Engineer’s Standard Terms of Engagement

Many architects are used to seeing an attachment to an engineer’s fee proposal titled “Standard Terms of Engagement” or similar. Sometimes these are signed and returned by the architect…often they are unread and filed away. Either way, they can be likened to a time bomb, waiting to explode when problems arise. Commonly, the text includes […]
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Indemnification Clauses

Many client drafted Client / Architect contracts include “indemnification” language that will expose the architect to obligations and liabilities that are beyond what are already the architect’s at law, and will therefore not be covered by professional liability insurance. The terms and conditions of the Pro-Demnity Policy (or any other insurer’s policy) determine whether coverage […]
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Retaining Surveyors, Geotechnical and Hazardous Materials Specialists

A recently issued OAA Practice Tip PT.30 reminds architects that the OAA recommends against architects retaining any of these three specialists. Consistent with this advice, standard forms of Client / Architect Agreement provided by the OAA and RAIC require the Client to supply information provided by Surveyors, Geotechnical and Hazardous Materials specialists to the Architect […]
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Case Study Cover 1

Glass used in Balcony Guards

In the summer of 2011, there was considerable media attention focused on “falling glass” from breakage of the glass panels used as guards on several condominium buildings in Toronto. In each reported instance, it was tempered glass that broke, with fragments falling into neighbouring streets. One individual was reported injured by falling pieces. Sidewalks were […]
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Why You Must Understand “Claims Made” Insurance…

“Claims Made” insurance and the implications of such policies can be misunderstood by architects and their engineering consultants. Failure to understand the features and consequences of a “Claims Made” insurance policy may lead to loss of insurance coverage. In any discussion of the features of professional liability insurance for architects and engineers, it will be […]
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Protecting Yourself: What can you do when your client doesn’t follow your advice?

This bulletin discusses some of the options an architect might consider when a client doesn’t follow your advice or makes changes to your design without your knowledge. Suggestions include: Limit your liability in your Client / Architect Agreement Qualify your Certificates Be prepared to say “I don’t know enough about this…” Retain a specialist Put […]
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Request for “Claims Experience”

Occasionally, provision of “Claims Experience” is a requirement of a Selection Process for architects. If faced with such request, act with extreme caution. Most settlement agreements contain provisions prohibiting any of the parties from disclosing the terms of the settlement. You may not breach these provisions and the information in a report on your claims […]
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