There are two parts to an IR35 review that the end hirer needs to be aware of (all while demonstrating reasonable care) – contractual reviews and working practice reviews to ensure they are aligned.

Any business that has used an online tool, such as CEST, to complete their working practice review won’t have taken necessary due diligence to pass the reasonable care threshold, as their contract won’t be aligned with the working practices.

In addition to this, many businesses use template contracts that are generic and typically do not reflect the reality of the engagement for IR35 purposes. For a robust IR35 process the contract and working practises must be aligned. Where the contract, which the contractor is party to, does not reflect the reality of the engagement, the courts are likely to disregard the contract and focus on the working practices, meaning the protections which a contract could provide will be eradicated.

Businesses also need to be aware of the importance of having a master service agreement (MSA) in place (also known as an upper-level contract agreement) between the hirer and the fee payer (and any other entity in the supply chain above the contractor). This contract should accurately demonstrate the nature of the relationship between the parties and also set out each parties’ responsibilities under the April 2021 IR35 legislative change.




As an SRA regulated law firm with legal professionals who specialise in IR35, Brookson Legal can support your business. We will work with you to review all contracts and working practices throughout your supply chain to ensure they are aligned. Along with offering advice on contractual changes, we are on hand to support with the drafting of contracts, meaning we can support you from start to finish.


Access to an SRA regulated law firm with dedicated IR35 experts.


Review of upper and lower contracts.


Full end to end drafting of contracts.


All services are provided by an SRA regulated law firm and advice is protected by client legal privilege and professional indemnity insurance.