Reasonable skill and care in construction contracts
Reasonable skill and care in construction contracts

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

  • Reasonable skill and care in construction contracts
  • Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982
  • Contractual reasonable skill and care obligations
  • Consultants
  • Contractors
  • Does it include a duty to warn?
  • ‘All’ reasonable skill and care vs reasonable skill and care
  • Reasonable skill, care and ‘diligence’

This Practice Note considers the obligation for contractors and consultants providing services under construction contracts to exercise reasonable skill and care. It looks at the implied term under section 13 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (SGSA 1982) and express contractual requirements to exercise either ‘reasonable skill and care’ or ‘all reasonable skill and care’. It also considers what effect the word ‘diligence’ has if added to the standard of care. It contains links to other relevant content on standards to be met by contractors and consultants, including design obligations specifically, and fitness for purpose obligations.

Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982

SGSA 1982, s 13 provides that in a relevant contract for the supply of a service, where the supplier is acting in the course of a business, there is an implied term that the supplier will carry out the service with reasonable care and skill (see also the Consumer Rights Act 2015 where the consultant’s contract is with a consumer). Where a contract engaging a consultant for a construction project is silent on the standard of care to be exercised, there is therefore an implied term that they will carry out their services using reasonable skill and care. This will be the case whether the consultant is carrying out design services, such as an architect or an engineer, or

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