Termination of a consultant's appointment
Termination of a consultant's appointment

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

  • Termination of a consultant's appointment
  • How might an appointment be terminated?
  • Express contractual provisions
  • Insolvency
  • Repudiation
  • Standard forms' approach to termination—consultant appointments
  • NEC Professional Service Contract
  • The CIC Consultants' Contract Conditions
  • RIBA Standard Professional Services Contract 2020
  • ACA Standard Form of Agreement for the Appointment of an Architect
  • More...

Termination of a consultant's appointment

This Practice Note looks at how consultant’s appointments might be terminated, explores the approach taken in standard forms and provides example termination clauses. It should be read alongside Practice Note: Termination of a construction contract, which provides guidance on termination in a construction context more generally.

How might an appointment be terminated?

Like a building contract, there are a number of ways in which a consultant's engagement on a construction project might be terminated, including:

  1. by performance—ie the contractual obligations being fully performed by the employer and consultant

  2. the parties reaching an agreement to release each other from their obligations

  3. as a result of a misrepresentation/fraud (see Practice Note: Misrepresentation—rescission as a remedy)

  4. frustration (see Practice Note: Discharge by frustration)

  5. at common law for repudiatory breach of contract (see Practice Note: Repudiation)

  6. pursuant to an express contractual provision (which may allow termination upon the occurrence of specified events and/or may allow the employer to terminate at will)

Express contractual provisions

It is usual for consultant appointments to contain express contractual provisions permitting termination. Termination under such provisions is the most common method by which an appointment would be terminated. For examples of express provisions see: Example clauses relating to termination below.

Reasons cited in appointments to allow termination will often include:

  1. the employer's right to terminate at will—which is commonly included in appointments which are

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