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How final is final?

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Further to Kim Franklin's interesting article on the 'final certificate' (AJ 15.2.01), the practice I work with recently tried, both on client's instructions and on its own initiative, issuing 'final' certificates with a token amount, usually 1p, retained.

Most contractors protested vociferously, complaining about, among other things, open liability and liability in perpetuity and saying that the contract required us to issue a final certificate.We found it easier to relent and avoid all the aggravation.

Is there any consensus on what architects should or can do in order to fulfil their role and limit their liability?

JAD Hayward, Stanmore, Middlesex

. . . any answers?

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