Firm management

How contracts can help manage risk

By the AIA Risk Management Program

When embarking on a project, a written agreement is the best way to set expectations and ensure the proper legal arrangements are made. The basic elements of an agreement between the owner and the architect should include:

1. The owner’s objectives for the project

2. The architect’s scope of services and a description of the drawings or other deliverables the architect is to furnish

3. The fees to be paid for providing those services and when they are to be paid

4. The schedule or sequence of events in which the services will be provided

An ongoing series from AIA’s Risk Management Program covers the questions all architects should ask before entering into a contract.

The value of a comprehensive owner-architect contract

This overview of why a contract matters will help architects create all-inclusive agreements that can guide the parties’ relationship and expectations.

How do you avoid assuming uninsurable risk?

Though professional liability insurance is paramount for architects, not all risk is covered. Find out how knowledge, negotiations, and a proactive approach can avoid risk.

Understanding copyright protection for architects

Copyright protection is a valuable tool in the architect’s arsenal. All designers need to understand what it is and how it can protect their work from legal complications down the line.

Reducing risk after a terminated owner-architect agreement

AIA’s standard agreements give the owner the right to terminate an agreement whenever he or she sees fit, which means architects need to know how to protect their documents.

Why architects should be wary of indemnification clauses

More and more owner-created owner-architect agreements now include indemnification clauses. Keep your eye out for these provisions, and seek advice from your legal advisors when they arise.

For more, visit  AIA’s Risk Management Program page.