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Ingram Yuzek Gainen Carroll & Bertolotti, LLP

If You Build It:
News for Design & Construction Professionals

Clarity Counts: Ingram Presents at the 2013 ASCE Annual Conference

Published by Sean Scuderi on December 13, 2013

In any business, agreeing on terms and allocating risk from the outset is critical to success. In the design and construction industry, the stakes are even higher. Defining an engineer’s or architect’s scope of work in a clear and definitive manner prior to starting a project—including setting limits to, or fixing the tolerance for, changes that may be encountered on a project—has both economic and legal benefits. Clear contractual terms can maximize profits by minimizing the time engineers and architects spend performing uncompensated work. They also reduce exposure to claims for services that the designer professionals were never required to provide.

In a presentation at the ASCE Annual Conference in October, Ingram Yuzek’s Sean Scuderi emphasized the importance of understanding the scope of work and standards of care governing individual projects. He also provided the audience with key insights to more effectively negotiate these contractual terms. In particular, he pointed out that engineers and architects should be especially attentive to clients’ use of trigger words such as “expert,” “highest standard,” or “insures,” which language can significantly increase liability and exposure.

In the Design and Construction industry, risk is associated with every project. It is imperative that the What, When, Who and How of services and deliverables is defined from the start.

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