Originally published in Interiors & Sources

03/17/2010

Risk Management Stakes are High for Architects and Engineers

A professional from LeClairRyan offers architects tips on risk management

 

Risk management is a topic of concern for many professionals, and none more so than those involved in the building trades. “Unfortunately, the stakes are raised in tough economic times,” says veteran attorney Jay S. Gregory, a shareholder in LeClairRyan’s Boston office.

Gregory notes, “There’s a certain population of potential litigants who are always looking for someone to blame, and their numbers seem to increase in times like these. It’s imperative that architects and engineers do everything they can to manage risk and limit liability in a proactive manner.”

“It’s very important that firms structure their client agreements to include an in-house process for developing, tracking, and, when necessary, negotiating issues as they arise,” Gregory says. He stresses that agreements need to clearly define the scope of services being provided and should always include appropriate provisions covering indemnity, waiver of consequential damages, standard of care, and, if possible, limitation of liability. He also discussed the insurability of contract obligations, terms and conditions, and issues related to working without an agreement in place. “Having a properly designed and executed agreement in place is the front line of defense in risk management for architects and engineers, and it goes a long way toward limiting potential liability claims,” Gregory says.

“Still, claims do sometimes arise; that’s just a fact of life in the real world. How well prepared you are and how you react to the situation at hand are critical factors influencing the ultimate outcome of any claim.”

Gregory advises architects to constantly be vigilant for warning signs, noting, “It’s best if you’re aware of any potential problem before your client even knows about it.”

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


 
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