Claims against consultants on construction projects
Claims against consultants on construction projects

The following Construction guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Claims against consultants on construction projects
  • The sources of obligations or liability
  • Standard of care
  • Common claims and issues
  • Quantum of claims
  • Dispute resolution considerations

This Practice Note looks at claims made against professional consultants (also known as construction professionals) on construction projects and issues that typically arise in these claims. It considers the potential sources of liability, the standard of care expected in carrying out services, and common claims/issues in relation to designers, contract administration and supervision/inspection roles. This Practice Note also highlights points to consider in relation to the quantum of claims and dispute resolution in the context of claims against a consultant.

Consultants are typically engaged by a client to provide it with advice regarding the various aspects of the project and/or to ensure the contractor completes the works properly, on time, within budget and in accordance with the client’s requirements. They are not, in most forms of procurement, a party to the building contract or any sub-contract, nor are they responsible for carrying out any physical construction works. For further information on the key consultants (such as architects, engineers, quantity surveyors and contract administrators (eg project manager or employer’s agent)) and their main duties, see Practice Note: Roles of professional consultants—construction projects.

The sources of obligations or liability

The main bases of liability for a consultant are breach of contract, tortious duty or statutory obligation. Examples of claims in relation to particular roles or duties arising out of such breaches are covered