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Can't Pay? Won't Pay!

Paper number

Mark Klimt

January 2013

A paper presented to a meeting of the Society of Construction Law in Bristol on 13th September 2012

Mark Klimt writes from many years personal experience as a solicitor acting for construction professionals (in particular architects), looking at fee recovery claims and counterclaims for professional negligence. Also having worked closely with insurers, he considers the relationship with them, including fee recovery schemes and the impact of the EC Directive on Legal Expenses Insurance. He considers the vulnerability of consultants to disputes and counterclaims and discusses the safeguards that they can employ. He concludes with some advice to consultants on how to avoid and manage fee disputes, warns how a fee dispute can often trigger a counterclaim from the client for professional negligence and suggests how insurers should most helpfully assist their insured.

Introduction - Fee recovery and counterclaims - Special vulnerability of architects - Partnering etc - Special problems with domestic projects - Safeguards for consultants - Contracts of appointment - Risk of a counterclaim - Fee recover schemes - As an addition to PI cover - Impact of EC law - Advice for consultants - Clear appointment terms - Keep on top of the fees outstanding - If problems arise, commission a review of the project - Satisfy your insurer fully, and in good time - Role of insurers - Help for the consultant - Conclusions.

The author: Mark Klimt is a partner of Fishburns LLP in London.

Text 12 pages