Last edited 15 Sep 2020

Letter of appointment for consultants

Letters of appointment (or letters of acceptance, or letter contracts) are sometimes used to appoint consultants in cases when a client wants the consultant to start work quickly, while a full contract is being prepared.

The letter should put a time limit on its validity and make it clear a contract will supersede and replace anything expressed in the letter of appointment.

Ideally the letter should include:

Letters of appointment may also be appropriate if a consultant is required for a very insubstantial or minor commission where a full-blown contract could be seen as heavy handed and off-putting. This also applies to small side-projects such as commissioning a sculpture from a particular artist. In such circumstances, many of the items listed above should be included in the letter, together with a programme and budget.

The appointment letter should be duplicated for the consultant’s retention and return. It should have an acceptance clause for the consultant’s signature at the end and the consultant should be asked to initial the foot of each page.

NB Contractors are treated slightly differently, using a letter of intent for temporary purposes prior to engrossment and execution of contract documents. See Letter of intent for more information.

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