Is it generally considered to be appropriate, inappropriate or downright misleading for an independent professional to refer to the principals of subcontracting arrangements as if they were the independent person’s own clients?
For example: An individual engineer is separately hired in a public works project for XYZ City, except that the hiring, administration and payment is all handled through general contractor ABC Construction, which won a public bidding process. No one in the XYZ organization ever met the engineer or has any idea that the engineer participated in the project, although ABC management and staff, as well as the company’s records, would clearly indicate that the subcontracting relationship was formed and executed. Confidentiality precludes the engineer from telling anyone that ABC was contracted by XYZ
Could the engineer ethically say that he worked “for” or “with” XYZ?
Is it appropriate for the engineer to name XYZ separately in any form?
Following from the above, and assuming that over the course of several years the engineer is forwarded major subcontracting jobs from 100 prestigious principals through only four general contracting firms, is there an ethical way to have the engineer’s resume reflect the prestige of the principals? Such as, rather than including a “client list:”, including a reference to “work performed to the benefit of:” or somesuch, without creating the guise of a work relationship?