Using AIA scope documents for non-traditional design services

Shortly after releasing the 2017 versions of the traditional owner-architect agreements, the AIA Contract Documents Committee published detailed scope of services agreements that assign professional duties to supplement or replace traditional services. These AIA specialty services documents can be added to any base owner/architect agreement to form a contract. B201-2017, Standard Form of Architect’s Services:... Continue Reading →

Do you want to take responsibility for construction?

Design professionals and contractors have very different temperaments. Generally, the contractor is willing to take on more business risk; the uncertainties of the construction process foist more risk on the constructor. Constructors generally have higher profit margins. Design firms on the other hand are service providers; generally there is lower risk as a service provider... Continue Reading →

What’s my role regarding job-site safety?

Design firms are sometimes unclear as to their role regarding safety at a job site. Certainly design firms have responsibility for the safety of their employees, but what about the safety of contractors? In determining a design professional’s responsibility for a worker’s injury, the courts will consider the obligations established by contract and the ability... Continue Reading →

Good processes help manage client requirements

As a professional liability insurer we focus on practice-related risk management activities. Our experience generally has been that the design professionals have the technical expertise to provide the necessary solutions. Once the contract is signed, it is important to review the contract and extract all of the client requirements that are your responsibility. Coordination responsibilities,... Continue Reading →

Divining Client Motivation

I keep six honest serving men (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When And How and Where and Who.   -  Rudyard Kipling Risk managers stress client selection as a risk management tool. Realistically, in a competitive, well-developed market, I find that firms generally don’t have the luxury to... Continue Reading →

Writing the Scope of Services

In the risk management department we come across a lot of professional service agreements. And we review the standard terms and conditions to help insureds identify problematic clauses that could present problems with the coverage provided by their professional liability policy. However, legal professionals and insurance advisers often do not provide a detailed review of... Continue Reading →

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