarding it!

    So thanks Tracey, for informing the readers of this thread that I wasn't blowing out of my hole on this :-)

    And yeah Alan? It did come across rather bad, I am glad you realised it, but also glad I never wrote anything regarding it hehe (wink)

    • 19th Mar 2008
    • 17
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Bless you Kenny. It was a rhetorical question, not a snotty remark. Of course, if you choose to take it that way, then thats entirely up to you.

    Anyone who knows me and has attended one of my Equity meetings will know that I don't consider myself above anyone.

    Lets hope you never really need Equity's help.

    S x

    • 19th Mar 2008
    • 18
  • Kenny Richards-Preston

    Actor

    Actually I did, they helped, I won, it was almost 4 yrs ago, I spoke to somebody on here regarding it, when they were equally obtuse in their response to another fellow who needed assistance. I advised him to talk with Equity then too.

    I am sorry if I offended you, but that off the comment remark, may have sounded differently had we heard it, in text format, it's hard to know your inflection and direction to what you were meaning, so it came across as snotty.

    I also understand if you don't wish to take that as how it is meant, and that is equally your choice!

    Kenny

    • 19th Mar 2008
    • 19