I write reports that require a lot of data analysis upfront, followed by a small amount of writing. My client canceled after I had already invested most of the effort required to complete the project due to "wanting to rethink it."

I've explained that I will have to submit an invoice for 90% because I've already expended 90% of the effort required to complete the project, but that they may of course still request completion of the full project under our original terms.

The client insists they should pay only half of the fee because they have received a draft that they consider one-half complete. Since they appear to be committed to their position, I expect that if I invoice them for 90% of the contract value, they will only pay 50%.

I'm wondering if there's a way to handle this assertively but civilly. My contract doesn't contain a kill clause, so I assume that I don't have legal standing to demand 90% payment. That said, I don't expect to pursue work with them in the future so I don't feel the need to be overly-amicable either.

  • As with so many questions here, what does the contract actually state? What are the terms in regards to the deliverables and payment for said deliverables? You're best bet is probably to contact a contract lawyer.
    – joeqwerty
    Apr 3, 2019 at 23:13
  • You could always invoice for 90%.. see what they pay.. go to court if you want more than they paid. I'm not really sure what else could be done, other than merely acquiescing to their desires.
    – Scott
    Apr 4, 2019 at 0:35
  • @joeqwerty The contract covers multiple reports and requires full payment on completion of each report. There are no intermediate deliverables specified, and as I said, it has no kill clause. It can be terminated by either party at any time.
    – overhear
    Apr 4, 2019 at 10:59

1 Answer 1


It was not you who failed to deliver, it was not you who insisted not to deliver, and you have a contract.

You should be invoicing 100% of the amount.

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