RIBA is aware of the difficulty experienced by practitioners in securing agreement from clients for the industry standard documentation.
Frequently on commercial projects, the client will present their own bespoke suite of appointment, warranty or novation documentation, and will be reluctant to accept the terms of the professional institute of the most important consultant.
On domestic projects, the acceptance of the standard RIBA documentation appears to be greater. However, consumer protection legislation must be taken into account. The architect must be able to demonstrate that standard terms have been fully explained and understood, and that key clauses have been brought to the client's attention.
For standard documentation to have a better chance of being accepted, it needs to demonstrate that it caters for the client's key concerns, but also in a manner that is going to protect the architect.
RIBA also recognises that commercial requirements are evolving all the time. The widely-publicised High Court decision in the Freeborn and Goldie versus Dan Marcal Architects case, relating to the 'wonky industrial design' of a home cinema, involved a substantial fining against the architect - illustrating the need for accurate detailed records.
The 2017 Grenfell tragedy and its impact on building regulations is another case in point. Therefore, the standard documentation needs to be kept under frequent review, and to be responsive to the changing needs of the industry and changes in legislation.
This seminar will look at how the professional services contract seeks to provide architects with sensible protections and limitations on responsibility and liability, whilst providing clarity of roles and services for the client.
As with previous incarnations of the standard document, the present suite of professional services contracts deal with matters such as:
- the client's responsibilities
- the appointment of other consultants
- the entering into of other agreements, including novations or warranties
- the fair delineation of responsibility amongst the construction team
The new provisions seek to clarify the correct construction cost figure upon which to apply a percentage fee at various times, in an effort to reduce the incidents of fee disputes. Such disputes can frequently lead to counterclaims, which are often highly emotive - particularly in domestic projects, where the parties may be ill-inclined to compromise and where scope for manoeuvre may be limited.
Speaker: Mark Klimt, DWF Law LLP
Mark joined Fishburn Boxer as a trainee in 1982, and has been a partner since 1989. He has been involved in the construction industry - primarily representing architects - for more than thirty years, both defending them against claims on behalf of insurers, and advising them on contractual and other liabilities. The practice of Fishburn Boxer merged with DWF in February 2013.
Mark has defended consultants with projects of all sizes and all descriptions, from modest domestic refurbishments through to higher-end refurbishments. Aside from projects in the UK, Mark's been involved in disputes all over the world, including projects in Germany, France, Russia, Australia, Canada and the Middle East.
- RIBA/CIAT Members: £47 + VAT
- RIBA Student Members: £15 + VAT
- Non-RIBA members: £94 + VAT
- Procurement and contracts
- Business, clients and services
- Legal, regulatory and statutory compliance