Consider this situation: You have been awarded a commission to design a building for a new client. You propose using the AIA’s Standard Form of Agreement B101 as your owner-architect contract, but the client insists you sign a version of the B101 “with just a few minor changes.” You notice that one of those changes requires you to “comply with all laws, rules, and regulations," rather than, as the B101 states, to “review laws, codes, and regulations applicable to the Architect’s services.” That changed language should be setting off alarm bells for you.
Continued from If You Build It, They Will Sue: Condominium Projects – Part I, an analysis of Beacon Residential Community Association v. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, et al. and its impact on future court decisions.
Key risk allocation clauses in design professional contracts that routinely require editing to make the risk more manageable or insurable include those presented in this template. The language set forth below is suggested as reasonable compromise language to onerous terms and conditions. This is not legal advice, and before adopting contract language for any specific situation, consultations with legal counsel is recommended. Enforceability of contract language varies from state to state.