hand signing contract papers

What are today’s trends in professional liability claims against architects, engineers and other design firms? There are a variety of claims that can occur and design professionals need to watch out for. One of them is claims resulting from bad contracts.

Here’s what you need to watch out for and understand how to protect yourself from these claims:


Bad Contracts Claims:

This is a bit of a catch-all category wherein design firms who agree to bad contracts find themselves more and more the target of claims from their clients. Particular contract issues that have been leading to increased claims include:

  • Lack of clarity of the designer’s scope of services, which leads to unrealistic client expectations.

  • Broad indemnification clauses, which lead to designers taking on uninsured liabilities that rightfully belong to the owner or contractor.

  • Agreeing to binding dispute resolution methods other than non-binding mediation.

  • Including protective contract language such as limitation of liability and mediation clauses in the client contract, but not including the same language in contracts with subconsultants.



How to Mitigate School Building Project Claims:

The best risk management tactic for school claims is drafting a clear scope of work that shows exactly what the designer was hired to do, and identify services outside of that scope. This clear scope should be part of a well-written contract that affords balanced risk allocation and ensures that any changes in the scope are client- approved and well documented.




Find out more:

Download our free guidebook “Watch for These Seven Claim Trendsto learn more about how you can protect your business from claims and losses: