Avoiding Duplication of Information
I will spend some time with you before research begins, identifying what information you and your family already possess. It is important that you share everything you know at this stage. If you do not, and I end up researching things you already know, it will be a waste of my time and your money.
It is impossible to predict in advance whether research will produce the desired results. I charge for time spent on research, even if it draws a blank. However, I will always try to keep time spent on unproductive research to an absolute minimum. Rather than proceed, I will stop work and report back to you to explain the problem.
All factual information in my research reports can be freely used, but the research report as a whole belongs to me, the author. I ask this to protect my intellectual property - the way in which I have conducted my research, the discoveries I have made and how I have structured my analysis and arguments - and to protect my professional reputation. Without copyright, someone could pass off my work as their own and take the credit for it which rightfully belongs to me.
Depending on the costs of the research and the location of the client, I may ask for a retainer of 50% of the payment before work begins.