Association of Consultant Architects launches rival to RIBA client contract
According to the ACA the institute’s latest document – an update of the soon to be discontinued SFA99 form – leaves practices open to ‘potentially disastrous’ professional indemnity insurance (PII) problems.
Unlike the RIBA’s form, the ACA’s 28-page document does not include a clause demanding the architect performs ‘his services in accordance with any budget or timescale agreed with the client’.
The ACA’s Stephen Yakeley said: ‘PI insurers have stated that failure to meet this obligation by the architect would not be covered by insurance policies. [This is] potentially ruinous.’
Other differences in the ACA form include a ‘no set-off’ clause, which can allow practices to enforce payment against unreasonable clients, and a provision to resign from a commission.
Comparing the forms, one business insider said: ‘The RIBA document is not as tight as the ACA form but it does try to create less friction with the client, whereas the ACA document limits the architect’s liability.’
A ‘disappointed’ Richard Brindley from the RIBA said:
‘A plethora of different standard contracts is certainly not helpful
to either architects or clients, especially as the ACA form appears to follow the lead of RIBA’s.’